Re: CONFIG_RANDOM option for 1.99.2

Kevin M Bealer (
Wed, 15 May 1996 15:40:00 -0400 (EDT)

On Tue, 14 May 1996, Martin.Dalecki wrote:

> On Mon, 13 May 1996, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
> > The original reason I didn't provide a CONFIG_RANDOM was because I
> > wanted security-oriented applications (i.e., Netscape, PGP, Kerberos,
> > etc.) to be able to assume that if they were on Linux, /dev/linux would
> > always be present. Good, secure numbers are absolutely vital for
> Do You really think that they will be aware of such an Linux *SPECIFIC*
> animal?
> > The random driver also isn't all that big, and the overhead of the
> > add_XXX_randomness() calls were designed to be as small as possible.
> That's compleatly wrong!! It is now about 16KBytes. More than the floppy
> driver, more that the ide driver, more than the CD-ROM drivers....
> This is compleatly inacceptable for such an arcane FEATURE like this
> (IMHO).
> Marcin

The IDE/scsi/floppy controllers are transparent and handle hardware. No
program depends on scsi or ide specifically. /dev/random and /dev/urandom
are system services; they're not really comparable.

BTW, are they really specific to linux?

The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men
of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
-- Justice Louis D. Brandeis