reading internet data to generate random numbers.

Mike Meyer mwm at
Thu Nov 3 05:22:34 CET 2005

Grant Edwards <grante at> writes:
> On 2005-11-02, Neil Schemenauer <nas at> wrote:
>> Grant Edwards <grante at> wrote:
>> Using data from the Internet is just a bad idea.
> I think that the timing of certain network events is one of the
> Linux kernel's entropy sources.

BSD as well. The key word is "one". While network events don't make a
good source of random data, proplery combining such sources can create
good random data. Randomness is a deep subject. You should use a
library built by experts (and appropriate for your application) rather
than try and build one yourself. Most modern Unix systems have a
/dev/random that qualifies for a lot of applications.

Mike Meyer <mwm at>
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.

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