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Helping The Random Number Generator To Gain Enough Entropy With rng-tools (Debia

Dec 13, 2010, 22:05 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Falko Timme)

[ Thanks to Falko Timme for this link. ]

"You might know this situation: you want to generate a GPG or SSL key, and during that operation, your system tells you that no more random bytes are available and that it needs to collect more entropy, and you are stuck. This short guide tells you how to solve this problem with the package rng-tools on Debian Lenny.

"I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

"1 Preliminary Note

"Let's assume you want to generate a GPG key:

"gpg --gen-key

"If you are unlucky, the command might stop in the middle with a message like this:

"We need to generate a lot of random bytes. It is a good idea to perform some other action (type on the keyboard, move the mouse, utilize the disks) during the prime generation; this gives the random number generator a better chance to gain enough entropy."

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