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SubjectConcurrent access to /dev/urandom
Date
I use /dev/urandom to generate UUIDs by reading 16 random bytes from
/dev/urandom (very much like e2fsprogs' libuuid).

As long as I serialize access to /dev/urandom, I get different values.
However, with concurrent access to /dev/urandom, I quickly get duplicate
values. libuuid uses one shared file descriptor for all threads, while
the test case below uses a file descriptor per read; it does not appear
to change anything ... duplicates appear very quickly (within seconds).
I tried on 2.4.20-27.9smp, 2.6.8-1.521smp, 2.6.9-1.6_FC2smp.

Within one process, I could easily serialize access to /dev/urandom to
avoid this problem. But I suspect the same would happen with concurrent
access from different processes, and I'd rather avoid interprocess
synchronization. Is this the expected behavior of /dev/urandom? Any
suggestions on how to get unique values?

Thanks,
Bernard

#include <pthread.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <fcntl.h>
#include <unistd.h>

#include <iostream>
#include <set>

using namespace std;

static pthread_mutex_t staticMutex = PTHREAD_MUTEX_INITIALIZER;

struct Key
{
long long high;
long long low;
};
struct KeyComp
{
inline bool operator()(const Key& lhs, const Key& rhs)
{
return lhs.high < rhs.high || (lhs.high == rhs.high && lhs.low < rhs.low);
}
};
static set<Key, KeyComp> keySet;
static int keyCount;


void* threadFailed()
{
return reinterpret_cast<void*>(-1);
}
extern "C"
void* readRandom(void* d)
{
int threadId = reinterpret_cast<int>(d);
for(int i = 0; i < keyCount; ++i)
{
int fd = open("/dev/urandom", O_RDONLY);
if (fd == -1)
{
cerr << "could not open /dev/urandom" << endl;
return threadFailed();
}
int reads = 0;
size_t index = 0;
char buffer[16];

while(reads <= 20 && index != sizeof(Key))
{
ssize_t bytesRead = read(fd, buffer + index, sizeof(Key) - index);
if(bytesRead == -1)
{
if(errno != EINTR)
{
int err = errno;
cerr << "Reading /dev/urandom returned " << strerror(err) << endl;
close(fd);
return threadFailed();
}
}
else
{
index += bytesRead;
reads++;
}
}
if(index != sizeof(buffer))
{
close(fd);
cerr << "Giving up after 20 reads!" << endl;
return threadFailed();
}
close(fd);

int err = pthread_mutex_lock(&staticMutex);
if(err != 0)
{
cerr << "pthread_mutex_lock failed" << endl;
return threadFailed();
}
Key& key = reinterpret_cast<Key&>(buffer);

pair<set<Key, KeyComp>::iterator, bool> result = keySet.insert(key);
if(!result.second)
{
cerr << "******** Found duplicate!! **********" << endl;
struct AsInts
{
unsigned int x1;
unsigned int x2;
unsigned int x3;
unsigned int x4;
};
AsInts& ints = reinterpret_cast<AsInts&>(buffer);
cerr << hex << ints.x1 << "-" << ints.x2 << "-" << ints.x3 << "-" <<
ints.x4 << endl;
pthread_mutex_unlock(&staticMutex);
return threadFailed();
}
if(i > 0 && (i % 100000 == 0))
{
cout << "Thread " << threadId << ": read " << i << " keys" << endl;
}
err = pthread_mutex_unlock(&staticMutex);
if(err != 0)
{
cerr << "pthread_mutex_unlock failed" << endl;
return threadFailed();
}
}
return 0;
}
int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
if(argc != 3)
{
cerr << "Usage: " << argv[0] << " [number of keys to read] [number of
threads]" << endl;
return -1;
}
int howMany = atoi(argv[1]);
int threadCount = atoi(argv[2]);
keyCount = howMany / threadCount;

pthread_t* threads = new pthread_t[threadCount];

for(int i = 0; i < threadCount; ++i)
{
int err = pthread_create(&threads[i], 0, readRandom,
reinterpret_cast<void*>(i));
if(err != 0)
{
cerr << "pthread_create failed" << endl;
return -1;
}
}
for(int i = 0; i < threadCount; ++i)
{
void* threadStatus;
int err = pthread_join(threads[i], &threadStatus);
if(err != 0)
{
cerr << "pthread_join failed" << endl;
return -1;
}
if(threadStatus != 0)
{
cerr << "Thread " << i << " failed" << endl;
return -1;
}
}
delete[] threads;
return 0;
}
// build with g++ -D_REENTRANT -o utest utest.cpp -lpthread



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