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SubjectRe: [PATCH] API for true Random Number Generators to add entropy (2.6.11)
Bill Davidsen wrote:
> Herbert Xu wrote:
>> You missed the point. This has nothing to do with the crypto API.
>> Jeff is saying that if this is disabled by default, then only a few
>> users will enable it and therefore use this API.
>> Since we can't afford to enable it by default as hardware RNG may
>> fail which can lead to catastrophic consequences, there is no point
>> for this API at all.
> Wait a minute, if it fails the system drops back to software, which is
> not as good in a pedantic analysis, but perhaps falls a good bit short
> of "catastrophic consequences" as most people would characterize that
> phrase. And more to the point, now that many CPUs and chipsets are the
> RNG of choice, what is the actual probability of a failure of the RNG
> leaving a functional system (that's a real question seeking response
> from someone who has some actual data).

As I've said, in the past the Intel RNGs in particular -have- failed,
but the rest of the system keeps on working just fine.

It probably depends on the hardware implementation; I think the Intel
RNG was based on a thermal diode, or somesuch.

In the cases where an RNG has failed in the past, the system has worked
as expected: rngd stopped feeding data into the entropy pool.

If the VIA RNG (on-CPU) fails, that's probably indicative of a larger
problem, though.


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