---- Original message ----
>Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2008 03:42:36 -0800
>From: "Ted Mittelstaedt"


> The easiest way is to have the user install a random
> device. There's ones out there
> for Solaris all the way back to version 2.5.1
>
> However, keep in mind that all but the latest
> /dev/random devices out there do
> not generate very good random numbers, the newer
> ones use the Yarrow engine,
> but the very best ones also derive randomness from
> the hardware random number
> generators on some of the CPUs (ie: the VIA C3
> Nehemiah, the Intel 82802
> ie x810 chipset) or from devices like the following
> SG100:
>
> http://www.protego.se/sg100_en.htm
>
> Ted


Ted,
Thank you very much for your response.
I will consider that option. But my question is, what if it is not present, and for whatever reason the user is not willing to add it (or add it immediately). For such situation, I thought of taking help of RAND_write_file() and RAND_load_file() function.
Without these functions, my SSL_connect just doesn't connect. And I have tested that these functions do make it possible.
But then, I wanted to use them only as the last option. So I wanted to know how to detect the existence / absence of the random number generator, based on which I would call these functions.

Do I just test if any of /dev/urandom, /dev/random or /dev/srandom is present? Or is there a better way ?

Really appreciate your help.

~ Urjit

>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-openssl-users@openssl.org
> [mailtowner-openssl-users@openssl.org]On Behalf
> Of Urjit Gokhale
> Sent: Monday, January 07, 2008 1:06 AM
> To: openssl-users@openssl.org
> Subject: Handling missing random number generator
>
> Hello,
>
> I observed that on few platforms, the random
> device is missing. Due to this, the SSL_connect
> fails. I would have to use -rand option of
> s_client for successful connection.
> On such platforms, even my client application
> fails due to the missing random number generator
> device.
> For eg. On my solaris box, my client fails and
> truss gives the following output:
> =============
> 0.0999 open("/dev/urandom",
> O_RDONLY|O_NONBLOCK|O_NOCTTY) Err#2 ENOENT
> 0.1003 open("/dev/random",
> O_RDONLY|O_NONBLOCK|O_NOCTTY) Err#2 ENOENT
> 0.1007 open("/dev/srandom",
> O_RDONLY|O_NONBLOCK|O_NOCTTY) Err#2 ENOENT
> 0.1013 so_socket(1, 2, 0, "",
> 1) = 5
> 0.1018 connect(5, 0xFFBEE3F8, 19,
> 1) Err#2 ENOENT
> 0.1021
> close(5) =
> 0
> 0.1025 so_socket(1, 2, 0, "",
> 1) = 5
> 0.1029 connect(5, 0xFFBEE3F8, 15,
> 1) Err#2 ENOENT
> 0.1032
> close(5) =
> 0
> 0.1035 so_socket(1, 2, 0, "",
> 1) = 5
> 0.1039 connect(5, 0xFFBEE3F8, 15,
> 1) Err#2 ENOENT
> 0.1041
> close(5) =
> 0
> 0.1046 so_socket(1, 2, 0, "",
> 1) = 5
> 0.1050 connect(5, 0xFFBEE3F8, 14,
> 1) Err#2 ENOENT
> =============
> And then the SSL_connect fails with
> SSL_ERROR_SYSCALL and errno set to 2.
>
> In such cases, I had thought of using
> RAND_write_file() followed by RAND_load_file()
> just after loading required libraries
> (SSL_load_error_strings, SSL_library_init).
>
> Do you think this is sensible approach? If not,
> could you suggest ways to deal with situations
> when the random device is missing?
> If yes, I have another question. How to detect,
> programatically if the random device is missing?
> The RAND_write_file() and RAND_load_file() should
> be used only if the random device is missing,
> right?
>
> Any help in understanding this is highly
> appriciated.
>
> Thank you,
> ~ Urjit
>
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