daemon to use a Hardware RNG (classic version)


The rngd daemon acts as a bridge between a Hardware RNG (random number generator), such as the ones in some Intel/AMD/VIA chipsets, and the kernel’s PRNG (pseudo-random number generator).

It tests the data received from the HWRNG using the FIPS 140-2 (2002-10-10) tests to verify that it is indeed random then feeds the random data to the kernel entropy pool.

This increases the bandwidth of the /dev/random device, from a source that does not depend on outside activity. It may also improve the quality (entropy) of the randomness of /dev/random.

An HWRNG kernel module such as hw_random, or some other source of true entropy that is accessible as a device or fifo, is required to use this package. Securely tunneling entropy over the network and feeding it to rngd is also possible.

This is an unofficial version of rng-tools (as classically shipped by Debian up to and including release 10 “buster”), version 2, extensively modified to add multithreading and a lot of new functionality. However, most users of newer or high-bandwidth HWRNGs might wish to install the latest version of upstream rng-tools (packaged as rng-tools5) instead; that package offers more performant support for those, even if it lacks the new functionality from this version.

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