Hi,

On Sat, Jun 10, 2000 at 02:34:53PM +0200, Sune Kirkeby wrote:
> Hi all,
> 
> In an attempt to (1) learn Hurd programming and (2) help out with the
> development where I can, I have cooked up a port of the /dev/{,u}random
> Linux driver for Hurd.

That's certainly useful, however, it should probably not be based on the
actual linux implementation. The linux implementation depends on entropy
gathered by the kernel, which can't reliably collected in userspace, I think.
 
> It is still incomplete (most notably lacking is the actual entropy
> gathering), but it works with ssh; which was a big motivation for trying
> something like this in the first place.
> 
> I now know that other people have worked on ports of the Linux driver
> (or on other ways of generating good random data), but I did not at time
> I started working on this, and I thought learning Hurd programming was a
> good enough reason to continue my work.

Our approach (Okuji and mines) was to implement a character device glue
layer into gnumach. Indeed random and urandom were some of the first drivers
which  worked. Now with oskit, our work will probably be obsoleted before it
matured.

> There is a quickly-cooked-up homepage at
>   http://mel.interspace.dk/~sune/hurd/entropy.html
> 
> Any comments on the work will be greatly appreciated, so that I may
> learn what I did right/wrong.

I think for a driver in userspace, it would be useful to take a look at:

 Jeff Bailey suggested:

> > What I think would be a lovely project (Given a bored Sunday afternoon)
> > would be to modify the Entropy Gathering Daemon
> > (http://www.lothar.com/tech/crypto/ if you don't know of it) to talk to a
> > translator over some /dev/random hook.  It's written in PERL.

Because it is written in Perl, it might be useful to use pith by John Tobey:

http://john-edwin-tobey.org/Hurd/pith-0.3.tar.gz

Of course, this is a quite different project from what you did. A driver
completely in userspace has much better chances to be used than a driver
which requries a special gnumach, though. (Or, a driver completely in
gnumach/oskit-gnumach).

Thanks,
Marcus


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