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Linux 3.15 Random To Support Intel's RDSEED

Linux Kernel

Published on 04 April 2014 03:08 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
9 Comments

The Linux 3.15 kernel's /dev/random implementation will feature a new instruction of Intel's upcoming Broadwell processors.

Intel Broadwell processors introduce a new RDSEED CPU instruction that is used as a pseudo-random number generator (PRNG). The RDRAND instruction (also known as Bull Mountain) that was introduced with Ivy Bridge CPUs is considered by the US NIST as a cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generator. The RDSEED instruction meanwhile is considered a non-deterministic random bit generator in compliance with NIST's SP 800-90 B and C.

RDSEED yields a true random number generator and is intended to be used by software that have an existing pseudo-random number generator so you can use RDSEED as its seed input. With the Linux 3.15 kernel, the RDSEED instruction is supported with Broadwell hardware for seeding /dev/random.

The random pull request for the Linux 3.15 kernel can be found on the kernel mailing list.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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