Linux 3.15 Random To Support Intel's RDSEED
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 4 April 2014 at 03:08 AM EDT. 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.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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