[Whonix-devel] revive randomsound?

Daniel Silverstone dsilvers at digital-scurf.org
Tue Feb 11 20:26:24 CET 2020

On Mon, Feb 03, 2020 at 11:53:09 +0000, Patrick Schleizer wrote:
> > There are also devices one can purchase which can increase the available
> > entropy pool if your hosts are regularly running dry.  For example the
> > chaoskey by Keith Packard and Bdale Garbee.
> This might work well for an individual, however we as a Linux distribution
> are working on software solutions to make good entropy quality available
> easily for as many users in the default installation.

I see.

> That is our plan. Using as many diverse entropy sources as possible. We
> already install by default haveged, jitterentropy-rng package, load
> jitterentropy-rng kernel module, use virtio-rng for VMs. Currently I am
> working on packaging and integration of twuewand (a truerand algorithm
> for generating entropy). [1]

That sounds like an excellent approach.

> Could we test that please? I am eager to test entropy by randomsound but
> I would need help with the C code.

I'm afraid I've literally not touched the code since I wrote it, and have not
really been a C programmer on much since then.  I'm more of a Rust person these
days as it happens.

> I am still wondering if randomsound could be made useful nowadays. It is
> packages in Debian and probably other Linux distributions. [2] This
> results in an easy "sudo apt install randomsound" usability.

Yeah, the Debian maintainer of `randomsound` was a friend of mine who used it
back in the dim and distant past.  You'd probably have more luck talking to Steve
than myself really.

> I've looked at the source code of randomsound and it looks good. Not too
> much code.

It surely was simple :D

> Biggest problem currently I see with randomsound is that it cannot be
> easily analyzed. It writes directly to /dev/random. Hacking the code to
> write to /tmp/randomsound.bin instead (and a previous "touch
> /tmp/randomsound.bin") does not work either.

Yeah, I imagine it runs `ioctl()` on it so it'd not be pleased by writing
to a file directly.

> Nowadays lots of randomsound features could be dropped in order to
> reduce the code size and make it more maintainable.

Honestly given how much you'd be taking out; it'd be easier for you to
extract the code which retrieves the sound bytes and cleans them up,
and put it into a brand new service program.

> Would you be interested to revive randomsound? If yes, could you please
> add randomsound to git(hub) (or something) and add a branch that writes
> to stdout?

I'm not personally interested in doing anything on the project any longer,
as I mentioned I'm not really a C programmer any more; and I've not needed
`randomsound` in many years as I was part of the Simtec EntropyKey project.

I am very happy for you take any code you want from `randomsound`'s source and
use it in an equivalent replacement tool to serve as another entropy source for
your users.  You're at liberty to credit me if you wish, but I won't chase you
down if you don't.  I've digitally signed this email so that this can act as a
binding statement should you so wish.

Good luck, I apologise for taking so long to reply to you, I was simply very
busy and kept putting off the reply until I could really sit and consider if
I was prepared to put coding work in for you.

Stay safe, and keep on encrypting...


Daniel Silverstone                         http://www.digital-scurf.org/
PGP mail accepted and encouraged.            Key Id: 3CCE BABE 206C 3B69
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