Re: Concurrent access to /dev/urandom

From: Theodore Ts'o
Date: Wed Dec 08 2004 - 14:24:20 EST

On Tue, Dec 07, 2004 at 08:56:17PM -0500, Bernard Normier wrote:
> In which version of 2.6 did this bug get fixed? I am seeing these
> duplicates with 2.6.9-1.667smp (FC3)?

SMP locking was added before 2.6.0 shipped (between 2.6.0-test7 and
-test8). But I see what happened; the problem is that the locking was
added around add_entropy_words(), and not in the extract_entropy loop.
Yes, extract_entropy() does call add_entropy_words() (which makes the
fix more than just a two-line patch), but if two processors enter
extract_entropy() at the same time, the locking turns out not to be

I'm currently travelling so I can't easily test this patch, not having
easy access to an SMP machine. Could you give it a spin and let me
know if this fixes things?

> I am just trying to generate UUIDs (without duplicates, obviously).

That's funny. I had put in a workaround into libuuid as of e2fsprogs
1.35 that mixed in the pid and first time uuid_generate() was called
into the randomness, as a temporary workaround. So this should have
prevented duplicate uuid's from being generated. The only way this
could have happened would be if /dev/urandom and /dev/random failed to
open, and so the time-based uuid was used, or if the generate_uuid is
being called from a threaded program, where the uuid's internal random
number generator was only getting initialized once (and where we don't
have any thread-specific locking in the uuid library).

What version of the uuid library are you using, and what's the
application that requires so many UUID's in the first place. I wrote
the uuid library with the assumption that it wasn't the sort of thing
where applications would be calling them in tight loops on threaded
applications on SMP machines. If my assumptions are wrong, then clearly
I need to do some work to make the uuid library robust against this

- Ted

Patch explanation:

This patch solves a problem where simultaneous reads to /dev/urandom
can cause two processes on different processors to get the same value.
We're not using a spinlock around the random generation loop because
this will be a huge hit to preempt latency. So instead we just use a
mutex around random_read and urandom_read. Yeah, it's not as
efficient in the case of contention, if an application is calling
/dev/urandom a huge amount, it's there's something really misdesigned
with it, and we don't want to optimize for stupid applications.

There is also a kludge where the CPU # permutes the starting value of
the hash in order to make sure that even if extract_entropy is called
in parallel, the two CPU's will not get the same value. This is a
belt-and-suspenders thing, mainly to handle the case where the kernel
calls get_random_bytes --- which happens only but rarely, so this is
mainly for paranoia's sake.

Signed-off-by: Theodore Ts'o <tytso@xxxxxxx>

===== drivers/char/random.c 1.60 vs edited =====
--- 1.60/drivers/char/random.c 2004-11-18 17:23:14 -05:00
+++ edited/drivers/char/random.c 2004-12-08 13:31:05 -05:00
@@ -404,6 +404,7 @@ static struct entropy_store *sec_random_
static struct entropy_store *urandom_state; /* For urandom */
static DECLARE_WAIT_QUEUE_HEAD(random_read_wait);
static DECLARE_WAIT_QUEUE_HEAD(random_write_wait);
+static DECLARE_MUTEX(random_read_sem);

* Forward procedure declarations
@@ -1345,7 +1346,7 @@ static ssize_t extract_entropy(struct en
__u32 tmp[TMP_BUF_SIZE];
__u32 x;
unsigned long cpuflags;
+ unsigned int cpu;

/* Redundant, but just in case... */
if (r->entropy_count > r->poolinfo.POOLBITS)
@@ -1380,6 +1381,7 @@ static ssize_t extract_entropy(struct en
spin_unlock_irqrestore(&r->lock, cpuflags);

ret = 0;
+ cpu = get_cpu();
while (nbytes) {
* Check if we need to break out or reschedule....
@@ -1403,7 +1405,7 @@ static ssize_t extract_entropy(struct en

/* Hash the pool to get the output */
- tmp[0] = 0x67452301;
+ tmp[0] = 0x67452301 ^ cpu;
tmp[1] = 0xefcdab89;
tmp[2] = 0x98badcfe;
tmp[3] = 0x10325476;
@@ -1449,6 +1451,7 @@ static ssize_t extract_entropy(struct en
buf += i;
ret += i;
+ put_cpu();

/* Wipe data just returned from memory */
memset(tmp, 0, sizeof(tmp));
@@ -1605,10 +1608,12 @@ random_read(struct file * file, char __u
n*8, random_state->entropy_count,

+ down(&random_read_sem);
n = extract_entropy(sec_random_state, buf, n,
+ up(&random_read_sem);

DEBUG_ENT("%04d %04d : read got %d bits (%d still needed)\n",
@@ -1669,6 +1674,7 @@ static ssize_t
urandom_read(struct file * file, char __user * buf,
size_t nbytes, loff_t *ppos)
+ ssize_t n;
unsigned long cpuflags;

@@ -1677,7 +1683,11 @@ urandom_read(struct file * file, char __
spin_unlock_irqrestore(&random_state->lock, cpuflags);

- return extract_entropy(urandom_state, buf, nbytes, flags);
+ down(&random_read_sem);
+ n = extract_entropy(urandom_state, buf, nbytes, flags);
+ up(&random_read_sem);
+ return (n);

static unsigned int
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