This is causing major issues when running programs that need entropy. Programs just 'hang' and wait for more to be created.
A good example is, if i load the apache mod auth_digest and start apache , only the parent process is created and child processes are never spawned, the startup process just hangs on "[Tue Jan 03 16:31:04 2006] [notice] Digest: generating secret for digest authentication ...".
Digest needs entropy.
I have never encountered a system when entropy was never gathered so, im guessing this is a side effect of the vps envirement.
Anyone knows of a workaround or a patch or any fix for this?
The entropy pool is most commonly filled with random data coming in from Keyboard input, or Mouse input. Many servers suffer this problem since they usually sit in nice air-conditioned rooms for months at a time without anyone ever needing to plug a keyboard or mouse in.
One workaround is to use /dev/urandom instead. Even though it's not a true random number generator like /dev/random, it's got enough randomness for most applications.
Stephen was kind enough to shine the light on how to fix this problem for SVN 1.1.4 on the Debian 3.1 Webmin VPS (well, really it's a workaround for the stable branch of Debian 3.1 Sarge). As root you can relink /dev/random to point to /dev/urandom, which is good enough for SVN purposes. For other purposes, consider the lag of using /dev/random while waiting for entropy if you need lots of random numbers ... /dev/urandom is much faster in general.
Of course, if you really need /dev/random, this isn't good enough, but I don't really need it so far. Stephen has indicated that this issue will be addressed at the VPS level, so meanwhile this is a transparent solution for my Debian VPS.