Entropy (ie the source of random numbers) is generated by keeping an eye on such things as mouse/keyboard use, hardware interupts. However on VPSs some of this is unavailable, so here's the process for using the bitfolk entropy service.
- Install the package we need:
sudo aptitude install ekeyd-egd-linux
- Poke a hole in the firewall:
sudo iptables --append OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 8888 -d 188.8.131.52 -j ACCEPT
- Edit the configuration file:
sudo nano -w /etc/default/ekeyd-egd-linux
- Start the service:
sudo /etc/init.d/ekeyd-egd-linux start
Since doing this I've noticed that I'm getting fewer SSL connections timingout or taking a while to get started, presumably because there's a much larger amount of entropy available - a factor of 10 to 20 times more.