Not Enough Random Bytes Available on an Arch Linux ARM Pogoplug

If you get the following error when generating a pacman keychain master key:

pacman-key –init gpg: Generating pacman keychain master key… Not enough random bytes available. Please do some other work to give the OS a chance to collect more entropy! (Need 288 more bytes)

It can be quite tricky to introduce entropy into this low powered headless system. I tried various methods all of which failed. You can monitor the available system entropy here:

watch cat /proc/sys/kernel/random/entropy_avail

In the end I used this program to externally introduce entropy, here. The file is well commented and there is a key value that needs changing. Save the code into a file called GUChaos.c then compile it using gcc:

cc GUChaos.c -o GUChaos

Execute the resulting file as root:


You will need to make sure you have gcc installed, if you haven’t you can install it with the following:

pacman -S gcc

Written on February 15, 2012