On SCO OpenServer 5.0.7 MP5, upon attempting use of any ssh-based utility, the following is returned, and any intended SSH connection does not occur:

PRNG not seeded

How is this resolved (the condition persists across reboot)?

System start scripts appear identical between working and the non-working system.

The answer given for Linux and various UNIX is that one must verify existence of, or permissions assigned to, /dev/random and/or /dev/urandom. This UNIX does not have such devices on a working system, so these answers are unhelpful.


Resolution became possible by searching various parts of the system for instances of prng in a case-insensitive manner.

Preliminary investigation reveals that on similarly configured systems, but where one works, and the other does not, the configuration appears identical, but on the non-working system, a in.prngd service is not running.

# ps -ef | grep prng
root 350 1 0 Mar-23 ? 00:00:11 /etc/in.prngd /etc/egd-pool

Between both systems, configuration files, scripts, and binaries, in or under /etc seemingly related to prngd have identical sums, and a system software verify shows no automatically correctable anomalies.

Start scripts under /etc/rc?.d/ were identical, with prngd startup apparently handled by /etc/rc2.d/S85tcp. Examination of this file appears to indicate that the service is started by calling /etc/prngd, and /var/adm/rc.log seems to show the system attempted to start the service.

Starting TCP services: prngd inetd snmpd sshd ntpd

Attempting to manually use /etc/prngd to query or start the service fails with a similar error:

# /etc/prngd query
/etc/prngd: ^X: bad number

A copy was made of /etc/prngd, and set -x inserted:

+ get_server_pid
+ [ -r /etc/prngd.lock ]
+ read line
+ set -- junk
+ shift
+ return
/tmp/prngd: ^X: bad number

On the working system, /etc/prngd.lock is non-empty and contains the PID of the running in.prngd process. On the non-working system, the file is empty.

The solution:

# rm -f /etc/prngd.lock

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