How-to use TrueRNGpro with Python in Windows 10 and Linux

We get questions about how to use our TrueRNG random number generators so I thought I would write a tutorial on how to get it running with Python on Windows and Linux


Installing the TrueRNG & Driver

First – follow the instructions for installing the driver for the TrueRNG.

On Windows, you download and install the .inf file then plug in the device. You should see it come up in the device manager
as a ‘Port’ (Window-x on the keyboard, then click Device Manager in Windows 10)

Screenshot of TrueRNG in Device Manager in Win 10

On Linux, you should see the device in your dmesg (i.e. “dmesg | tail”). Installing the udev rule per the instructions
will make it show up also as /dev/TrueRNG.

Screenshot of TrueRNG in dmesg on Ubuntu Linux 16.04.1 LTS

Note: on Linux, to access the TrueRNG as a user, you may need to modify the device node permissions to allow users to access the
hardware directly. You can use the below command for this.

sudo chmod 666 /dev/TrueRNG

or change to whatever device node that your system assigns to the device like:

sudo chmod 666 /dev/ttyACM0

Installing Python 2.7 and pyserial on Windows 10

On Windows, you go to the Python website and download the “Windows x86-64 MSI installer” or
“Windows x86 MSI installer”
for the latest version of Python 2.7 (currenly it is 2.7.12). Run the install program and install it
with all of the default options. This should install Python in c:\python\python2.7 or c:\python2.7

Next, we need to add the Python directories to the path. To get there in Windows 10, you use Window-x, click “system”,
click “Advanced system settings”, then click “Environement Variables”. Choose the “Path” variable and click edit. You should add
your Python27 and Python27\Scripts directories here according to the install directory you chose.

Screenshot of Windows 10 environment variables for Python27

To install pyserial (Python serial port library), open up a Command Prompt window and use “python -m pip install pyserial” to install
it. If this doesn’t work then your environment variables aren’t correct or you need to open up a new Command Prompt window to use
the new variables.

Screenshot of Windows 10 Python pyserial install

To test the install, run “python” from a Command Prompt window and then try “import serial”. If this work with no errors, then you
should be good with the Python and pyserial install.

Screenshot of Windows 10 Python pyserial test


Installing Python 2.7 and pyserial on Ubuntu Linux

For Ubuntu (or other Linuxes that use apt), log in and issue the commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python2.7
sudo apt-get install python-pip
python -m pip install pyserial

 


Running the example code

On a machine that has a functional TrueRNG install, Python 2.7, and Pyserial, you just need to download the python code (read_truerng_example.py) and run it from the directory where you put it with:

python read_truerng_example.py

This is what the output looks like when capturing with a TrueRNGpro. There is a 1,024,000 byte “random.bin” file in the current directory that conatains the captured data

Screenshot of Windows 10 Python example running with TrueRNGpro

You can change blocksize or numloops to capture different amounts of data or modify the code for your own purposes

Here’s the Python code listed below.


#!/usr/bin/python

# TrueRNG Read - Simple Example
# Chris K Cockrum
# 8/21/2016
#
# Requires Python 2.7, pyserial
# On Linux - may need to be root or set /dev/tty port permissions to 666
#
# Python 2.7.xx is available here: https://www.python.org/
# Install Pyserial package with:   python -m pip install pyserial

import serial
import time
from serial.tools import list_ports

# Size of block for each loop
blocksize=102400

# Number of loops
numloops=10

# Print our header
print('TrueRNG Data Read Example')
print('http://ubld.it')
print('==================================================')

# Create ports variable as dictionary
ports=dict()  

# Call list_ports to get com port info 
ports_avaiable = list(list_ports.comports())

# Set default of None for com port
rng_com_port = None

# Loop on all available ports to find TrueRNG
for temp in ports_avaiable:
    if temp[1].startswith("TrueRNG"):
        print('Found:           ' + str(temp))
        if rng_com_port == None:        # always chooses the 1st TrueRNG found
            rng_com_port=str(temp[0])

# Print which port we're using
print('Using com port:  ' + str(rng_com_port))

# Print block size and number of loops
print('Block Size:      ' + str(blocksize) + ' Bytes')
print('Number of loops: ' + str(numloops))
print('Total size:      ' + str(blocksize * numloops) + ' Bytes')
print('Writing to:      random.bin')
print('==================================================')

# Open/create the file random.bin in the current directory with 'write binary'
fp=open('random.bin','wb')

# Print an error if we can't open the file
if fp==None:
    print('Error Opening File!')
    
# Try to setup and open the comport
try:
    ser = serial.Serial(port=rng_com_port,timeout=10)  # timeout set at 10 seconds in case the read fails
except:
    print('Port Not Usable!')
    print('Do you have permissions set to read ' + rng_com_port + ' ?')
    
# Open the serial port if it isn't open
if(ser.isOpen() == False):
    ser.open()

# Set Data Terminal Ready to start flow
ser.setDTR(True)   

# This clears the receive buffer so we aren't using buffered data
ser.flushInput()    

# Keep track of total bytes read
totalbytes=0

# Loop 
for _ in range(numloops):

    # Try to read the port and record the time before and after
    try:
        before = time.time()    # in microseconds
        x=ser.read(blocksize)   # read bytes from serial port 
        after = time.time()     # in microseconds
    except:
        print('Read Failed!!!')
        break

    # Update total bytes read
    totalbytes +=len(x)

    # If we were able to open the file, write to disk
    if fp !=0:
        fp.write(x)

    # Calculate the rate
    rate=float(blocksize) / ((after-before)*1000.0)
    
    print(str(totalbytes) + ' Bytes Read at ' + '{:6.2f}'.format(rate) + ' Kbytes/s')

# Close the serial port
ser.close()

# If the file is open then close it
if fp != 0:
    fp.close()

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