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Random

Random provides an interface to Ruby's pseudo-random number generator, or PRNG. The PRNG produces a deterministic sequence of bits which approximate true randomness. The sequence may be represented by integers, floats, or binary strings.

The generator may be initialized with either a system-generated or user-supplied seed value by using ::srand.

The class method ::rand provides the base functionality of Kernel#rand along with better handling of floating point values. These are both interfaces to Random::DEFAULT, the Ruby system PRNG.

Random.new will create a new PRNG with a state independent of Random::DEFAULT, allowing multiple generators with different seed values or sequence positions to exist simultaneously. Random objects can be marshaled, allowing sequences to be saved and resumed.

PRNGs are currently implemented as a modified Mersenne Twister with a period of 2**19937-1.

Constants

DEFAULT

The default Pseudorandom number generator. Used by class methods of Random.

Public Class Methods

bytes(size) → string click to toggle source

Returns a random binary string. The argument size specifies the length of the returned string.

 
               static VALUE
random_s_bytes(VALUE obj, VALUE len)
{
    rb_random_t *rnd = rand_start(&default_rand);
    return rand_bytes(&random_mt_if, rnd, NUM2LONG(rb_to_int(len)));
}
            
new_seed → integer click to toggle source

Returns an arbitrary seed value. This is used by Random.new when no seed value is specified as an argument.

Random.new_seed  #=> 115032730400174366788466674494640623225
 
               static VALUE
random_seed(VALUE _)
{
    VALUE v;
    with_random_seed(DEFAULT_SEED_CNT, 1) {
        v = make_seed_value(seedbuf, DEFAULT_SEED_CNT);
    }
    return v;
}
            
rand → float click to toggle source
rand(max) → number

Alias of Random::DEFAULT.rand.

 
               static VALUE
random_s_rand(int argc, VALUE *argv, VALUE obj)
{
    VALUE v = rand_random(argc, argv, Qnil, rand_start(&default_rand));
    check_random_number(v, argv);
    return v;
}
            
srand(number = Random.new_seed) → old_seed click to toggle source

Seeds the system pseudo-random number generator, Random::DEFAULT, with number. The previous seed value is returned.

If number is omitted, seeds the generator using a source of entropy provided by the operating system, if available (/dev/urandom on Unix systems or the RSA cryptographic provider on Windows), which is then combined with the time, the process id, and a sequence number.

srand may be used to ensure repeatable sequences of pseudo-random numbers between different runs of the program. By setting the seed to a known value, programs can be made deterministic during testing.

srand 1234               # => 268519324636777531569100071560086917274
[ rand, rand ]           # => [0.1915194503788923, 0.6221087710398319]
[ rand(10), rand(1000) ] # => [4, 664]
srand 1234               # => 1234
[ rand, rand ]           # => [0.1915194503788923, 0.6221087710398319]
 
               static VALUE
rb_f_srand(int argc, VALUE *argv, VALUE obj)
{
    VALUE seed, old;
    rb_random_mt_t *r = &default_rand;

    if (rb_check_arity(argc, 0, 1) == 0) {
        seed = random_seed(obj);
    }
    else {
        seed = rb_to_int(argv[0]);
    }
    old = r->base.seed;
    rand_init(&random_mt_if, &r->base, seed);
    r->base.seed = seed;

    return old;
}
            
urandom(size) → string click to toggle source

Returns a string, using platform providing features. Returned value is expected to be a cryptographically secure pseudo-random number in binary form. This method raises a RuntimeError if the feature provided by platform failed to prepare the result.

In 2017, Linux manpage random(7) writes that “no cryptographic primitive available today can hope to promise more than 256 bits of security”. So it might be questionable to pass size > 32 to this method.

Random.urandom(8)  #=> "\x78\x41\xBA\xAF\x7D\xEA\xD8\xEA"
 
               static VALUE
random_raw_seed(VALUE self, VALUE size)
{
    long n = NUM2ULONG(size);
    VALUE buf = rb_str_new(0, n);
    if (n == 0) return buf;
    if (fill_random_bytes(RSTRING_PTR(buf), n, TRUE))
        rb_raise(rb_eRuntimeError, "failed to get urandom");
    return buf;
}
            

Public Instance Methods

prng1 == prng2 → true or false click to toggle source

Returns true if the two generators have the same internal state, otherwise false. Equivalent generators will return the same sequence of pseudo-random numbers. Two generators will generally have the same state only if they were initialized with the same seed

Random.new == Random.new             # => false
Random.new(1234) == Random.new(1234) # => true

and have the same invocation history.

prng1 = Random.new(1234)
prng2 = Random.new(1234)
prng1 == prng2 # => true

prng1.rand     # => 0.1915194503788923
prng1 == prng2 # => false

prng2.rand     # => 0.1915194503788923
prng1 == prng2 # => true
 
               static VALUE
rand_mt_equal(VALUE self, VALUE other)
{
    rb_random_mt_t *r1, *r2;
    if (rb_obj_class(self) != rb_obj_class(other)) return Qfalse;
    r1 = get_rnd_mt(self);
    r2 = get_rnd_mt(other);
    if (memcmp(r1->mt.state, r2->mt.state, sizeof(r1->mt.state))) return Qfalse;
    if ((r1->mt.next - r1->mt.state) != (r2->mt.next - r2->mt.state)) return Qfalse;
    if (r1->mt.left != r2->mt.left) return Qfalse;
    return rb_equal(r1->base.seed, r2->base.seed);
}