Enable the Pseudo Random Number Generator on IBM i to support SSL

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Issue

Some SSL operations need the ability to generate random numbers.  Zend provides a PRNGD (Pseudo Random Number Generator Daemon) to fill this requirement, but it does not run by default.  This article tells how to set it up to run.

Environment

Zend Server 6-8, running on any supported version of IBM i

Resolution

To set the PRNGD to run whenever the ZENDSVR6 subsystem is started, configure it in the Autostart Job Settings.  The menus were changed for version 8.5 of Zend Server, so the menus you have will depend on your version of Zend Server.

From the command line:

GO ZENDSVR6/ZSMENU

For 8.5 and higher:

Use menu option "80. Configurations".  Then use menu option "3. Autostart Job Settings".

For prior versions:

Use menu option "10. Autostart Job Settings"

The Autostart job settings will look something like this:

Type choices, press Enter.          
                                    
Monitor daemon (Y/N) . . . . . . > Y
Java Bridge daemon (Y/N) . . . . > N
Job Queue daemon (Y/N) . . . . . > Y
Deployment daemon (Y/N)  . . . . > Y
Prngd daemon (Y/N) . . . . . . . > N
Zend Server Daemon (Y/N) . . . . > Y

Find "Prngd daemon" on the list, and set it to 'Y', like this:

Type choices, press Enter.          
                                    
Monitor daemon (Y/N) . . . . . . > Y
Java Bridge daemon (Y/N) . . . . > N
Job Queue daemon (Y/N) . . . . . > Y
Deployment daemon (Y/N)  . . . . > Y
Prngd daemon (Y/N) . . . . . . . > Y
Zend Server Daemon (Y/N) . . . . > Y

Settings you have for the other daemons may be different from what you see here.  This is OK.  Press enter to save the changes.

Note: Some older versions have a bug that will prevent autostart of the Zend Server Daemon
Some older versions of Zend Server will set the wrong data area value for the Zend Server Daemon, and set the correct value off.  This can be corrected by running the following command:
CHGDTAARA DTAARA(ZENDSVR6/ZAUTOJOB (7 1)) VALUE('1')

The next time the ZENDSVR6 subsystem is restarted, use wrkactjob to verify that the PRNGD is started.  From the command line:

wrkactjob sbs(zendsvr6)

If the PRNGD daemon is active, you should see these two jobs:

ZS_STR_PRN   QTMHHTTP    BCH      .0  PGM-prngd        THDW
ZS_STR_PRN   QTMHHTTP    BCI      .0  PGM-prngd        SELW

You don't have to wait for your next restart to run the PRNGD.  Like all the daemons, the PRNGD has it's own menu to start and stop the job.  From the command line:

go zendsvr6/zspmenu

Use option "1. Start PRNGD (ZS_STR_PRN) job".  You can use the same wrkactjob command as noted above to verify that the ZS_STR_PRN jobs are active.

Note: For PHP 5.6 and higher, you will also need to set up a Trusted Certificate Authority.

 

 

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