# setstate(3) [bsd man page]

```RANDOM(3)						     Library Functions Manual							 RANDOM(3)

NAME
random, srandom, initstate, setstate - better random number generator; routines for changing generators

SYNOPSIS
long random()

srandom(seed)
int seed;

char *initstate(seed, state, n)
unsigned seed;
char *state;
int n;

char *setstate(state)
char *state;

DESCRIPTION
Random  uses a non-linear additive feedback random number generator employing a default table of size 31 long integers to return successive
pseudo-random numbers in the range from 0 to (2**31)-1.	 The  period  of  this	random	number	generator  is  very  large,  approximately
16*((2**31)-1).

Random/srandom  have  (almost)  the same calling sequence and initialization properties as rand/srand.  The difference is that rand(3) pro-
duces a much less random sequence -- in fact, the low dozen bits generated by rand go through a cyclic pattern.	All the bits generated	by
random are usable.  For example, ``random()&01'' will produce a random binary value.

Unlike  srand,  srandom	does not return the old seed; the reason for this is that the amount of state information used is much more than a
single word.  (Two other routines are provided to deal with restarting/changing random number generators).  Like rand(3),  however,  random
will by default produce a sequence of numbers that can be duplicated by calling srandom with 1 as the seed.

The  initstate  routine	allows a state array, passed in as an argument, to be initialized for future use.  The size of the state array (in
bytes) is used by initstate to decide how sophisticated a random number generator it should use -- the more state, the  better  the  random
numbers	will  be.   (Current "optimal" values for the amount of state information are 8, 32, 64, 128, and 256 bytes; other amounts will be
rounded down to the nearest known amount.  Using less than 8 bytes will cause an error).  The seed for the initialization (which  specifies
a  starting  point for the random number sequence, and provides for restarting at the same point) is also an argument.  Initstate returns a
pointer to the previous state information array.

Once a state has been initialized, the setstate routine provides for rapid switching between states.  Setstate returns  a  pointer  to  the
previous state array; its argument state array is used for further random number generation until the next call to initstate or setstate.

Once  a	state array has been initialized, it may be restarted at a different point either by calling initstate (with the desired seed, the
state array, and its size) or by calling both setstate (with the state array) and srandom (with the desired seed).  The advantage of  call-
ing both setstate and srandom is that the size of the state array does not have to be remembered after it is initialized.

With  256  bytes  of state information, the period of the random number generator is greater than 2**69 which should be sufficient for most
purposes.

AUTHOR
Earl T. Cohen

DIAGNOSTICS
If initstate is called with less than 8 bytes of state information, or if setstate detects that the state  information  has  been  garbled,
error messages are printed on the standard error output.

rand(3)

BUGS
About 2/3 the speed of rand(3C).

4.2 Berkeley Distribution					September 29, 1985							 RANDOM(3)```

## Check Out this Related Man Page

```RANDOM(3)						     Library Functions Manual							 RANDOM(3)

NAME
random, srandom, initstate, setstate - better random number generator; routines for changing generators

SYNOPSIS
long random()

srandom(seed)
int seed;

char *initstate(seed, state, n)
unsigned seed;
char *state;
int n;

char *setstate(state)
char *state;

DESCRIPTION
Random  uses a non-linear additive feedback random number generator employing a default table of size 31 long integers to return successive
pseudo-random numbers in the range from 0 to (2**31)-1.	 The  period  of  this	random	number	generator  is  very  large,  approximately
16*((2**31)-1).

Random/srandom  have  (almost)  the same calling sequence and initialization properties as rand/srand.  The difference is that rand(3) pro-
duces a much less random sequence -- in fact, the low dozen bits generated by rand go through a cyclic pattern.	All the bits generated	by
random are usable.  For example, ``random()&01'' will produce a random binary value.

Unlike  srand,  srandom	does not return the old seed; the reason for this is that the amount of state information used is much more than a
single word.  (Two other routines are provided to deal with restarting/changing random number generators).  Like rand(3),  however,  random
will by default produce a sequence of numbers that can be duplicated by calling srandom with 1 as the seed.

The  initstate  routine	allows a state array, passed in as an argument, to be initialized for future use.  The size of the state array (in
bytes) is used by initstate to decide how sophisticated a random number generator it should use -- the more state, the  better  the  random
numbers	will  be.   (Current "optimal" values for the amount of state information are 8, 32, 64, 128, and 256 bytes; other amounts will be
rounded down to the nearest known amount.  Using less than 8 bytes will cause an error).  The seed for the initialization (which  specifies
a  starting  point for the random number sequence, and provides for restarting at the same point) is also an argument.  Initstate returns a
pointer to the previous state information array.

Once a state has been initialized, the setstate routine provides for rapid switching between states.  Setstate returns  a  pointer  to  the
previous state array; its argument state array is used for further random number generation until the next call to initstate or setstate.

Once  a	state array has been initialized, it may be restarted at a different point either by calling initstate (with the desired seed, the
state array, and its size) or by calling both setstate (with the state array) and srandom (with the desired seed).  The advantage of  call-
ing both setstate and srandom is that the size of the state array does not have to be remembered after it is initialized.

With  256  bytes  of state information, the period of the random number generator is greater than 2**69 which should be sufficient for most
purposes.

AUTHOR
Earl T. Cohen

DIAGNOSTICS
If initstate is called with less than 8 bytes of state information, or if setstate detects that the state  information  has  been  garbled,
error messages are printed on the standard error output.