R interface to a quantum random number generator
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vignettes add short vignette Apr 25, 2014
DESCRIPTION add global options for qrng.user and qrng.password Apr 25, 2014



R interface to a free quantum random number service, based on the quantum randomness of photon arrival times, hosted by the Humboldt university in Berlin.

You need to register for this site, but the random numbers are for free. The registration serves the purpose of avoiding that a single user dominates the download bandwidth.

The package is not on CRAN because of its dependency on the binary libQRNG library, binary executable code is not allowed in CRAN source packages. After logging in, the required libQRNG library can be downloaded.

Installing qrng

You can install the shared library (.dll or .so) in an appropriate directory. For linux, take the following steps:

  1. install the .so file in /usr/local/lib
  2. make sure that /etc/ld.so.conf contains /usr/local/lib, or if it refers to files included that one of these files contain it
  3. run sudo ldconfig, or on systems without sudo run ldconfig as root.

Installing the qrng R package

Make sure that package devtools is installed, otherwise install it with


and then install directly from github:


sample session:

> library(qrng)

get quantum random numbers:

> quantum_runif(10, user = "edzer", password = "YourPW")
 [1] 0.20538839 0.90860514 0.17295354 0.32030059 0.36653032 0.94955527
 [7] 0.35582723 0.88221983 0.29111428 0.09642045

get a quantum integer, to be used as random seed:

> QRNG_seed("edzer", "YourPW")
[1] -1438960125

set currend RNG seed with a new quantum value:

> set.seed(QRNG_seed("edzer", "YourPW"))

what is the current RNG?

> RNGkind()
[1] "Mersenne-Twister" "Inversion"

change it into using the QRNG:

> setup_QRNG(user = "edzer", password = "YourPW", ssl = TRUE, 1e4)
> RNGkind()
[1] "user-supplied" "Inversion"

user-supplied means we now obtain QRNG numbers by calling:

> runif(10) 
 [1] 0.4278956 0.3804281 0.8409188 0.6872713 0.7990998 0.1479594 0.2394953
 [8] 0.7209651 0.8623249 0.9671532

note that this sequence is unique and non-reproducible by construction. Using set.seed does not have any effect when using this RNG.