[erlang-questions] Pointless md5 Problem

Cameron Kerr <>
Thu May 7 03:55:00 CEST 2009

Erlang is not a language for computational heavy-lifting, but is great  
for organising such work. A better solution could be to use a port to  
send jobs to something a bit more suited, such as a small C/whatever  
program... you could even imagine this working to be a CUDA program.

On 07/05/2009, at 1:39 PM, Colin Z wrote:

> So I came across a pointless/impossible problem someone had about  
> md5 hashing. The goal is to find an MD5 hash that hashes to itself:  
> MD5( X ) = X
> My goal in coming up with a solution "finder" was just as an  
> exercise in distributed Erlang, not necessarily to achieve the near  
> impossible and brute force the problem.
> I wrote up a quick and dirty distributed app, but the performance  
> seems really bad (around 10,000 keys/sec on a 3700+ Athlon) It  
> scales nicely, but 10,000 keys/sec/machine is terrible when other  
> languages can get 1M+/sec (some CUDA GP/GPU implementations get 300M 
> +/sec)
> So, now my interest lies in what's so slow about my code....maybe  
> it's Erlang's md5 implementation, or more probably how I'm  
> generating the random string?
> What does everyone think?

Cameron Kerr <>
Teaching Fellow, Computer Science, University of Otago

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