Nettle library
by Niels Möller
Categories: Cryptography, Libraries
Version: v1.9
Nettle is a cryptographic library that is designed to fit easily in more or less any context: in crypto toolkits for object-oriented languages (C++, Python, Pike, etc.), in applications like LSH or GNUPG, or even in kernel space. In most contexts, you need more than the basic cryptographic algorithms; you also need some way to keep track of available algorithms and their properties and variants. You often have some algorithm selection process, often dictated by a protocol you want to implement. And as the requirements of applications differ in subtle and not so subtle ways, an API that fits one application well can be a pain to use in a different context, which is why there are so many different cryptographic libraries around. Nettle tries to avoid this problem by doing one thing, the low-level crypto stuff, and providing a @emph{simple} but general interface to it. In particular, Nettle doesn't do algorithm selection. It doesn't do memory allocation. It doesn't do any I/O. The idea is that one can build several application- and context-specific interfaces on top of Nettle and share the code, testcases, benchmarks, documentation, etc. For this first version, the only application using Nettle is LSH, and it uses an object-oriented abstraction on top of the library.

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