The rand() function returns a pseudo-random integer between 0 and RAND_MAX.
The srand() function sets its argument as the seed for a new sequence of pseudo-random integers to be returned by rand(). These sequences are repeatable by calling srand() with the same seed value.
The versions of rand() and srand() in the Linux C Library use the same random number generator as random() and srandom(), so the lower-order bits should be as random as the higher-order bits. However, on older rand() implementations, the lower-order bits are much less random than the higher-order bits.
In Numerical Recipes in C: The Art of Scientific Computing (William H. Press, Brian P. Flannery, Saul A. Teukolsky, William T. Vetterling; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992 (2nd ed., p. 277)), the following comments are made:
and never by anything resembling
j=1+(rand() % 10);
(which uses lower-order bits).
Random-number generation is a complex topic. The Numerical Recipes in C book (see reference above) provides an excellent discussion of practical random-number generation issues in Chapter 7 (Random Numbers).
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