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No signed kernel, just a signed boot loader

No signed kernel, just a signed boot loader

Posted Jun 25, 2012 19:13 UTC (Mon) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
In reply to: No signed kernel, just a signed boot loader by jspaleta
Parent article: Details on Ubuntu's UEFI secure boot plan

> specs limitations which prevents a mult-vendor trust chain

I'm not sure that's true, you can have many vendor and user keys loaded into the firmware but to get your key pre-loaded would require some relationship with the vendor so your hardware coverage is likely to be less than 100%, whereas all the vendors want to be able to run MS so that key is virtually guaranteed to be loaded by default.

Actual binaries can be signed by only one key though so to boot and reduce the number of boot media spins required forces you to choose which key you are going to use to sign your initial boot loader and the MS key wins on convenience there.

> Even with an on-by-default scheme, if users can disable secureboot to regain access to a system that has been impacted by a key revocation I really don't see a fundamental problem

Which is exactly the case now for x86. Win8 ARM hosts are boot locked but that's its own separate issue at this time, I don't think any Linux vendor is going to fool around with them. Just don't buy them an expect to run anything else on them (not much different that the rest of the ARM market anyway).

> companies will be making heavy use of secureboot with their own signing keys

Thats probably something they will want to do but it depends on how to sign or re-sign boot binaries. Is it possible to re-sign the Windows 8 boot loader for example and have the system not broken? Certainly this will be do-able, maybe even common, with Linux systems.

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