[PATCH 0/6] kexec: A new system call to allow in kernel loading

Greg KH gregkh at linuxfoundation.org
Thu Nov 21 13:58:28 EST 2013

On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 12:50:45PM -0500, Vivek Goyal wrote:
> Current proposed secureboot implementation disables kexec/kdump because
> it can allow unsigned kernel to run on a secureboot platform. Intial
> idea was to sign /sbin/kexec binary and let that binary do the kernel
> signature verification. I had posted RFC patches for this apparoach
> here.
> https://lkml.org/lkml/2013/9/10/560
> Later we had discussion at Plumbers and most of the people thought
> that signing and trusting /sbin/kexec is becoming complex. So a 
> better idea might be let kernel do the signature verification of
> new kernel being loaded. This calls for implementing a new system call
> and moving lot of user space code in kernel.
> kexec_load() system call allows loading a kexec/kdump kernel and jump
> to that kernel at right time. Though a lot of processing is done in
> user space which prepares a list of segments/buffers to be loaded and
> kexec_load() works on that list of segments. It does not know what's
> contained in those segments.
> Now a new system call kexec_file_load() is implemented which takes
> kernel fd and initrd fd as parameters. Now kernel should be able
> to verify signature of newly loaded kernel. 
> This is an early RFC patchset. I have not done signature handling
> part yet. This is more of a minimal patch to show how new system
> call and functionality will look like. Right now it can only handle
> bzImage with 64bit entry point on x86_64. No EFI, no x86_32  or any
> other architecture. Rest of the things can be added slowly as need
> arises. In first iteration, I have tried to address most common use case
> for us.

Very good stuff, thanks for working on this.  How have you been testing
this on the userspace side?  Are there patches to kexec, or are you just
using a small test program with the new syscall?

I'll comment on the patches separately.

greg k-h

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