Commit a52484a5 authored by Sayanta Pattanayak's avatar Sayanta Pattanayak Committed by Thomas Abraham
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infra/common: add user guide for uefi secure boot

Add a new document that explains the procedure to validate uefi secure
boot on the Neoverse reference design platforms.
Signed-off-by: Sayanta Pattanayak's avatarSayanta Pattanayak <>
Change-Id: Ifb2d5e0225a0a448273c111dcfc96a6d5d06b2cb
parent e1faa123
UEFI Secure Boot on Neoverse RD platforms
.. contents::
What is UEFI Secure Boot
Secure boot is a mechanism to build and maintain a complete chain of trust on
all the software layers executed in a system and preventing malicious code to be
stored and loaded in place of the authenticated one. When the device starts, the
firmware checks the signature of each piece of boot software, including UEFI
firmware drivers, EFI applications, and the operating system. If the signatures
are valid, the device boots, and the firmware gives control to the operating
system. Fundamental to the success of the secure boot is the ability to securely
store (also referred to as secure storage) and access the keys used for
authentication during the various stages of boot.
Secure boot and Secure storage mechanisms are defined by the UEFI
specifications. In short, the UEFI specifications define the use of two
asymmetric key pairs, platform key (PK) and Key Exchange Key (KEK), and
databases for valid and black listed signatures. These keys and databases are
used during the secure boot phase which implies that the platform should provide
a tamper proof mechanism to store these keys.
Secure boot support for RD platforms
The RD platform software allows validation of the secure boot process. This
document explains the procedure to build the platform software stack and
validate UEFI secure boot on the RD platforms.
Though secure boot process have to be validated using a linux distribution as
the target OS, the RD platform software stack currently limits this feature
validation to boot of a signed busybox OS.
Platform Names
Arm's Infra reference platforms are assigned names in order to allow the build
and execute scripts to recognize the platform that has to be buit and executed.
The names for the reference platforms are listed below. Please make a note
of the name of the platform of your choice. This name is required to start the
build and execute procedure. The names under 'Platform Name' column has to be
used in place of the placeholder ``<platform>`` as mentioned in the commands
listed below.
| Reference Platform | Platform Name |
| SGI-575 | sgi575 |
| RD-N1-Edge (Single Chip) | rdn1edge |
| RD-N1-Edge (Dual Chip) | rdn1edgex2 |
| RD-E1-Edge | rde1edge |
| RD-Daniel Config-M | rddaniel |
| RD-Daniel Config-XLR | rddanielxlr |
| RD-N2 | rdn2 |
Download the platform software
Skip this section if the required sources have been downloaded.
To obtain the required sources for the platform, follow the steps listed on the
`Download sources`_ page. Ensure that the platform software is downloaded before
proceeding with the steps listed below. Also, note the host machine requirements
listed on that page which is essential to build and execute the platform
software stack.
Generate key pairs
The next step is to create key pairs required for secure boot. The one-time
generation of the following key pairs are mandatory - PK, KEK, DB and DBX. The
following commands can be used to generate these key pairs. *Note:* Execute the
following commands from the workspace into which the platform software has been
- Key Pair Creation : PK, KEK, DB and DBX
cd rd-workspace
cd tools/efitools
openssl req -new -x509 -newkey rsa:2048 -subj "/CN=PK/" -keyout PK.key -out PK.crt -days 3650 -nodes -sha256
openssl req -new -x509 -newkey rsa:2048 -subj "/CN=KEK/" -keyout KEK.key -out KEK.crt -days 3650 -nodes -sha256
openssl req -new -x509 -newkey rsa:2048 -subj "/CN=DB_Key/" -keyout DB.key -out DB.crt -days 3650 -nodes -sha256
openssl req -new -x509 -newkey rsa:2048 -subj "/CN=DBX_Key/" -keyout DBX.key -out DBX.crt -days 3650 -nodes -sha256
- Convert crt certificate to der format
openssl x509 -in PK.crt -outform der -out PK.der
openssl x509 -in KEK.crt -outform der -out KEK.der
openssl x509 -in DB.crt -outform der -out DB.der
openssl x509 -in DBX.crt -outform der -out DBX.der
The signing of the grub and linux images are performed as a part of build script
“”. There is no explicit user action required to sign
these images.
Build the platform software
The procedure to build the platform software stack for secure boot test is
listed below.
To build the software stack, the command to be used is
./build-scripts/rdinfra/ -p <plaform> <command>
Supported command line options are listed below
* <platform>
- Supported platforms are listed in `Platform Names`_.
* <command>
- Supported commands are
- ``clean``
- ``build``
- ``package``
- ``all`` (all of the three above)
Examples of the build command are
- Command to clean, build and package the software stack needed for the secure
boot test for RD-N2 platform.
./build-scripts/rdinfra/ -p rdn2 all
- Command to perform an incremental build of the software components included in
the software stack for the RD-N2 platform.
*Note:* This command should be followed by the ``package`` command to complete
the preparation of the fip and the disk image.
./build-scripts/rdinfra/ -p rdn2 build
- Command to package the previously built software stack and prepare the fip and
the disk image.
./build-scripts/rdinfra/ -p rdn2 package
Securely boot upto Busybox
After the build of the platform software stack for UEFI secure boot is complete,
the following command starts the execution of the *selected platform fastmodel*
and the software boots up to the busybox prompt. Examples on how to use the
command are listed below.
*Note:* The steps to enroll signatures required to successfully secure boot the
platform is listed as well. It is important to execute those steps atleast once
to validate secure boot support.
To boot up to the busybox prompt, the commands to be used are
- Set ``MODEL`` path before launching the model:
export MODEL=<absolute path to the platform FVP binary>
- If platform is SGI-575:
cd model-scripts/sgi
- If platform is an RD:
cd model-scripts/rdinfra
- Launch busybox boot:
./ -p <platform> -a <additional_params> -n [true|false]
Supported command line options are listed below
* -p <platform>
- Supported platforms are listed in `Platform Names`_.
* -n [true|false] (optional)
- Controls the use of network ports by the model. If network ports have
to be enabled, use 'true' as the option. Default value is set to
* -a <additional_params> (optional)
- Specify any additional model parameters to be passed. The model
parameters and the data to be passed to those parameters can be found
in the FVP documentation.
Example commands to validate the secure boot functionality are as listed below.
- Command to start the execution of the RD-N2 model to boot up to the
Busybox prompt with secure boot enabled:
./ -p rdn2
- Command to start the execution of the RD-N2 model to boot up to the
Busybox prompt with secure boot and network enabled. The model supports allowing the software running within the model to access the
./ -p rdn2 -n true
- Command to start the execution of the RD-N2 model with networking
enabled and to boot up to the Busybox prompt with secure boot enabled.
Additional parameters to the model are supplied using the -a command
line parameter:
./ -p rdn2 -n true -a "-C board.flash0.diagnostics=1"
There are additional steps to be performed on the first boot to setup the secure
boot process. These steps are listed below. Ensure that these steps are executed
on the very first boot for validating the secure boot.
- Interrupt the boot at EDK2 by pressing escape key and dropping into the EDK2
boot menu.
- Select Device Manger -> Secure Boot Configuration -> Secure Boot Mode →
choose Custom mode and then press enter.
- Select "Custom Secure Boot Options” and then press enter.
- Select “DBX Options” -> "Enroll Signature" then press enter →
"Enroll Signature Using File" and the press enter → Select “NO VOLUME LEBEL”
and then press enter.
- Select EFI and press enter -> select BOOT and press enter → now Select
“DBX.der” and press enter -> “Commit Changes and Exit”.
- Repeat steps “d” and “e” for “DB options” for “DB.der”.
- Repeat steps “d” and “e” for “KEK options” for “KEK.der”.
- Repeat steps “d” and “e” for “PK options” for “PK.der”.
- Press Escape and press F10 to save. Ensure that the “Current Secure Boot
State” is set as “Enabled”.
- Press Escape and select the “continue” option.
- Prompts the user to press the “Enter”. Press Enter key which then reboots the
- Make sure to close the model using “Cross Mark” on the FVP UI window titled
'Fast Models - <platform_name>' after this. If model does not close then press
“ctrl-c” to close it. Here, <platform_name> is one of those listed in
`Platform Names`_.
Relaunch the model again with repeat the steps listed above to perform a secure
boot (but skip the steps to enroll the signatures). The platform boots up to
busybox login prompt with secure boot enabled. If the authentication of the grub
or the linux kernel fails, the boot fails and the user is notified about the
authentication failure.
To confirm that the boot is indeed a secure boot, the linux kernel messages
can be looked up. The following messages would appear in the linux boot log in
case of a secure linux kernel boot:
Loading driver at 0x000F50A0000 EntryPoint=0x000F676A188
Loading driver at 0x000F50A0000 EntryPoint=0x000F676A188
EFI stub: Booting Linux Kernel...
EFI stub: EFI_RNG_PROTOCOL unavailable, KASLR will be disabled
EFI stub: UEFI Secure Boot is enabled.
EFI stub: Using DTB from configuration table
EFI stub: Exiting boot services and installing virtual address map...
[ 0.000000] Booting Linux on physical CPU 0x0000000000 [0x410fd490]
This completes the validation of the secure boot functionality.
*Copyright (c) 2021, Arm Limited. All rights reserved.*
.. _Download sources: docs/infra/common/download-sources.rst
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