Unified Extensible Firmware Interface/Secure Boot

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Secure Boot is a security feature found in the UEFI standard, designed to add a layer of protection to the pre-boot process: by maintaining a cryptographically signed list of binaries authorized or forbidden to run at boot, it helps in improving the confidence that the machine core boot components (boot manager, kernel, initramfs) haven't been tampered with.

As such it can be seen as a continuation or complement to the efforts in securing one's computing environment, reducing the attack surface that other software security solutions such as system encryption cannot easily cover[1], while being totally distinct and not dependent on them. Secure Boot just stands on its own as a component of current security practices, with its own set of pros and cons.[2]

Note: For a deeper overview about Secure Boot in Linux, see Rodsbooks' Secure Boot article and other online resources. This article focuses on how to set up Secure Boot in Arch Linux.

Checking Secure Boot status

Before booting the OS

At this point, one has to look at the firmware setup. If the machine was booted and is running, in most cases it will have to be rebooted.

You may access the firmware configuration by pressing a special key during the boot process. The key to use depends on the firmware. It is usually one of Esc, F2, Del or possibly another Fn key. Sometimes the right key is displayed for a short while at the beginning of the boot process. The motherboard manual usually records it. You might want to press the key, and keep pressing it, immediately following powering on the machine, even before the screen actually displays anything.

After entering the firmware setup, be careful not to change any settings without prior intention. Usually there are navigation instructions, and short help for the settings, at the bottom of each setup screen. The setup itself might be composed of several pages. You will have to navigate to the correct place. The interesting setting might be simply denoted by secure boot, which can be set on or off.

After booting the OS

An easy way to check Secure Boot status on systems using systemd is to use systemd-boot:

Note: There is no need to be using systemd-boot as your boot manager for this command to work, it is more akin to the others *ctl systemd utilities (localectl, timedatectl...) and won't touch your configuration.
$ bootctl status
     Firmware: UEFI 2.70 (American Megatrends 5.15)
  Secure Boot: enabled
   Setup Mode: user
 Boot into FW: supported

Here we see that Secure Boot is enabled and enforced; other values are disabled for Secure Boot and setup for Setup Mode[3].

Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: This command might display more than five digits even though secure boot is enabled. (Discuss in Talk:Unified Extensible Firmware Interface/Secure Boot#)

Another way to check whether the machine was booted with Secure Boot is to use this command:

$ od --address-radix=n --format=u1 /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/SecureBoot*

If Secure Boot is enabled, this command returns 1 as the final integer in a list of five, for example:

6  0  0  0  1

Booting an installation medium

Note: The official installation image does not support Secure Boot (FS#53864). To successfully boot the installation medium you will need to disable Secure Boot.

Secure Boot support was initially added in archlinux-2013.07.01-dual.iso and later removed in archlinux-2016.06.01-dual.iso. At that time prebootloader was replaced with efitools, even though the latter uses unsigned EFI binaries. There has been no support for Secure Boot in the official installation medium ever since.

Disabling Secure Boot

The Secure Boot feature can be disabled via the UEFI firmware interface. How to access the firmware configuration is described in #Before booting the OS.

If using a hotkey did not work and you can boot Windows, you can force a reboot into the firmware configuration in the following way (for Windows 10): Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced startup (Restart now) > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > UEFI Firmware settings > restart.

Note that some motherboards (this is the case in a Packard Bell laptop) only allow to disable secure boot if you have set an administrator password (that can be removed afterwards). See also Rod Smith's Disabling Secure Boot.

Remastering the installation image

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Reason: Add explicit instructions. (Discuss in Talk:Unified Extensible Firmware Interface/Secure Boot#)

One might want to remaster the Install ISO in a way described by previous topics of this article. For example, the signed EFI applications PreLoader.efi and HashTool.efi from #PreLoader can be adopted to here. Another option would be to borrow the bootx64.efi (shim) and grubx64.efi from installation media of another GNU+Linux distribution that supports Secure Boot and modify the GRUB configuration to one's needs. In this case, the authentication chain of Secure Boot in said distribution's installation media should end to the grubx64.efi ( for example Ubuntu) so that GRUB would boot the unsigned kernel and initramfs from archiso. Note that up to this point, the article assumed one can access the ESP of the machine. But when installing a machine that never had an OS before, there is no ESP present. You should explore other articles, for example Unified Extensible Firmware Interface#Create UEFI bootable USB from ISO, to learn how this situation should be handled.

Implementing Secure Boot

There are certain conditions making for an ideal setup of Secure boot:

  1. UEFI considered mostly trusted (despite having some well known criticisms and vulnerabilities[4]) and necessarily protected by a strong password
  2. Default manufacturer/third party keys aren't in use, as they have been shown to weaken the security model of Secure Boot by a great margin[5]
  3. UEFI directly loads a user-signed EFISTUB combined kernel image (no boot manager), including microcode (if applicable) and initramfs so as to maintain throughout the boot process the chain of trust established by Secure Boot and reduce the attack surface
  4. Use of full drive encryption, so that the tools and files involved in the kernel image creation and signing process cannot be accessed and tampered with by someone having physical access to the machine.
  5. Some further improvements may be obtained by using a TPM, although tooling and support makes this harder to implement.

A simple and fully self-reliant setup is described in #Using your own keys, while #Using a signed boot loader makes use of intermediate tools signed by a third-party.

Using your own keys

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: A subsection on backing up the existing keys prior to replacing them would be welcome. (Discuss in Talk:Unified Extensible Firmware Interface/Secure Boot#)

Secure Boot implementations use these keys:

Platform Key (PK)
Top-level key.
Key Exchange Key (KEK)
Keys used to sign Signatures Database and Forbidden Signatures Database updates.
Signature Database (db)
Contains keys and/or hashes of allowed EFI binaries.
Forbidden Signatures Database (dbx)
Contains keys and/or hashes of blacklisted EFI binaries.

See The Meaning of all the UEFI Keys for a more detailed explanation.

To use Secure Boot you need at least PK, KEK and db keys. While you can add multiple KEK, db and dbx certificates, only one Platform Key is allowed.

Once Secure Boot is in "User Mode" keys can only be updated by signing the update (using sign-efi-sig-list) with a higher level key. Platform key can be signed by itself.

Creating keys

Manual process

To generate keys, install efitools and perform the following steps.

You will need private keys and certificates in multiple formats:

PEM format private keys for EFI binary and EFI signature list signing.
PEM format certificates for sbsign(1), sbvarsign(1) and sign-efi-sig-list(1).
DER format certificates for firmware.
Certificates in an EFI Signature List for sbvarsign(1), efi-updatevar(1), KeyTool and firmware.
Certificates in an EFI Signature List with an authentication header (i.e. a signed certificate update file) for efi-updatevar(1), sbkeysync, KeyTool and firmware.

Create a GUID for owner identification:

$ uuidgen --random > GUID.txt

Platform key:

$ openssl req -newkey rsa:4096 -nodes -keyout PK.key -new -x509 -sha256 -days 3650 -subj "/CN=my Platform Key/" -out PK.crt
$ openssl x509 -outform DER -in PK.crt -out PK.cer
$ cert-to-efi-sig-list -g "$(< GUID.txt)" PK.crt PK.esl
$ sign-efi-sig-list -g "$(< GUID.txt)" -k PK.key -c PK.crt PK PK.esl PK.auth

Sign an empty file to allow removing Platform Key when in "User Mode":

$ sign-efi-sig-list -g "$(< GUID.txt)" -c PK.crt -k PK.key PK /dev/null rm_PK.auth

Key Exchange Key:

$ openssl req -newkey rsa:4096 -nodes -keyout KEK.key -new -x509 -sha256 -days 3650 -subj "/CN=my Key Exchange Key/" -out KEK.crt
$ openssl x509 -outform DER -in KEK.crt -out KEK.cer
$ cert-to-efi-sig-list -g "$(< GUID.txt)" KEK.crt KEK.esl
$ sign-efi-sig-list -g "$(< GUID.txt)" -k PK.key -c PK.crt KEK KEK.esl KEK.auth

Signature Database key:

$ openssl req -newkey rsa:4096 -nodes -keyout db.key -new -x509 -sha256 -days 3650 -subj "/CN=my Signature Database key/" -out db.crt
$ openssl x509 -outform DER -in db.crt -out db.cer
$ cert-to-efi-sig-list -g "$(< GUID.txt)" db.crt db.esl
$ sign-efi-sig-list -g "$(< GUID.txt)" -k KEK.key -c KEK.crt db db.esl db.auth
Helper scripts

A helper/convenience script is offered by the author of the reference page on this topic[6] (requires python). A mildly edited version is also packaged as sbkeysAUR.

In order to use it, simply create a folder in a secure location (e.g. /etc/efi-keys/ if later use of sbupdate-gitAUR to automate unified kernel image creation and signing is planned) and run it:

# mkdir /etc/efi-keys
# cd !$
# curl -L -O https://www.rodsbooks.com/efi-bootloaders/mkkeys.sh
# chmod +x mkkeys.sh
# ./mkkeys.sh
<Enter a Common Name to embed in the keys, e.g. "Secure Boot">

This will produce the required files in different formats.

Updating keys

Once Secure Boot is in "User Mode" any changes to KEK, db and dbx need to be signed with a higher level key.

For example, if you wanted to replace your db key with a new one:

  1. Create the new key,
  2. Convert it to EFI Signature List,
  3. Sign the EFI Signature List,
  4. Enroll the signed certificate update file.
$ cert-to-efi-sig-list -g "$(< GUID.txt)" new_db.crt new_db.esl
$ sign-efi-sig-list -g "$(< GUID.txt)" -k KEK.key -c KEK.crt db new_db.esl new_db.auth

If instead of replacing your db key, you want to add another one to the Signature Database, you need to use the option -a (see sign-efi-sig-list(1)):

$ sign-efi-sig-list -a -g "$(< GUID.txt)" -k KEK.key -c KEK.crt db new_db.esl new_db.auth

When new_db.auth is created, enroll it.

Signing EFI binaries

When Secure Boot is active (i.e. in "User Mode"), only signed EFI binaries (e.g. applications, drivers, unified kernel images) can be launched.

Manually with sbsigntools

Install sbsigntools to sign EFI binaries with sbsign(1).

  • To check if a binary is signed and list its signatures use sbverify --list /path/to/binary.
  • The rEFInd boot manager's refind-install script can sign rEFInd EFI binaries and copy them together with the db certificates to the ESP. See rEFInd#Using your own keys for instructions.
Note: If running sbsign without --output the resulting file will be filename.signed. See sbsign(1) for more information.

To sign your kernel and boot manager use sbsign, e.g.:

# sbsign --key db.key --cert db.crt --output /boot/vmlinuz-linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux
# sbsign --key db.key --cert db.crt --output esp/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI esp/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI
Warning: Signing kernel only will not protect the initramfs from tampering. See Preparing a unified kernel image to know how to produce a combined image that you can then manually sign with sbsign.
Signing the kernel with a pacman hook

You can also use mkinitcpio's pacman hook to sign the kernel on install and updates.

Copy /usr/share/libalpm/hooks/90-mkinitcpio-install.hook to /etc/pacman.d/hooks/90-mkinitcpio-install.hook and /usr/share/libalpm/scripts/mkinitcpio-install to /usr/local/share/libalpm/scripts/mkinitcpio-install.

In /etc/pacman.d/hooks/90-mkinitcpio-install.hook, replace:

Exec = /usr/share/libalpm/scripts/mkinitcpio-install


Exec = /usr/local/share/libalpm/scripts/mkinitcpio-install

In /usr/local/share/libalpm/scripts/mkinitcpio-install, replace:

install -Dm644 "${line}" "/boot/vmlinuz-${pkgbase}"


sbsign --key /path/to/db.key --cert /path/to/db.crt --output "/boot/vmlinuz-${pkgbase}" "${line}"

If you are using systemd-boot, there is a dedicated pacman hook doing this task semi-automatically.

Fully automated unified kernel generation and signing with sbupdate

sbupdate is a tool made specifically to automate unified kernel image generation and signing on Arch Linux. It handles installation, removal and updates of kernels through pacman hooks.

Install sbupdate-gitAUR and configure it following the instructions given on the project's homepage.[7]

Tip: If using systemd-boot, set OUT_DIR="EFI/Linux" to get your signed kernel images directly recognized without needing configuration. See systemd-boot(7) § FILES and Systemd-boot#Adding_loaders.

Once configured, simply run sbupdate as root for first-time image generation.

Note: sbupdate output often contains errors such as warning: data remaining[26413568 vs 26423180]: gaps between PE/COFF sections?. Those are harmless and can be safely ignored.[8]

Putting firmware in "Setup Mode"

Secure Boot is in Setup Mode when the Platform Key is removed. To put firmware in Setup Mode, enter firmware setup utility and find an option to delete or clear certificates. How to enter the setup utility is described in #Before booting the OS.

Enrolling keys in firmware

Use one of the following methods to enroll db, KEK and PK certificates.

Tip: As the dbx (forbidden signatures db) is empty, it can be safely left out in the following instructions.
Warning: Enrolling Platform Key sets Secure Boot in "User Mode", leaving "Setup Mode", so it should be enrolled last in sequence.
Using sbkeysync

Install sbsigntools. Create a directory /etc/secureboot/keys with the following directory structure -

├── db
├── dbx
├── KEK
└── PK

For example using:

# mkdir -p /etc/secureboot/keys/{db,dbx,KEK,PK}

Then copy each of the .auth files that were generated earlier into their respective locations (for example, PK.auth into /etc/secureboot/keys/PK and so on).

Finally, use sbkeysync to enroll your keys.

# sbkeysync --verbose
# sbkeysync --verbose --pk

On next boot the UEFI should be back in User Mode and enforcing Secure Boot policy.

Using firmware setup utility

Copy all *.cer, *.esl, *.auth to a FAT formatted file system (you can use EFI system partition).

Launch firmware setup utility and enroll db, KEK and PK certificates. Firmwares have various different interfaces, see Replacing Keys Using Your Firmware's Setup Utility for example how to enroll keys.

If the used tool supports it prefer using .auth and .esl over .cer.

Using KeyTool

KeyTool.efi is in efitools package, copy it to ESP. To use it after enrolling keys, sign it with sbsign.

# sbsign --key db.key --cert db.crt --output esp/KeyTool-signed.efi /usr/share/efitools/efi/KeyTool.efi

Launch KeyTool-signed.efi using firmware setup utility, boot loader or UEFI Shell and enroll keys.

See Replacing Keys Using KeyTool for explanation of KeyTool menu options.

Dual booting with other operating systems

Microsoft Windows

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Reason: Is it possible to boot Windows by signing its bootloader with a custom key? (Discuss in Talk:Unified Extensible Firmware Interface/Secure Boot#Booting Windows with custom bootloader signature)

To dual boot with Windows, you would need to add Microsoft's certificates to the Signature Database. Microsoft has two db certificates:

Create EFI Signature Lists from Microsoft's DER format certificates using Microsoft's GUID (77fa9abd-0359-4d32-bd60-28f4e78f784b) and combine them in one file for simplicity:

$ sbsiglist --owner 77fa9abd-0359-4d32-bd60-28f4e78f784b --type x509 --output MS_Win_db.esl MicWinProPCA2011_2011-10-19.crt
$ sbsiglist --owner 77fa9abd-0359-4d32-bd60-28f4e78f784b --type x509 --output MS_UEFI_db.esl MicCorUEFCA2011_2011-06-27.crt
$ cat MS_Win_db.esl MS_UEFI_db.esl > MS_db.esl

Sign a db update with your KEK. Use sign-efi-sig-list with option -a to add not replace a db certificate:

$ sign-efi-sig-list -a -g 77fa9abd-0359-4d32-bd60-28f4e78f784b -k KEK.key -c KEK.crt db MS_db.esl add_MS_db.auth

Follow #Enrolling keys in firmware to add add_MS_db.auth to Signature Database.

Using a signed boot loader

Using a signed boot loader means using a boot loader signed with Microsoft's key. There are two known signed boot loaders PreLoader and shim, their purpose is to chainload other EFI binaries (usually boot loaders). Since Microsoft would never sign a boot loader that automatically launches any unsigned binary, PreLoader and shim use a whitelist called Machine Owner Key list, abbreviated MokList. If the SHA256 hash of the binary (Preloader and shim) or key the binary is signed with (shim) is in the MokList they execute it, if not they launch a key management utility which allows enrolling the hash or key.


When run, PreLoader tries to launch loader.efi. If the hash of loader.efi is not in MokList, PreLoader will launch HashTool.efi. In HashTool you must enroll the hash of the EFI binaries you want to launch, that means your boot loader (loader.efi) and kernel.

Note: Each time you update any of the binaries (e.g. boot loader or kernel) you will need to enroll their new hash.
Tip: The rEFInd boot manager's refind-install script can copy the rEFInd and PreLoader EFI binaries to the ESP. See rEFInd#Using PreLoader for instructions.
Set up PreLoader
Note: PreLoader.efi and HashTool.efi in efitools package are not signed, so their usefulness is limited. You can get a signed PreLoader.efi and HashTool.efi from preloader-signedAUR or download them manually.

Install preloader-signedAUR and copy PreLoader.efi and HashTool.efi to the boot loader directory; for systemd-boot use:

# cp /usr/share/preloader-signed/{PreLoader,HashTool}.efi esp/EFI/systemd

Now copy over the boot loader binary and rename it to loader.efi; for systemd-boot use:

# cp esp/EFI/systemd/systemd-bootx64.efi esp/EFI/systemd/loader.efi

Finally, create a new NVRAM entry to boot PreLoader.efi:

# efibootmgr --verbose --disk /dev/sdX --part Y --create --label "PreLoader" --loader /EFI/systemd/PreLoader.efi

Replace X with the drive letter and replace Y with the partition number of the EFI system partition.

This entry should be added to the list as the first to boot; check with the efibootmgr command and adjust the boot-order if necessary.


If there are problems booting the custom NVRAM entry, copy HashTool.efi and loader.efi to the default loader location booted automatically by UEFI systems:

# cp /usr/share/preloader-signed/HashTool.efi esp/EFI/Boot
# cp esp/EFI/systemd/systemd-bootx64.efi esp/EFI/Boot/loader.efi

Copy over PreLoader.efi and rename it:

# cp /usr/share/preloader-signed/PreLoader.efi esp/EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi

For particularly intransigent UEFI implementations, copy PreLoader.efi to the default loader location used by Windows systems:

# mkdir -p esp/EFI/Microsoft/Boot
# cp /usr/share/preloader-signed/PreLoader.efi esp/EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi
Note: If dual-booting with Windows, backup the original bootmgfw.efi first as replacing it may cause problems with Windows updates.

As before, copy HashTool.efi and loader.efi to esp/EFI/Microsoft/Boot/.

When the system starts with Secure Boot enabled, follow the steps above to enroll loader.efi and /vmlinuz-linux (or whichever kernel image is being used).

How to use while booting?

A message will show up that says Failed to Start loader... I will now execute HashTool. To use HashTool for enrolling the hash of loader.efi and vmlinuz.efi, follow these steps. These steps assume titles for a remastered archiso installation media. The exact titles you will get depends on your boot loader setup.

  • Select OK
  • In the HashTool main menu, select Enroll Hash, choose \loader.efi and confirm with Yes. Again, select Enroll Hash and archiso to enter the archiso directory, then select vmlinuz.efi and confirm with Yes. Then choose Exit to return to the boot device selection menu.
  • In the boot device selection menu choose Arch Linux archiso x86_64 UEFI CD
Remove PreLoader
Note: Since you are going to remove stuff, is a good idea to backup it.

Uninstall preloader-signedAUR and simply remove the copied files and revert configuration; for systemd-boot use:

# rm esp/EFI/systemd/{PreLoader,HashTool}.efi
# rm esp/EFI/systemd/loader.efi
# efibootmgr --verbose --bootnum N --delete-bootnum
# bootctl update

Where N is the NVRAM boot entry created for booting PreLoader.efi. Check with the efibootmgr command and adjust the boot-order if necessary.

Note: The above commands cover the easiest case; if you have created, copied, renamed or edited further files probably you have to handle with them, too. If PreLoader was your operational boot entry, you obviously also need to #Disabling Secure Boot.


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When run, shim tries to launch grubx64.efi. If MokList does not contain the hash of grubx64.efi or the key it is signed with, shim will launch MokManager (mmx64.efi). In MokManager you must enroll the hash of the EFI binaries you want to launch (your boot loader (grubx64.efi) and kernel) or enroll the key they are signed with.

Note: If you use #shim with hash, each time you update any of the binaries (e.g. boot loader or kernel) you will need to enroll their new hash.
Set up shim
Tip: The rEFInd boot manager's refind-install script can sign rEFInd EFI binaries and copy them along with shim and the MOK certificates to the ESP. See rEFInd#Using shim for instructions.

Install shim-signedAUR.

Rename your current boot loader to grubx64.efi

# mv esp/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.efi esp/EFI/BOOT/grubx64.efi

Copy shim and MokManager to your boot loader directory on ESP; use previous filename of your boot loader as as the filename for shimx64.efi:

# cp /usr/share/shim-signed/shimx64.efi esp/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.efi
# cp /usr/share/shim-signed/mmx64.efi esp/EFI/BOOT/

Finally, create a new NVRAM entry to boot BOOTX64.efi:

# efibootmgr --verbose --disk /dev/sdX --part Y --create --label "Shim" --loader /EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.efi

shim can authenticate binaries by Machine Owner Key or hash stored in MokList.

Machine Owner Key (MOK)
A key that a user generates and uses to sign EFI binaries.
A SHA256 hash of an EFI binary.

Using hash is simpler, but each time you update your boot loader or kernel you will need to add their hashes in MokManager. With MOK you only need to add the key once, but you will have to sign the boot loader and kernel each time it updates.

shim with hash

If shim does not find the SHA256 hash of grubx64.efi in MokList it will launch MokManager (mmx64.efi).

In MokManager select Enroll hash from disk, find grubx64.efi and add it to MokList. Repeat the steps and add your kernel vmlinuz-linux. When done select Continue boot and your boot loader will launch and it will be capable launching the kernel.

shim with key

Install sbsigntools.

You will need:

PEM format private key for EFI binary signing.
PEM format certificate for sbsign.
DER format certificate for MokManager.

Create a Machine Owner Key:

$ openssl req -newkey rsa:4096 -nodes -keyout MOK.key -new -x509 -sha256 -days 3650 -subj "/CN=my Machine Owner Key/" -out MOK.crt
$ openssl x509 -outform DER -in MOK.crt -out MOK.cer

Sign your boot loader (named grubx64.efi) and kernel:

# sbsign --key MOK.key --cert MOK.crt --output /boot/vmlinuz-linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux
# sbsign --key MOK.key --cert MOK.crt --output esp/EFI/BOOT/grubx64.efi esp/EFI/BOOT/grubx64.efi

You will need to do this each time they are updated. You can automate the kernel signing with a pacman hook, e.g.:

Operation = Install
Operation = Upgrade
Type = Package
Target = linux
Target = linux-lts
Target = linux-hardened
Target = linux-zen

Description = Signing kernel with Machine Owner Key for Secure Boot
When = PostTransaction
Exec = /usr/bin/find /boot/ -maxdepth 1 -name 'vmlinuz-*' -exec /usr/bin/sh -c 'if ! /usr/bin/sbverify --list {} 2>/dev/null | /usr/bin/grep -q "signature certificates"; then /usr/bin/sbsign --key MOK.key --cert MOK.crt --output {} {}; fi' ;
Depends = sbsigntools
Depends = findutils
Depends = grep

Copy MOK.cer to a FAT formatted file system (you can use EFI system partition).

Reboot and enable Secure Boot. If shim does not find the certificate grubx64.efi is signed with in MokList it will launch MokManager (mmx64.efi).

In MokManager select Enroll key from disk, find MOK.cer and add it to MokList. When done select Continue boot and your boot loader will launch and it will be capable launching any binary signed with your Machine Owner Key.

= shim with key and GRUB =

Tango-edit-clear.pngThis article or section needs language, wiki syntax or style improvements. See Help:Style for reference.Tango-edit-clear.png

Reason: Too long, written like a blog post. Also many formatting issues, see Help:Style. (Discuss in Talk:Unified Extensible Firmware Interface/Secure Boot#)
Warning: With secureboot active GRUB can't chainload EFI binaries even if they are signed.

For signing you can for example use the grub2-signing extension: [9]

There is also a package in the aur: grub2-signing-extensionAUR

Run gpg --gen-key as root to create a keypair.

If you get a permission denied error try:

# chown root:root $(tty)
# export GPG_TTY"="$(tty)

Activate the gpg-agent:

pinentry-program /usr/bin/pinentry
default-cache-ttl 1800

Export your public key:

gpg --export -o ~/pubkey

Mount your boot partition. (Re)install GRUB2:

# grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=esp --bootloader-id=GRUB -k /root/pubkey --modules="gcry_sha256 gcry_dsa gcry_rsa"

Copy your publickey to your boot partiton.

cp /root/pubkey /boot/pubkey

Edit your GRUB custom config and add:

insmod verify
insmod gcry_sha256
insmod gcry_dsa gcry_rsa
set check_signatures=enforce
trust (crypto0)/pubkey
insmod shim_lock
Tip: (crypt0) is the name of the partition in GRUB.

Rebuild your grub config:

grub-mkconfig > /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Ensure that you created MOK.key and signed your kernel and grubx64.efi like described in shim with key.

Sign the grub files: grub-sign

Run grub-verify and check if there are errors.

Here is a simple unsign hook:

Operation = Install
Operation = Upgrade
Operation = Remove
Type = Package
Target = linux
Target = linux-lts
Target = linux-zen
Target = grub
Target = intel-ucode
Target = amd-ucode

Description = Unsigning GRUB
When = PreTransaction
Exec = /usr/bin/grub-unsign

And a bash script you can use to sign again after the update.

function sign-update () {
   if [ $? -ne 0 ]; then return 1; fi
   /usr/bin/find /boot/ -maxdepth 1 -name 'vmlinuz-*' -not -name "*.sig" -exec /usr/bin/sh -c \
   'if ! /usr/bin/sbverify --list {} 2>/dev/null | /usr/bin/grep -q "signature certificates"; \
   then echo "Signing with sbsign."; /usr/bin/sbsign --key MOK.key --cert MOK.crt --output {} {}; fi' \;
   /usr/bin/find /boot/ -maxdepth 1 -name 'vmlinuz-*' -not -name "*.sig" -exec /usr/bin/sh -c \
   'echo ""; echo {}; /usr/bin/sbverify --list {};' \;
Remove shim

Uninstall shim-signedAUR, remove the copied shim and MokManager files and rename back your boot loader.

Protecting Secure Boot

The only way to prevent anyone with physical access to disable Secure Boot is to set a user/administrator password in the firmware.

Most UEFI provide such feature, usually listed under the "Security" section.

See also