Tag Archives: Linux

Why I kicked out MS Office 365

MS Office 365 is the web-based version of MS Office (Word,Excel, etc). Its functionality is limited comparing to the original desktop version, it feels like MS Works I used 1992. But the worst, it is not possible to copy&paste between two documents in two different web-browser windows, no clipboard! A limited clipboard is available via browser-plugin only, but it did not work with Firefox on Ubuntu 2022.

Buildroot Verity Setup – Rootfs Integrity

I investigated the usage of Verity feature of Linux kernel, ingrating this feature into the OpenCritis environment. The Verity Device Mapper of the Linux kernel is verifying the integrity of a read-only file system (eg partition rootfs) using a Merkle tree; over the data blocks of the file system. If signing the top hash, the authenticity and integrity of the rootfs can be enforced while booting and during runtime!

Source: Wikipedia, Merkle Tree

Credits: Nathan Barrett-Morrison did a very good posting explaining the details https://www.timesys.com/security/dm-verity-without-an-initramfs/

Locking down U-Boot Environment

Performing secure boot U-Boot, the U-Boot-Env in mmc or flash should be static, read-only. In case of A-B boot concept as being used for OpenCritis, the bootloader needs to know the active partition to boot into. Therefore 3 variables shall be writable only, being stored in U-Boot Environmentn, namely

boot_order: Hex value, either “AB” or “BA”
boot_a_left: Dec value counting the number of trials, by default 3
boot_b_left: Dec value counting the number of trials, by default 3

To acieve this setup the uboot defconfig should have the following setup:

CONFIG_CMD_ENV_CALLBACK=y
CONFIG_CMD_ENV_FLAGS=y
CONFIG_ENV_IS_NOWHERE=y
CONFIG_ENV_IS_IN_MMC=y or CONFIG_ENV_IS_IN_FAT=y
CONFIG_ENV_APPEND=y
CONFIG_ENV_WRITEABLE_LIST=y
CONFIG_ENV_ACCESS_IGNORE_FORCE=y
CONFIG_CMD_NVEDIT_LOAD=y
CONFIG_SYS_CONSOLE_ENV_OVERWRITE=y

In the board header file (eg. include/configs/qemu-arm.h) the following definitions must be added , for example as patch file.

#define CONFIG_ENV_FLAGS_LIST_DEFAULT "boot_order:xw,boot_a_left:dw,boot_b_left:dw"
#define CONFIG_ENV_FLAGS_LIST_STATIC  "boot_order:xw,boot_a_left:dw,boot_b_left:dw"

See the following README explaining the flag attributes: https://github.com/u-boot/u-boot/blob/master/README#L1588