[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [RFC PATCH] gdb: Add more support for debugging on EFI platforms

From: Robbie Harwood
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH] gdb: Add more support for debugging on EFI platforms
Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2023 18:00:04 -0500

Glenn Washburn <> writes:

> If the configure option --enable-efi-debug is given, then enable the
> printing early in EFI startup of the command needed to load symbols for
> the GRUB EFI kernel. This is needed because EFI firmware determines where
> to load the GRUB EFI at runtime, and so the relevant addresses are not
> known ahead of time. This is not printed when secure boot is enabled.
> The command is a custom command defined in the gdb_grub GDB script. So
> GDB should be started with the script as an argument to the -x option or
> sourced into an active GDB session before running the outputted command.
> Also a command named "gdbinfo" is enabled which allows the user to print
> the gdb command string on-demand, which can be valuable as the printing
> early in EFI startup is quickly replaced by other text. So if using a
> physical screen it may appear too briefly to be registered.
> Co-developed-by: Peter Jones <>
> Signed-off-by: Glenn Washburn <>
> ---
> This is patch 9 from the v6 "GDB script fixes and improvements" series, with
> one modification. Now the gdbinfo command will print the gdb load command
> even when the configure option is not enabled (though still not when lockdown
> is enabled).
> Robbie had 2 concerns with the last patch.
>  1. Does this need to be configurable?
>    * I responded that this was requested by Daniel because of concerns about
>      it breaking silent boot and it seemed reasonable to me, but that I don't
>      have a strong opinion. I've left it configurable until Dnaiel weighs in.

Yeah, I think these concerns are valid.  The version in the rhboot tree
gates printing on an env var.  Right now, it seems to me that:

- we want it to be default-off because silent boot
- we want to have the ability to reenable without rebuilding because
  secureboot, convenience, etc.

>  2. Why should the load command not be printed when secure boot is enabled?
>    * This was also requested by Daniel, I assume because of infomation leakage
>      that may be a security concern.

I seem to have also missed Daniel's reply about this earlier, which was:

>> I think leaking info about the GRUB image addresses on the Secure
>> Boot enabled systems is not the best idea. Or do you think having
>> this feature enabled by default overweight potential dangers coming
>> from its misuse?

I don't know how these could help an attacker.  They'd need access to
console out to retrieve the values, and some way to send input... and
that's basically physical presence: at the very least, if they have
those, I imagine they'd just edit the menu entries, or drop to the grub

Do you see a danger here?

Be well,

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: PGP signature

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]