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Re: [RFC PATCH] kern/dl: Add module version check

From: Robbie Harwood
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH] kern/dl: Add module version check
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2022 17:58:50 -0500

Zhang Boyang <> writes:

> This patch add version information to GRUB modules. Specifically,
> PACKAGE_VERSION is embedded as null-terminated string in .modver
> section. This string is checked at module loading time. That module will
> be rejected if mismatch is found. This will prevent loading modules from
> different versions of GRUB.
> It should be pointed out that the version string is only consisted of
> PACKAGE_VERSION. Any difference not reflected in PACKAGE_VERSION is not
> noticed by version check (e.g. configure options).

Right now, this only affects non-secureboot scenarios (because we don't
have external signed module support).  I would want to see a resolution
to the external module signing question first so that we don't paint
ourselves into a corner with something like this.

I share Glenn's confusion about what real-world problems this addresses:
my understanding is that grub modules mostly register callbacks, so the
possibility of disaster is low (unless the callback interfaces change of
course, but that generally has not happened).

The combination of those two things leads me to suspect this is not the
right approach.  It seems likely that if we want to down the road of
versionlocking, something like the kernel's ephemeral key approach would
be better suited - and if we want external modules (which I don't think
we do), full SBAT support.

Be well,

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