UEFI Secure Boot Planning

UEFI Secure Boot Planning allows you to authenticate modules before they are allowed to execute.

The initial installation of StarlingX should be done in UEFI mode if you plan on using the secure boot feature in the future.

The StarlingX secure boot certificate can be found in the StarlingX ISO, on the EFI bootable FAT filesystem. The file is in the directory /CERTS. You must add this certificate database to the motherboard’s UEFI certificate database. How to add this certificate to the database is determined by the UEFI implementation provided by the motherboard manufacturer.

You may need to work with your hardware vendor to have the certificate installed.

There is an option in the UEFI setup utility that allows a user to browse to a file containing a certificate to be loaded in the authorized database. This option may be hidden in the UEFI setup utility unless UEFI mode is enabled, and secure boot is enabled.

The UEFI implementation may or may not require a TPM device to be present and enabled before providing for secure boot functionality. Refer to your server board’s documentation.

Many motherboards ship with Microsoft secure boot certificates pre-programmed in the UEFI certificate database. These certificates may be required to boot UEFI drivers for video cards, RAID controllers, or NICs (for example, the PXE boot software for a NIC may have been signed by a Microsoft certificate). While certificates can be removed from the certificate database (this is UEFI implementation specific) it may be required that you keep the Microsoft certificates to allow for complete system operation.

Mixed combinations of secure boot and non-secure boot nodes are supported. For example, a controller node may secure boot, while a worker node may not. Secure boot must be enabled in the UEFI firmware of each node for that node to be protected by secure boot.

  • Secure Boot is supported in UEFI installations only. It is not used when booting StarlingX as a legacy boot target.

  • StarlingX does not currently support switching from legacy to UEFI mode after a system has been installed. Doing so requires a reinstall of the system. This means that upgrading from a legacy install to a secure boot install (UEFI) is not supported.

  • When upgrading a StarlingX system from a version that did not support secure boot to a version that does, do not enable secure boot in UEFI firmware until the upgrade is complete.