GRUB 2.06 Planning For Release This Year - Possibly With Intel TXT + AMD SKINIT Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Oracle on 3 February 2020 at 07:42 AM EST. 23 Comments
Oracle's Daniel Kiper provided an update on the GRUB boot-loader efforts and their hopes on sticking to a yearly release cadence.

At FOSDEM 2020 in Belgium this weekend, Kiper provided his annual update on the affairs of GRUB.

In recapping the 2019 accomplishments for GRUB, there was RISC-V architecture support added, native DHCPv4, LUKS2 encryption support, and a lot of other features. Looking ahead though GRUB 2.06 should be out in the next few months with more features.

One of the features Oracle engineers are working on is Intel TXT (Trusted Execution Technology) support that they hope to post the patch series for around the next month. Others are also working on a similar AMD SKINIT (Secure Processor driven verifiable startup of trusted software based on secure hash comparisons) implementation. As part of these efforts, GRUB developers have been collaborating with the TrenchBoot project.

Some other GRUB features being worked on in 2020 include redundant environment file handling, TPM 2.0 support for the legacy boot mode, and even adding Python scripting support to the boot-loader.

It was also mentioned during the presentation that Red Hat is working on the support for using Linux kexec to load another operating system from GRUB. Another big change in the GRUB space is abandoning support for 62 sectors MBR gap on i386 targets.

The hope with sticking to yearly feature releases of GRUB is that they will be launching mid-year, thereby putting GRUB 2.06 by June 2020.

More details on the current GRUB happenings via this PDF slide deck from Daniel's FOSDEM presentation.
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