GRUB 2.06 Should Be Released This Year, Cooperation Increasing With Distro Vendors

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 10 February 2021 at 11:35 AM EST. 42 Comments
While GRUB 2.06 was aiming for release in 2020, having to deal with the BootHole security issue among other challenges last year ended up delaying that release. Fortunately, it looks like this long awaited GRUB feature update should be out this year and there has been increased cooperation between upstream GRUB developers and distribution vendors.

GRUB 2.04 as the last feature release happened back in July 2019. Since then GRUB has seen improved Btrfs RAID support, support for LUKS2 encrypted disks, new security features, and more. Having to deal with the GRUB BootHole fiasco last year thwarted their plans for the infrequent GRUB 2.06 release but that is now back to moving along. GRUB developer Daniel Kiper at Oracle once again presented at last weekend's FOSDEM about the ongoing work.

GRUB 2.06 is finally under its code freeze and the first release candidate has been ready since December but delayed over translations build issues. Ideally we will see GRUB 2.06 buttoned up and released this year.

Some of the other recent GRUB happenings that were highlighted is increased cooperation around TrenchBoot, Intel and Oracle working on Intel TXT support, the firmware and bootloader log specification continues to be developed, and Red Hat is planning to use Linux kexec to support booting into another OS from GRUB.

Upstream GRUB developers have been seeing increased cooperation from distribution vendors. Red Hat, for example, is forward-porting around 50 patches they have been carrying in Red Hat and Fedora. These ~50 patches will work their way upstream and dropped from the downstream after GRUB 2.06. Due to the infrequent GRUB releases, many distributions have resorted to carrying their own patches and for work not yet found in released upstream versions. GRUB developers are now in touch and working with Fedora, Red Hat, Debian, and Ubuntu as the main vendors engaging.

More details on the current state of GRUB via Daniel's slide deck (PDF). The latest GRUB Git code is available from
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