kernel_lockdown(7) — Linux manual page


kernel_lockdown(7)  Miscellaneous Information Manual  kernel_lockdown(7)

NAME         top

       kernel_lockdown - kernel image access prevention feature

DESCRIPTION         top

       The Kernel Lockdown feature is designed to prevent both direct
       and indirect access to a running kernel image, attempting to
       protect against unauthorized modification of the kernel image and
       to prevent access to security and cryptographic data located in
       kernel memory, whilst still permitting driver modules to be

       If a prohibited or restricted feature is accessed or used, the
       kernel will emit a message that looks like:

           Lockdown: X: Y is restricted, see man kernel_lockdown.7

       where X indicates the process name and Y indicates what is

       On an EFI-enabled x86 or arm64 machine, lockdown will be
       automatically enabled if the system boots in EFI Secure Boot

       When lockdown is in effect, a number of features are disabled or
       have their use restricted.  This includes special device files
       and kernel services that allow direct access of the kernel image:


       and the ability to directly configure and control devices, so as
       to prevent the use of a device to access or modify a kernel

       •  The use of module parameters that directly specify hardware
          parameters to drivers through the kernel command line or when
          loading a module.

       •  The use of direct PCI BAR access.

       •  The use of the ioperm and iopl instructions on x86.

       •  The use of the KD*IO console ioctls.

       •  The use of the TIOCSSERIAL serial ioctl.

       •  The alteration of MSR registers on x86.

       •  The replacement of the PCMCIA CIS.

       •  The overriding of ACPI tables.

       •  The use of ACPI error injection.

       •  The specification of the ACPI RDSP address.

       •  The use of ACPI custom methods.

       Certain facilities are restricted:

       •  Only validly signed modules may be loaded (waived if the
          module file being loaded is vouched for by IMA appraisal).

       •  Only validly signed binaries may be kexec'd (waived if the
          binary image file to be executed is vouched for by IMA

       •  Unencrypted hibernation/suspend to swap are disallowed as the
          kernel image is saved to a medium that can then be accessed.

       •  Use of debugfs is not permitted as this allows a whole range
          of actions including direct configuration of, access to and
          driving of hardware.

       •  IMA requires the addition of the "secure_boot" rules to the
          policy, whether or not they are specified on the command line,
          for both the built-in and custom policies in secure boot
          lockdown mode.

VERSIONS         top

       The Kernel Lockdown feature was added in Linux 5.4.

NOTES         top

       The Kernel Lockdown feature is enabled by
       CONFIG_SECURITY_LOCKDOWN_LSM.  The lsm=lsm1,...,lsmN command line
       parameter controls the sequence of the initialization of Linux
       Security Modules.  It must contain the string lockdown to enable
       the Kernel Lockdown feature.  If the command line parameter is
       not specified, the initialization falls back to the value of the
       deprecated security= command line parameter and further to the
       value of CONFIG_LSM.

Linux man-pages (unreleased)     (date)               kernel_lockdown(7)