It's been a while again, so time for another Gentoo Hardened online progress meeting.


GCC 4.8 is on development stage 4, so the hardened patches will be worked on next week. Some help on it is needed to test the patches on ARM, PPC and MIPS though. For those interested, keep a close eye on the hardened-dev overlay as those will contain the latest fixes. When GCC 4.9 starts development phase 1, Zorry will again try to upstream the patches.

With the coming fixes, we might probably (need to) remove the various hardenedno* GCC profiles from the hardened Gentoo profiles. This shouldn't impact too many users as ebuilds add in the correct flags anyhow (for instance when needing to turn off PIE/PIC).

Kernel, grSecurity and PaX

The kernel release 3.7.0 that we have stable in our tree has seen a few setbacks, but no higher version is stable yet (mainly due to the stabilization period needed). 3.7.4-r1 and 3.7.5 are prime candidates with good track record,
so we might be stabilizing 3.7.5 in the very near future (next week probably).

On the PaX flag migration (you know, from ELF-header based marking to extended attributes marking), the documentation has seen its necessary upgrades and the userland utilities have been updated to reflect the use of xattr markings. The eclass we use for the markings will use the correct utility based on the environment.

One issue faced when trying to support both markings is that some actions (like the "paxctl -Cc" which creates the PT_PAX header if it is missing) make no sense with the other (as there is no header when using XATTR_PAX). The eclass will be updated to ignore these flags when XATTR_PAX is selected.


Revision 10 is stable in the tree, and revision 11 is waiting stabilization period. A few more changes have been put in the policy repository already (which are installed when using the live ebuilds) and will of course be part of
revision 12.

A change in the userland utilities was also pushed out to allow permissive domains (so run a single domain in permissive mode instead of the entire system).

Finally, the SELinux eclass has been updated to remove SELinux modules from all defined SELinux module stores if the SELinux policy package is removed from the system. Before that, the user had to remove the modules from the store himself manually, but this is error-prone and easily forgotten, especially for the non-default SELinux policy stores.


All hardened subprofiles are marked as deprecated now (you've seen the discussions on this on the mailinglist probably on this) so we now have a sane set of hardened profiles to manage. The subprofiles were used for things like
"desktop" or "server", whereas users can easily stack their profiles as they see fit anyhow - so there was little reason for the project to continue managing those subprofiles.

Also, now that Gentoo has released its 13.0 profile, we will need to migrate our profiles to the 13.0 ones as well. So, the idea is to temporarily support 13.0 in a subprofile, test it thoroughly, and then remove the subprofile and switch the main one to 13.0.

System Integrity

The documentation for IMA and EVM is available on the Gentoo Hardened project site. They currently still refer to the IMA and EVM subsystems as development-only, but they are available in the stable kernels now. Especially the default policy that is available in the kernel is pretty useful. When you want to consider custom policies (for instance with SELinux integration) you'll need a kernel patch that is already upstreamed but not applied to the stable kernels yet.

To support IMA/EVM, a package called ima-evm-utils is available in the hardened-dev overlay, which will be moved to the main tree soon.


As mentioned before, the PaX documentation has seen quite a lot of updates. Other documents that have seen updates are the Hardened FAQ, Integrity subproject and SELinux documentation although most of them were small changes.

Another suggestion given is to clean up the Hardened project page; however, there has been some talk within Gentoo to move project pages to the Gentoo wiki. Such a move might make the suggestion easier to handle. And while on the subject of the wiki, we might want to move user guides to the wiki already.


Bug 443630 refers to segmentation faults with libvirt when starting Qemu domains on a SELinux-enabled host. Sadly, I'm not able to test libvirt myself so either someone with SELinux and libvirt
expertise can chime in, or we will need to troubleshoot it by bug (using gdb, strace'ing more, ...) which might take quite some time and is not user friendly...


Various talks where held at FOSDEM regarding Gentoo Hardened, and a lot of people attended those talks. Also the round table was quite effective, with many users interacting with developers all around. For next year, chances are very high that we'll give a "What has changed since last year" session and a round table again.

With many thanks to the usual suspects: Zorry, blueness, prometheanfire, lejonet, klondike and the several dozen contributors that are going to kill me for not mentioning their (nick)names.


To comment as a guest, use "Or sign up with disqus" and then select the "I'd rather post as guest" option.

comments powered by Disqus