Gentoo Hardened progress report


Sven Vermeulen Thu 29 August 2013

Today, we had our monthly online meeting to discuss the progress amongst the various Gentoo Hardened projects. As usual, here is a small write-up.

Lead election

As every year, we also reviewed the current project leads. No surprises here, everybody is happy with the current leads so they are re-elected for another term. We did have two candidates for the lead position, but even the other candidate vote for Zorry - so we had a unanimous vote ;-)


GCC version 4.8.1 will be unmasked pretty soon, and the hardenedno* specs on it will work. However, there is still no progress on the asan (Address Sanitizer) support together with UDEREF. As mentioned in a previous post, UDEREF "reduces" the address space a bit which doesn't play well with asan. Still, it isn't inevitable, since PowerPC also has a reduced address space and so does Windows. So perhaps we can use the same model for UDEREF enabled kernels? We'll send the suggestion and the already-existing fixes upstream and hope for the best.

In GCC 4.8.1, the -fstack-check option might be enabled by default, but the question is for which architectures and platforms. We know a few packages, such as ffmpeg and libav have problems with it. In those cases, the ebuild will be modified to use -fno-stack-check (if hardened). We opt to enable it for all as we don't really expect much (if any) breakage that can't be dealt with swiftly.

Support for hardened uClibc is still going steadily. Blueness is heating his room a bit with it, seeing that mips32r2 takes about 2 weeks to build hardened and vanilla stages - he is using an Ubiquity router station for this.

Kernel and Grsecurity/PaX

Due to some boot freezes, as explained in bugs 482010 and 481790, we don't have a stable 3.10.x kernel yet. However, most of the issues should be resolved and we're waiting for confirmation, so we can be looking at a stable 3.10.x kernel soon.

The 3.10 kernel will probably not be a long-term support kernel for PaX and Grsecurity - such LTS kernel will be picked next year, most likely the same kernel version that Ubuntu LTS settles on.


A small update on policycoreutils has been made that updates rlpkg and selocal. Other than that, our policies are in nice shape. A new revision will be pushed to the tree soon.


On the Integrity side, recent kernels support custom IMA policies (again) so our documentation is accurate again. Next to IMA/EVM, I'll be working on documentation for cryptographically signed kernel module support soon as well as SCAP-based security baselines for Gentoo.


Blueness added a MUSL-based Gentoo profile (hardened/linux/musl). Musl is an even more slim libc and its profile is extremely experimental for now. The profile structure is still a bit off though, a reorganization will be suggested soon so that the profile inheritance is clear and predictable, starting off with a non-hardened one (default/linux/{uclibc,musl}) and then a hardened specific one that inherits from the default.


The Gentoo Hardened project now has its main project page on the Gentoo Wiki, and all (most) documentation is moved to there as well for the Gentoo Hardened subprojects.

I also explained to the folks that I have authored a book on SELinux System Administration (for Packt Publishing), which was why I was less active the last few months. However, that is now done so I'm back on track. More information about the book follows later on my blog ;-)


And as usual, klondike has been tweeting the entire meeting through our @GentooHardened twitter account ;-)