File README of Package ovmf.6358
Running the OVMF image in qemu
There are two flavors of the OVMF efi images: the 64 bit and 32 bit one.
For the 64 bit image, use the following command:
qemu-system-x86_64 -bios /usr/share/qemu/ovmf-x86_64.bin
For 32 bit:
qemu-system-i386 -bios /usr/share/qemu/ovmf-ia32.bin
The rom will boot up to an EFI shell. If you add standard things like a USB
drive, you can also run efi executables.
To enrol the platform and key exchange keys, exit the efi shell, select
'Device Manager' then 'Secure Boot Configuration' and change the secure boot
mode from "Standard Mode" to "Custom Mode". This will cause an extra "Custom
Secure Boot Options" menu to appear from which you can enrol the Platform and
Key Exchange keys (these need to be present on external media, like a USB
Note that enroling the KEK will require you to specify a GUID. The GUID is
used only to identify the keys later (it's essentially the globally unique
label for the key). If you only enrol one KEK, you can ignore this and it
will end up with a GUID of all zeros.
For version >= r14840, OVMF supports the qemu flash mode. The non-volatile
variables were originally stored in NvVars, a file in the ESP. With the flash
mode support, all changes will be saved in the firmware file directly.
Here is the example to use OVMF in the flash mode:
qemu-system-x86_64 -pflash ovmf-x86_64.bin
Please make sure the firmware is writable before using the flash mode, or all
your changes won't be saved.
Starting from r15670, two extra firmware files are provided for the flash mode:
ovmf-*-code.bin and ovmf-*-vars.bin, and all non-volatile variables will be
stored in ovmf-*-vars.bin. Example:
qemu-system-x86_64 -drive if=pflash,format=raw,readonly,file=ovmf-x86_64-code.bin \
It would be easier to manage the NV variables with the separated vars firmware.
Image with preloaded keys
Besides the generic OVMF images, there are images preloaded with different
- PK: Microsoft Corporation KEK CA 2011
- KEK: Microsoft Corporation KEK CA 2011
- db: Microsoft Corporation UEFI CA 2011
- PK: openSUSE Secure Boot CA
- KEK: openSUSE Secure Boot CA
- db: openSUSE Secure Boot Signkey
- PK: SUSE Linux Enterprise Secure Boot CA
- KEK: SUSE Linux Enterprise Secure Boot CA
- db: SUSE Linux Enterprise Secure Boot Signkey
Note that the preloaded key images are all 64 bit because openSUSE/SLE and
Windows only support Secure Boot in 64 bit mode.
Creating Platform and Key Exchange keys
A note about terminology. In UEFI terms, "key" means certificate (not the
openssl key). UEFI keys are required to be based on RSA 2048 bit keys.
The Platform key and Key Exchange Keys should be the equivalent of CA root
certificates (i.e. a self signed certificate). Note that in current tianocore
OVMF, the input certificates, if taken from external media, *must* be in a
file with a .cer extension and in DER format.
The platform key is the key which controls updates to the Key Exchange Key
database. The Key Exchange Key controls updates to the signature databases.
Note that if the Key Exchange Key is an X509 key, any key which has the KEK as
its root signature can also be used to validate an efi binary without need for
any entries in the signatures database.
Create Platform Key (PK)
openssl req -new -x509 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout PK.key -out PK.crt -days <length>
Note that the Key is PK.crt (PK.key is the private key you use to sign other
Now convert to DER format
openssl x509 -in PK.crt -out PK.cer -outform DER
The file PK.cer can be placed on a USB key for enrolling as the platform key.
Create Key Exchange Key (KEK)
This is done exactly as the Platform key above, except call the file KEK.cer
Note, for expermentation purposes, there's no reason the KEK and the PK can't
be the same certificate.
Creating derived keys from the KEK
This process can be used to create subordinate keys which can be used to sign
efi binaries (since their roots can be traced back to the KEK).
openssl req -new -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout new.key -out new.csr -days <length>
Now sign the certificate request with the KEK:
openssl x509 -req -in new.csr -CA KEK.crt -CAkey KEK.key -set_serial 1 -out new.crt
Note that since the new key doesn't have to be enrolled in the platform
because its root of trust can be traced back to the KEK, there's no need to
create a DER form of the key (the sbsign utilites used to sign efi binaries
take the key.crt file which is in PEM form).
Running the UEFI ARM image in qemu
There are two flavors of the UEFI ARM images: AArch32 and AArch64.
For the AArch64 image, use the following command:
qemu-system-aarch64 -m 1024 -M virt -cpu cortex-a57 -bios /usr/share/qemu/qemu-uefi-aarch64.bin -serial stdio
qemu-system-arm -m 1024 -M virt -cpu cortex-a15 -bios /usr/share/qemu/qemu-uefi-aarch32.bin -serial stdio
Source Level Debugging
It's possible to debug OVMF with gdb connecting to qemu with the following
(1) install the debug package: qemu-ovmf-x86_64-debug
(2) Start the virtual machine with '-s' or "-gdb tcp::1234"
(3) Start gdb in another terminal and issue the following commands:
(gdb) set architecture i386:x86-64:intel
(gdb) target remote localhost:1234
(gdb) source /usr/share/ovmf-x86_64/gdb_uefi-ovmf-x86_64-<flavor>.py
(gdb) reload-uefi -o /usr/lib/debug/ovmf-x86_64/DebugPkg/GdbSyms/GdbSyms/DEBUG/GdbSyms.dll
(4) Happy debugging
Note: It's also possible to debug OVMF with Xen, but the way to set up the port
is differnt. Instead of adding the port number to qemu, you need gdbsx.
Before starting gdb, execute this command:
# gdbsx -a <domainid> 64 1234
Then gdbsx will listen to port 1234 for the specific domainU. The rest is
the same as qemu.