This repository contains tools and libraries for working with Android Verified Boot 2.0. Usually AVB is used to refer to this codebase.
The main job of
avbtool is to create
vbmeta.img which is the top-level object for verified boot. This image is designed to go into the
vbmeta partition (or, if using A/B, the slot in question e.g.
vbmeta_b) and be of minimal size (for out-of-band updates). The vbmeta image is cryptographically signed and contains verification data (e.g. cryptographic digests) for verifying
system.img, and other partitions/images.
The vbmeta image can also contain references to other partitions where verification data is stored as well as a public key indicating who should sign the verification data. This indirection provides delegation, that is, it allows a 3rd party to control content on a given partition by including their public key in
vbmeta.img. By design, this authority can be easily revoked by simply updating
vbmeta.img with new descriptors for the partition in question.
Storing signed verification data on other images - for example
system.img - is also done with
In addition to
avbtool, a library -
libavb - is provided. This library performs all verification on the device side e.g. it starts by loading the vbmeta partition, checks the signature, and then goes on to load the boot partition for verification. This library is intended to be used in both boot loaders and inside Android. It has a simple abstraction for system dependencies (see
avb_sysdeps.h) as well as operations that the boot loader or OS is expected to implement (see
avb_ops.h). The main entry point for verification is
It is expected that most devices will use A/B (e.g. multiple copies of the OS in separate so-called ‘slots’) in addition to AVB. While managing A/B metadata and associated metadata (e.g. managing
stored_rollback_index[n] locations) is outside the scope of
libavb, enough interfaces are exposed so the boot loader can integrate its A/B stack with
libavb. In particular
avb_slot_verify() takes a
slot_suffix parameter and its result struct
AvbSlotVerifyData convey the rollback indexes in the image that was verified.
AVB also includes an A/B implementation that boot loaders may optionally use. This implementation is in the
libavb_ab library and integrates with image verification including updating the
stored_rollback_index[n] locations on the device as needed. The bootloader can use this through the
avb_ab_flow() function which in turn calls
avb_slot_verify() as needed.
libavb_ab, A/B metadata is stored in the
misc partition using a format private to
libavb_ab in the location on
misc reserved for this. For more information about the
misc.img file format see the bootloader_message.h file in AOSP. A/B metadata can be written to
misc.img using the
set_ab_metadata sub-command of
avbtool. A/B metadata is comprised of data for each slo and per-slot metadata has a priority field (0 to 15), number of tries remaining for attempting to boot the slot (0 to 7), and a flag to indicate whether the slot has successfully booted.
A/B metadata integrity is provided by a simple magic marker and a CRC-32 checksum. If invalid A/B metadata is detected, the behavior is to reset the A/B metadata to a known state where both slots are given seven boot tries.
An implementation of a boot_control HAL using AVB-specific A/B metadata is also provided.
Android Things has specific requirements and validation logic for the vbmeta public key. An extension is provided in
libavb_atx which performs this validation as an implementatio of
libavb's public key validation operation (see
avb_sha.[ch]files. System dependencies expected to be provided by the platform is defined in
avb_sysdeps.h. If the platform provides the standard C runtime
avb_sysdeps_posix.ccan be used.
This code is intended to be used in bootloaders in devices running Android. The suggested approach is to copy the appropriate header and C files mentioned in the previous section into the boot loader and integrate as appropriate.
libavb_ab/ codebase will evolve over time so integration should be as non-invasive as possible. The intention is to keep the API of the library stable however it will be broken if necessary. As for portability, the library is intended to be highly portable, work on both little- and big-endian architectures and 32- and 64-bit. It's also intended to work in non-standard environments without the standard C library and runtime.
AVB_ENABLE_DEBUG preprocessor symbol is set, the code will include useful debug information and run-time checks. Production builds should not use this. The preprocessor symbol
AVB_COMPILATION should be set only when compiling the libraries. The code must be compiled into a separate libraries.
Applications using the compiled
libavb library must only include the
libavb/libavb.h file (which will include all public interfaces) and must not have the
AVB_COMPILATION preprocessor symbol set. This is to ensure that internal code that may be change in the future (for example
avb_rsa.[ch]) will not be visible to application code.
AVB uses a version number with three fields - the major, minor, and sub version. Here's an example version number
1.4.3 ^ ^ ^ | | | the major version ---+ | | the minor version -----+ | the sub version -------+
The major version number is bumped only if compatibility is broken, e.g. a struct field has been removed or changed. The minor version number is bumped only if a new feature is introduced, for example a new algorithm or descriptor has been added. The sub version number is bumped when bugs are fixed or other changes not affecting compatibility are made.
AvbVBMetaImageHeader struct (as defined in the
avb_vbmeta_image.h) carries the major and minor version number of
libavb required to verify the struct in question. This is stored in the
required_libavb_version_minor fields. Additionally this struct contains a textual field with the version of
avbtool used to create the struct, for example “avbtool 1.4.3” or “avbtool 1.4.3 some_board Git-4589fbec”.
Note that it's entirely possible to have a
AvbVBMetaImageHeader struct with
required_libavb_version_major = 1 required_libavb_version_minor = 0 avbtool_release_string = "avbtool 1.4.3"
if, for example, creating an image that does not use any features added after AVB version 1.0.
If adding a new feature for example a new algorithm or a new descriptor then
avbtool must be bumped and
AVB_VERSION_SUB should be set to zero.
Unit tests MUST be added to check that
required_version_minorfield is set to the bumped value if - and only if - the feature is used.
AVB_VERSION_MINOR has already been bumped since the last release there is obviously no need to bump it again.
The content for the vbmeta partition can be generated as follows:
$ avbtool make_vbmeta_image \ --output OUTPUT \ [--algorithm ALGORITHM] [--key /path/to/key_used_for_signing_or_pub_key] \ [--public_key_metadata /path/to/pkmd.bin] [--rollback_index NUMBER] \ [--include_descriptors_from_footer /path/to/image.bin] \ [--setup_rootfs_from_kernel /path/to/image.bin] \ [--chain_partition part_name:rollback_index_location:/path/to/key1.bin] \ [--signing_helper /path/to/external/signer] \ [--append_to_release_string STR]
An integrity footer containing the hash for an entire partition can be added to an existing image as follows:
$ avbtool add_hash_footer \ --image IMAGE \ --partition_name PARTNAME --partition_size SIZE \ [--algorithm ALGORITHM] [--key /path/to/key_used_for_signing_or_pub_key] \ [--public_key_metadata /path/to/pkmd.bin] [--rollback_index NUMBER] \ [--hash_algorithm HASH_ALG] [--salt HEX] \ [--include_descriptors_from_footer /path/to/image.bin] \ [--setup_rootfs_from_kernel /path/to/image.bin] \ [--output_vbmeta_image OUTPUT_IMAGE] [--do_not_append_vbmeta_image] \ [--signing_helper /path/to/external/signer] \ [--append_to_release_string STR]
An integrity footer containing the root digest and salt for a hashtree for a partition can be added to an existing image as follows. The hashtree is also appended to the image.
$ avbtool add_hashtree_footer \ --image IMAGE \ --partition_name PARTNAME --partition_size SIZE \ [--algorithm ALGORITHM] [--key /path/to/key_used_for_signing_or_pub_key] \ [--public_key_metadata /path/to/pkmd.bin] [--rollback_index NUMBER] \ [--hash_algorithm HASH_ALG] [--salt HEX] [--block_size SIZE] \ [--include_descriptors_from_footer /path/to/image.bin] \ [--setup_rootfs_from_kernel /path/to/image.bin] \ [--output_vbmeta_image OUTPUT_IMAGE] [--do_not_append_vbmeta_image] \ [--generate_fec] [--fec_num_roots FEC_NUM_ROOTS] \ [--signing_helper /path/to/external/signer] \ [--append_to_release_string STR]
The size of an image with integrity footers can be changed using the
$ avbtool resize_image \ --image IMAGE \ --partition_size SIZE
The integrity footer on an image can be removed from an image. The hashtree can optionally be kept in place.
$ avbtool erase_footer --image IMAGE [--keep_hashtree]
For hash- and hashtree-images the vbmeta struct can also be written to an external file via the
--output_vbmeta_image option and one can also specify that the vbmeta struct and footer not be added to the image being operated on.
To calculate the maximum size of an image that will fit in a partition of a given size after having used the
avbtool add_hashtree_footer command on it, use the
$ avbtool add_hashtree_footer --partition_size $((10*1024*1024)) \ --calc_max_image_size 10330112
--signing_helper option can be used in
add_hashtree_footer commands to specify any external program for signing hashes. The data to sign (including padding e.g. PKCS1-v1.5) is fed via
STDIN and the signed data is returned via
--signing_helper is present in a command line, the
--key option need only contain a public key. Arguments for a signing helper are
public key. If the signing helper exits with a non-zero exit code, it means failure.
Here's an example invocation:
/path/to/my_signing_program SHA256_RSA2048 /path/to/publickey.pem
verify_image command verifies that the signature on the vbmeta struct is valid and that it was made with the embedded public key. This can be used to check that a custom signing helper works as intended.
append_vbmeta_image command can be used to append an entire vbmeta blob to the end of another image. This is useful for cases when not using any vbmeta partitions, for example:
$ cp boot.img boot-with-vbmeta-appended.img $ avbtool append_vbmeta_image \ --image boot-with-vbmeta-appended.img \ --partition_size SIZE_OF_BOOT_PARTITION \ --vbmeta_image vbmeta.img $ fastboot flash boot boot-with-vbmeta-appended.img
Android Verified Boot is enabled by the
BOARD_AVB_ENABLE := true
This will make the build system create
vbmeta.img which will contain a hash descriptor for
boot.img, a hashtree descriptor for
system.img, a kernel-cmdline descriptor for setting up
system.img and append a hash-tree to
system.img. If the build system is set up such that
vendor.img is being built, a hash-tree will also be appended to this image and its hash-tree descriptor will be included in
By default, the algorithm
SHA256_RSA4096 is used with a test key from the
external/avb/test/data directory. This can be overriden by the
BOARD_AVB_KEY_PATH variables to use e.g. a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-512:
BOARD_AVB_ALGORITHM := SHA512_RSA4096 BOARD_AVB_KEY_PATH := /path/to/rsa_key_4096bits.pem
Remember that the public part of this key needs to be available to the bootloader of the device expected to verify resulting images. Use
avbtool extract_public_key to extract the key in the expected format (AVB_pk in the following). If the device is using a different root of trust than AVB_pk the
--public_key_metadata option can be used to embed a blob (AVB_pkmd in the following) that can be used to e.g. derive AVB_pk. Both AVB_pk and AVB_pkmd are passed to the
validate_vbmeta_public_key() operation when verifying a slot.
To prevent rollback attacks, the rollback index should be increased on a regular basis. The rollback index can be set with the
BOARD_AVB_ROLLBACK_INDEX := 5
If this is not set, the rollback index defaults to 0.
BOARD_AVB_MAKE_VBMETA_IMAGE_ARGS can be used to specify additional options passed to
avbtool make_vbmeta_image. Typical options to be used here include
BOARD_AVB_BOOT_ADD_HASH_FOOTER_ARGS can be used to specify additional options passed to
avbtool add_hash_footer for
boot.img. Typical options to be used here include
BOARD_AVB_SYSTEM_ADD_HASHTREE_FOOTER_ARGS can be used to specify additional options passed to
avbtool add_hashtree_footer for
system.img. Typical options to be used here include
BOARD_AVB_VENDOR_ADD_HASHTREE_FOOTER_ARGS can be used to specify additional options passed to
avbtool add_hashtree_footer for
vendor.img. Typical options to be used here include
Build system variables (such as
PRODUCT_SUPPORTS_VERITY_FEC) used for previous version of Verified Boot in Android are not used in AVB