debian no longer supports UEFI on arm64


Level 11
Thread author
Top Poster
Apr 5, 2021
I was greeted with this message yesterday evening while running updates on my Debian 10 platform:

arm64 problems​

Debian no longer supports UEFI Secure Boot on arm64 systems, as of May 2021.

Shim and other EFI programs have always been difficult to build on arm64, compared to x86 platforms. Binutils for amd64 and i386 includes explicit support for creating programs in the PE/COFF binary format that EFI uses, but this has never been added for arm64.

In the past, shim developers added some local hacks into the shim package to generate a mostly-compliant PE/COFF EFI binary without this toolchain support, and that seemed to be sufficient for use. Everything seemed to work. However, during the development and testing phase of shim 15.3 and 15.4, we found found significant issues with this approach. New security features needed in shim (SBAT) showed up severe problems with the lack of proper toolchain support. See Significant problems with Aarch64 (and Arm?) builds · Issue #366 · rhboot/shim for more details. The old hacks around binutils are no longer sustainable.

Statistics tell us that very few people have attempted to use arm64 Secure Boot with Debian so far. In the interests of releasing needed updates in a timely manner, we have decided for the time being to disable signed shim support for Debian arm64.

We hope to re-introduce arm64 Secure Boot support as soon as possible in the future.

SecureBoot - Debian

Very disappointing :(

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