Dev-mode only boots official kernels by default

Although we're now using a single unified BIOS, it is pretty nice to be able
to get a shell in developer mode while still using verified boot for the
kernel and filesystem. Alex & ZGB implemented this by requiring the dev-mode
user to install a special dev-mode BIOS. We don't do that, but we DO require
setting a special flag with "crossystem" to accomplish the same thing.

In order to allow booting a self-signed kernel, you must boot in developer
mode, open a shell, and run this:

  crossystem dev_boot_custom=1

Special note to internal developers: If you're in the habit (as I am) of
booting directly from a USB stick in dev-mode, you'll have to run this:

  crossystem dev_boot_custom=1 dev_boot_usb=1

Just using dev_boot_usb=1 is no longer enough, because the USB kernel is
signed using the recovery key and by pressing Ctrl-U, we validate it with
the kernel data key. That worked before this change because any self-signed
kernel was fine, and that's how the USB key was treated. Now it actually
requires a verified signature until you enable dev_boot_custom=1 also.


Boot once in normal mode, which clears the special flags. Then switch to
developer mode. You should be able to boot and get a root shell.


  crossystem dev_boot_usb=1

Obtain a USB recovery image that's keyed differently. For example, if you're
testing with dev-keys, use a PVT-signed image or vice-versa.

Reboot into dev-mode with the USB recovery stick inserted. At the dev-mode
screen, press Ctrl-U. You should hear a single beep, but it should not boot.

Press Ctrl-D to boot from the hard drive, log in to a shell and run

  crossystem dev_boot_custom=1

Repeat the previous test. This time when you press Ctrl-U, it should boot
the recovery image. Turn the system off before it does anything.

That's it.

Change-Id: I1811ee9a188974b3f94c83c52b00b60028b86c69
Tested-by: Bill Richardson <>
Reviewed-by: Randall Spangler <>
9 files changed