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Re: Checksummed environments

From: Daniel Kiper
Subject: Re: Checksummed environments
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2018 23:09:33 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

On Fri, Apr 06, 2018 at 03:08:23PM +0200, Kristian Amlie wrote:
> On 06/04/18 14:35, Daniel Kiper wrote:
> > On Fri, Apr 06, 2018 at 11:25:22AM +0200, Kristian Amlie wrote:
> >> Hey, I work for, developing update software for embedded
> >> Linux devices.
> >>
> >> I have a question about GRUB's environment block: This block is not
> >
> > I am not sure what exactly you mean by "GRUB's environment block".
> > Could you send me some references to the code?
> Of course, sorry if the context wasn't clear. I'm talking about the
> environment block mentioned here:
> which is used to store information from one boot to the next, using
> save_env and load_env.
> >> checksummed, and hence I reckon it can become corrupt if power is lost
> >> in the middle of a write.
> >
> > What about the other blocks?
> In theory, there is only one block, because it is written in-place,
> directly on disk, without changing any other filesystem blocks. Is that
> what you meant by "other blocks"?
> >> This is an important safety criterion for us, so we've been thinking of
> >> developing environment block checksumming as an extension to the
> >> existing save_env and load_env commands. The most likely approach will
> >> be to grab X amount of bytes at the end of the block and use these for
> >> the checksum.
> >
> > Could you tell us more about that?
> The idea comes from U-Boot [1], which uses a dedicated block on a
> storage device to store data, and uses a CRC32 checksum to make sure it
> is consistent. The motivation is to be able to detect that the block is
> corrupt, rather than accepting a block of data that may have incorrect
> data in if a write was interrupted midway by a powerloss. You can read
> more about it in the link.
> [2]

I am OK with the idea. However, I think that the feature should have
a kind of switch to turn it off/on. At first sight it looks that new
environment variable is sufficient for it.


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