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Bug#983475: shim-signed-common: failure to install w/o SetVariable()

Control: reassign -1 grub2-common

Hi Heinrich,

[ reassigning to grub2-common, the package which includes grub-install ]

On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 09:08:15PM +0100, Heinrich Schuchardt wrote:
>Package: shim-signed-common
>Version: 1.33+15+1533136590.3beb971-7
>Severity: normal
>Dear Maintainer,
>on systems using U-Boot as firmware the UEFI runtime service
>SetVariable() is not available. Variable Boot0000 has to be set manually
>from the U-Boot console.
>The installation of shim-signed-common fails with:
>The following NEW packages will be installed:
>  shim-signed-common
>0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
>Need to get 0 B/13.3 kB of archives.
>After this operation, 50.2 kB of additional disk space will be used.
>Preconfiguring packages ...
>Can't exec "/tmp/shim-signed-common.config.PoZZwF": Permission denied at
>/usr/lib/aarch64-linux-gnu/perl-base/IPC/Open3.pm line 178.
>open2: exec of /tmp/shim-signed-common.config.PoZZwF configure  failed:
>Permission denied at /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/ConfModule.pm line 59.
>Selecting previously unselected package shim-signed-common.
>(Reading database ... 149437 files and directories currently installed.)
>Preparing to unpack
>.../shim-signed-common_1.33+15+1533136590.3beb971-7_all.deb ...
>Unpacking shim-signed-common (1.33+15+1533136590.3beb971-7) ...
>Setting up shim-signed-common (1.33+15+1533136590.3beb971-7) ...
>Installing for arm64-efi platform.
>grub-install: warning: Cannot set EFI variable Boot0000.
>grub-install: warning: efivarfs_set_variable: failed to create
>for writing: Read-only file system.
>grub-install: warning: _efi_set_variable_mode: ops->set_variable()
>failed: Read-only file system.
>grub-install: error: failed to register the EFI boot entry: Read-only
>file system.
>dpkg: error processing package shim-signed-common (--configure):
> installed shim-signed-common package post-installation script
>subprocess returned error exit status 1
>Errors were encountered while processing:
> shim-signed-common
>To make the package usable with U-Boot the installation should not fail
>but complete with a warning.

Apologies for not responding earlier...

This is a complicated situation, and there is no single right answer
at the moment. On platforms where EFI variables are settable
(e.g. most x86 machines, arm64 server machines), we absolutely *must*
report failure to install boot variables - this will make the system
fail to boot after installation. But on other platforms (e.g. most
current U-Boot systems), we can't install variables and instead we'll
have to install to the removable media path. AFAIK the U-Boot
developers are trying to add support for setting EFI variables on many
of their platforms, so hopefully this problem will go away soon.

In the meantime, to do a better job we need a reliable way to detect
if the platform can't support writing of EFI variables. Suggestiong
welcome. :-/

Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
Into the distance, a ribbon of black
Stretched to the point of no turning back

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