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Identifying ESXi boot method & boot device

Identifying ESXi boot method & boot device
Posted on 01/09/2018 by William Lam

There was an interesting discussion on our internal Socialcast platform last week on figuring out how an ESXi host is booted up whether it is from local device like a disk or USB device, Auto Deploy or even boot from SAN along with its respective boot device? Although I had answered the question, I was not confident that we actually had a reliable and programmatic method for identifying all the different ESXi boot methods, which of course piqued my interest. With a bit of trial and error in the lab, I believe I have found a method in which we can identify the ESXi boot type (Local, Stateless, Stateless Caching, Stateful or Boot from SAN) along with some additional details pertaining to the boot device. To demonstrate this, I have created the following PowerCLI script ESXiBootDevice.ps1 which contains a function called Get-ESXiBootDevice.[…]

https://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2018/01/identifying-esxi-boot-method-boot-device.html

https://github.com/lamw/vghetto-scripts/blob/master/powershell/ESXiBootDevice.ps1

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VMWare Workstation 14 available

[…]Workstation 14 Pro builds from the newest vSphere Virtual Hardware Platform, now at version 14, and with it delivers new features such as support for:
– Microsoft Device Guard and Credential Guard “Virtualization Based Security” feature support for Windows 10 Guests (Guests only at this time)
– A new Virtual NVMe device for faster disk access on SSD storage and a requirement for vSAN testing
– UEFI Secure Boot, required for VBS and supported with ESXi 6.5 Virtual Guests.
– A new Virtual Trusted Platform Module which is used to manage keys for guest encryption services such as BitLocker.
– Support for the latest Intel Kabylake and AMD Ryzen CPUs

https://blogs.vmware.com/workstation/2017/09/workstation-14-now-available.html

 

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Hagfish: UEFI Bootloader for Barrelfish

Barrelfish is a new research operating system being built from scratch and released by ETH Zurich in Switzerland, originally in collaboration with Microsoft Research and now partly supported by HP Enterprise Labs, Huawei, Cisco, Oracle, and VMware. […]

Hagfish is the Barrelfish/ARMv8 UEFI loader prototype: Hagfish (it’s a basal chordate i.e. something like the ancestor of all fishes). Hagfish is a second-stage bootloader for Barrelfish on UEFI platforms, most importantly the ARMv8 server platform. […]

http://www.barrelfish.org/

https://github.com/BarrelfishOS/hagfish

https://github.com/BarrelfishOS/uefi-sdk

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Secure Boot for VMWare

Secure Boot for ESXi 6.5 – Hypervisor Assurance
Mike Foley
I’ve talked about how vSphere has been moving towards a “secure by default” stance over the past few years. This can clearly be seen in the new vSphere 6.5 Security Configuration Guide where the number of  “hardening” steps are growing smaller with every release. In this blog post we will go over another “secure by default” feature of vSphere 6.5 that provides hypervisor assurance, Secure Boot for ESXi. One of the coolest things in 6.5,  in my opinion, is the adoption of Secure Boot for ESXi. Now, you might say “But my laptop has had Secure Boot  since Windows 8, what’s the big deal?” Well, the “big deal” is that we’ve gone beyond the default behavior of Secure Boot and we now leverage the capabilities of the UEFI firmware to ensure that ESXi not only boots with a signed bootloader validated by the host firmware but that it also ensures that unsigned code won’t run on the hypervisor. Best of all, it’s simple to implement! Let’s dive in![…]

https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2017/05/secure-boot-esxi-6-5-hypervisor-assurance.html

 

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VMWare and UEFI Secure Boot

Stephen J. Bigelow has an article in TechTarget.com on VMWare and Secure Boot:

VMware vSphere 6.5 takes an extra security step, building on UEFI secure boot with added cryptographic validation to all ESXi components. VMware vSphere 6.5 added numerous features designed to improve the security of virtual machines both at rest and…[…]

You’ll have to give TechTarget.com your email address to read the article. 😦

http://searchvmware.techtarget.com/answer/How-does-ESXi-secure-boot-improve-vSphere-security

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Secure Boot in vSphere 6.5

Tom Fenton has an article in Virtualization Review on the latest version of VMWare’s vSphere 6.5, and this release includes UEFI changes:

[…]Another major security upgrade in this release is “Secure Boot,” to prevent unauthorized operating systems and software from loading during the startup process. Secure Boot is a feature enabled by UEFI, and can be used not only when booting the hypervisor, but also when booting up the guests. VMware has also updated its logging to include the ability to track who did what on a vSphere system. […]

https://virtualizationreview.com/articles/2016/10/18/vsphere-6_5-first-look.aspx

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UEFI firmware patch for VMware workstation

The earlier post on this was when the project was a new project with no code. They have code now, which consists of a few shell scripts and a patch to linux/driver.c. Presume this is unofficial. 🙂

“This is a program to patch VMware Workstation 12 kernel modules and to sign them using a X.509 key and enrolling the key in the system UEFI firmware.”

https://github.com/hashhar/vmware-module-patch

https://firmwaresecurity.com/2016/09/05/vmware-uefi-firmware-key-patch/

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