The LmP keys and certificates used during the build of a FoundriesFactory

LmP build system can use some online keys for signing some boot components of the software stack. It can handle the U-Boot, OP-TEE, Linux Kernel image and modules. The device RoT key (the key used for secure boot, for example) is not listed here as it is not an online key and is not used during the FoundriesFactory build.

When a FoundriesFactory is created, by default two set of keys are created under lmp-manifest repository. The key set under conf/keys is a copy of the default LmP public keys. The set under factory-keys is created during the FoundriesFactory creation and is unique for that Factory.


FoundriesFactories created prior to v83 do not have the factory-keys directory with the set of keys and certificates. In this case, the commands can be used to create the files.

The directory structure shown below:

├── conf
│   ├── keys
│   │   ├── dev.crt
│   │   ├── dev.key
│   │   ├── opteedev.crt
│   │   ├── opteedev.key
│   │   ├── privkey_modsign.pem
│   │   ├── ubootdev.crt
│   │   ├── ubootdev.key
│   │   ├── x509.genkey
│   │   └── x509_modsign.crt
│   └── local.conf
├── factory-keys
│   ├── opteedev.crt
│   ├── opteedev.key
│   ├── privkey_modsign.pem
│   ├── ubootdev.crt
│   ├── ubootdev.key
│   └── x509_modsign.crt

A pair is composed by a certificate (*.crt) and a key (*.key) file.

The dev pair is a generic RSA 2048 key pair and is not in use.

The opteedev pair is a RSA 2048 key pair used for OP-TEE. This is used by configuring the variable OPTEE_TA_SIGN_KEY.

The ubootdev pair is a RSA 2048 key pair used for U-Boot. This is used by configuring the variable UBOOT_SPL_SIGN_KEYNAME.

The file x509.genkey is a configuration file used for creating privkey_modsign.pem and x509_modsign.crt which is a RSA 2048 pair in PEM format, and is used for signing Linux Kernel Modules. This is used by configuring the variable MODSIGN_PRIVKEY.

Replacing the initial keys from factory

Each FoundriesFactory is created with a unique key set, however it is highly recommended to rotate the keys as needed. The suggestion is to rotate them each 6 to 24 months.


One of the aspects that can contribute to a secure system is to often rotate the used keys. So, it is highly recommended to rotate the keys each 6 to 24 months.


The file name for each key pair can be changed.

The variables from <factory>/meta-subscriber-overrides/conf/machine/include/ can be redefined to change filenames or paths, as needed. Those variables are shown below:

MODSIGN_KEY_DIR = "${TOPDIR}/conf/factory-keys"
UBOOT_SIGN_KEYDIR ?= "${TOPDIR}/conf/factory-keys"
OPTEE_TA_SIGN_KEY ?= "${TOPDIR}/conf/factory-keys/opteedev.key"

Some other variables can be added to that file in order to further customize the file name or path for the used keys:

#filename for the key/certificate for kernel modules
MODSIGN_PRIVKEY ?= "${MODSIGN_KEY_DIR}/privkey_modsign.pem"
MODSIGN_X509 ?= "${MODSIGN_KEY_DIR}/x509_modsign.crt"

#filename for U-Boot key/certificate
UBOOT_SIGN_KEYNAME ?= "ubootdev"

In the next sections, the command line on how to create the key pair for U-Boot, OP-TEE and Linux Kernel Modules. Assuming the lmp-manifest repository is cloned inside <factory> directory.

U-Boot keys

cd <factory>/lmp-manifest/factory-keys
openssl genpkey -algorithm RSA -out ubootdev.key \
        -pkeyopt rsa_keygen_bits:2048 \
        -pkeyopt rsa_keygen_pubexp:65537
openssl req -batch -new -x509 -key ubootdev.key -out ubootdev.crt

OP-TEE keys

cd <factory>/lmp-manifest/factory-keys
openssl genpkey -algorithm RSA -out opteedev.key \
        -pkeyopt rsa_keygen_bits:2048 \
        -pkeyopt rsa_keygen_pubexp:65537
openssl req -batch -new -x509 -key opteedev.key -out opteedev.crt

Linux Kernel Modules keys

In order to create the key used by Linux Kernel to sign the modules a configuration file is needed. The Linux Kernel documentation states the parameters needed for the configuration file.

For example, create a new text file with the following content or customize as needed:

[ req ]
default_bits = 4096
distinguished_name = req_distinguished_name
prompt = no
string_mask = utf8only
x509_extensions = myexts

[ req_distinguished_name ]
#O = Unspecified company
CN = Default insecure development key
#emailAddress = [email protected]

[ myexts ]

Or use the provided configuration file from <factory>/lmp-manifest/conf/keys/x509.genkey as shown in the following command:

cd <factory>/lmp-manifest/factory-keys
openssl req -new -nodes -utf8 -sha256 -days 36500 -batch -x509 \
        -config ../conf/keys/x509.genkey -outform PEM \
        -out x509_modsign.crt \
        -keyout privkey_modsign.pem


Don’t forget to push the new keys to get it included in the next CI build.