Systemd 255 is here with improved UKI support

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The 255th adaptation of systemd is here, banishing abutment for breach and unmerged /usr directories but adorning its UKI cossack support.

Although Systemd 255 mainly consolidates and builds on changes that were appear earlier, it does accept some new features.

A arresting one may prove to be the new BSOD service, which is absolutely added acceptable than it sounds. Yes, it does angle for Blue Screen Of Death aloof like in Windows, but the abstraction is that LOG_EMERG level letters – acceptation an busted arrangement – will be displayed on the machine's animate full-screen. This severity of absurdity usually agency that the computer bootless to boot, and the new apparatus can alike try to affectation a QR code, facilitating the aboriginal band of recourse of any competent BOFH: attractive the absurdity bulletin up on Google.

Version 255 is FF in hexadecimal and 11111111 in binary: a byte with all eight $.25 set. Next bounce will see adaptation 256, acceptation 0b100000000 or 0x100, and we doubtable that a few distros may accept problems with that adaptation cardinal – but they are apparently baby issues. A bigger one is that this absolution requires distributions to accept completed the /usr merge process. This claim was appear able-bodied in advance, and we discussed what it means aback back systemd 254 came out. Merging the /usr hierarchies was a Fedora initiative, and was completed aback in 2012 in Fedora 17, aka "Beefy Miracle." It has additionally been the absence in new installations of Ubuntu since 19.04, and in openSUSE Tumbleweed back 2021.

Debian started the /usr absorb process in 2016, but as LWN reported in 2018 it hit some problems, and alike by aftermost June these were not absolutely resolved. However, aback in October, the Debian developers lifted the moratorium on affective files from locations beneath the basis agenda to ones beneath /usr; the project status page has added details. The action may be complete by Debian 13, accepted in 2025. The accepted Debian "Bookworm" uses systemd 252, and we apprehend that it will until its end of life, so systemd 255 won't affect Debian abiding releases.

Version 255 will be the aftermost one that supports v1 of the kernel's cgroups feature. Some added appearance are now deprecated or angry off, such as abutment for SysV account scripts, the SystemdOptions EFI variable, and user-specified arrangement suspend, adumbrate and hybrid-sleep states in the systemd-sleep.conf file. Using the atom command-line ambit to attenuate TCP/IP now turns off added IPv6 functionality. Only the initrd can now about-face the basis filesystem, and to do that on active systems, sysadmins should use the soft-reboot action alien in systemd 254.

Over two dozen of the changes accompanying to Agent P's new Unified Kernel Image cossack files, which we examined in abyss aftermost year. Support for this started actualization in systemd 252 and added supporting tools came with systemd 253. There is still added to appear – for instance, absolution 255 introduces a new systemd-pcrlock tool for administration TPM2 PCR "measurements". PCR stands for Platform Configuration Registers; the aboriginal eight (0-7) are assured by the Trusted Computing Group specification. PCRs 8 and upwards are authentic by the OS, as explained in this Fedora Magazine article.

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We explained how this being works in the beforehand three articles, affiliated above. The controlling arbitrary is that this new applique improves abutment for booting Linux with Intel and Microsoft's Secure Boot feature, including automatically unlocking absolutely encrypted disks application keys captivated in the TPM2 chip's memory. The ambition is not defective a animal to manually access a passphrase afore the computer boots up. That's accomplished if you encrypt your laptop's adamantine disk, but it's actual abundant not accomplished for a server in a alien datacenter somewhere, or for an encrypted VM. Secure Boot acclimated to be a Windows-only feature, but TPM2 abutment is appropriate for Windows 11, and for Windows Server 2022 if you use Bitlocker encryption.

Most Linux users will apparently aboriginal accommodated systemd 255 in Ubuntu 24.04 and Fedora 40, both due aboriginal abutting year. ®