LinuxBoot: A Fast, Reliable Open Source Firmware for Linux Servers

By Two Sigma on February 15, 2018
picture of blue cables that are nicely managed in zip tie

Two Sigma security researcher Trammell Hudson presents his work on the new LinuxBoot firmware—now an official Linux Foundation project.

Over the years, the critical boot process in Linux-based machines has become complex and dependent on closed source—not to mention less secure than it should be.

In response, Two Sigma, the Massachusetts Open Cloud, Google, Facebook, Horizon Computing and the Open Compute Project have been collaborating to build LinuxBoot, a new open source firmware for servers that’s more secure, more flexible, and more resilient.

LinuxBoot is a replacement for the proprietary UEFI firmware (which itself was a replacement for the very old BIOS firmware).  Like its predecessors, LinuxBoot resides in the ROM of the mainboard, in both servers and PCs.  It consists of a minimal GNU/Linux kernel and an “initrd runtime.” Users can customize the system boot process and the LinuxBoot code to handle just the devices that are needed and discard all unneeded code. This also allows security-conscious users to establish a hardware root of trust very early in the boot and for cloud systems to perform remote attestation as to their configuration prior to booting their real OS.

The video below features Two Sigma security researcher Trammell Hudson presenting his work on the LinuxBoot firmware at the 34C3 congress in Germany (slide notes available here).

bringing linux back to the server BIOS with LinuxBoot Title of the video

LinuxBoot is also now an official Linux Foundation project:

For more information on the project, visit

This content is being distributed for informational and educational purposes only and is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or other instruments. The information contained herein is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment advice.   The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of Two Sigma Investments, LP or any of its affiliates (collectively, “Two Sigma”).  Such views reflect the assumptions of the author(s) of the document and are subject to change without notice. The document may employ data derived from third-party sources. No representation is made by Two Sigma as to the accuracy of such information and the use of such information in no way implies an endorsement of the source of such information or its validity.   The copyrights and/or trademarks in some of the images, logos or other material used herein may be owned by entities other than Two Sigma. If so, such copyrights and/or trademarks are most likely owned by the entity that created the material and are used purely for identification and comment as fair use under international copyright and/or trademark laws. Use of such image, copyright or trademark does not imply any association with such organization (or endorsement of such organization) by Two Sigma, nor vice versa.  Click here for other important disclaimers and disclosures.