Encrypted Scratch Space in OpenSolaris 2009.06

Last week, I announced the availability of a set of scripts that could be used to enable encrypted swap in OpenSolaris 2009.06. Building upon this concept, today, I am happy to announce a new set of scripts that enables the creation of an encrypted file system (intended to be used as scratch space).

The method for creating these encrypted file systems is similar to the approach discussed by Darren in his posting on the topic of Encrypting ZFS Pools using LOFI. I had been working on a similar model for the Immutable Service Container project where I had wanted to be able to give each OpenSolaris zone that was created its own place to store sensitive information (such as key material) that would be effectively lost when the system was rebooted (without requiring a time-consuming disk scrubbing process).

The way these scripts work is quite simple. There is an SMF service, called isc-encrypted-scratch, that (if enabled) will automatically create encrypted scratch space for the global zone as well as any non-global zones on the system (by default). The creation of encrypted scratch space is configurable allowing you to specify which zones (including the global zone) can have one. You can specify which ZFS file system can be used as the home directory for the scratch space hierarchy. Using SMF properties and standard SMF service configuration methods, you can also specify the size of the encrypted scratch space.

Once created, you will have access to a ZFS file system (based upon a ZFS pool which itself is based upon an encrypted LOFI which itself is based upon a ZFS zvol - crazy eh?) The file systems created for the encrypted scratch space are destroyed and re-created upon boot (or service restart). Just as with the encrypted swap scripts, the encrypted LOFIs use ephemeral keys in conjunction with the AES-256-CBC cipher.

So, without further ado, let's get to the particulars. To enable encrypted scratch in OpenSolaris 2009.06, you need only follow the following steps.

Note that the following instructions assume that privileged operations will be executed by someone with administrative access (directly or via Solaris role-based access control). For the examples below, no changes were made to the default RBAC configuration. The commands as written were executed as the user created during the installation process.
  • Add the Encrypted Scratch Space SMF service. First, you will need to download the archive containing the encrypted scratch space SMF service manifest and method files. Note that these files are user contributed and as such are not officially a part of the OpenSolaris release nor are they officially supported by Sun. If you are ok with these terms, you should now download the archive and install the files using the following commands:

    $ wget -qnd http://mediacast.sun.com/users/gbrunette/media/smf-encrypted-scratch-v0.1.tar.bz2
    
    $ bzip2 -d -c ./smf-encrypted-scratch-v0.1.tar.bz2 | tar xf -
    
    $ cd ./smf-encrypted-scratch
    
    $ pfexec ./install.sh
    
    $ svccfg import /var/svc/manifest/site/isc-enc-scratch.xml
    
  • Configure the Encrypted Scratch Space Service. Unlike the Encrypted Swap SMF Service, this service is not enabled automatically. This is to allow you the opportunity to adjust its configuration should you want to change any of the following properties:
    • config/scratch_root. This property defines the root ZFS file system to be used for the scratch space hierarchy. By default, it is set to rpool/export. Based upon this value, a collection of scratch files will be created under this location (each in its own directory tied to the name of the zone).
    • config/scratch_size. This property defines the size of the scratch space. This value is used during the initial creation of a ZFS volume (zvol) and accepts the same values as would be accepted by the zfs create -V command. The default size is 100 Mbytes. Note that today, each individual encrypted scratch space on a single system must be the same size.
    • config/zone_list. This property defines the zones for which encrypted scratch space will be created. By default, this is all zones including the global zone. Setting this value to a zone or list of zones will cause encrypted scratch spaces to be only created for those specified.

    For example, to configure this service to create 1Gbyte encrypted scratch spaces, use the command:

    $ svccfg -s isc-encrypted-scratch setprop config/scratch_size = 1g
    $ svcadm refresh isc-encrypted-scratch
    

  • Enable the Encrypted Scratch Space Service. Once you have finished configuring the service, you can enable it using the standard SMF method:

    $ svcadm enable isc-encrypted-scratch
    

  • Verify the Encrypted Scratch Space Service. To verify that the service is operating correctly, you can use the following commands to verify that everything has been properly created. First, let's make sure the service is running:

    $ svcs isc-encrypted-scratch
    STATE          STIME    FMRI
    online         12:40:02 svc:/system/isc-encrypted-scratch:default
    

    Next, let's verify that all of the proper ZFS mount points and files have been created. Note that the scratch root in this case is the default (rpool/export) and under this location a new scratch file system has been created under which there is a file system for each zone on the system (global and test). For each zone, a 1 Gbyte scratch file has been created.

    $ zfs list -r rpool/export/scratch
    NAME                                       USED  AVAIL  REFER  MOUNTPOINT
    rpool/export/scratch                      2.00G  5.21G    19K  /export/scratch
    rpool/export/scratch/global               1.00G  5.21G    19K  /export/scratch/global
    rpool/export/scratch/global/scratch_file     1G  6.21G  1.15M  -
    rpool/export/scratch/test                 1.00G  5.21G    19K  /export/scratch/test
    rpool/export/scratch/test/scratch_file       1G  6.21G  1.15M  -
    

    Next, let's verify that the encrypted LOFIs have been created. The mapping of the device files back to the actual scratch file zvols is left as an exercise for the reader.

    $ lofiadm
    Block Device             File                           Options
    /dev/lofi/1              /devices/pseudo/zfs@0:1c,raw   Encrypted
    /dev/lofi/2              /devices/pseudo/zfs@0:2c,raw   Encrypted
    

    Next, let's verify that new zpools and ZFS file systems have been created from the encrypted LOFIs:

    $ zpool list
    NAME             SIZE   USED  AVAIL    CAP  HEALTH  ALTROOT
    rpool           11.9G  4.06G  7.88G    34%  ONLINE  -
    scratch-global  1016M    82K  1016M     0%  ONLINE  -
    scratch-test    1016M    82K  1016M     0%  ONLINE  -
    
    $ zpool status scratch-global scratch-test
      pool: scratch-global
     state: ONLINE
     scrub: none requested
    config:
    
            NAME           STATE     READ WRITE CKSUM
            scratch-global  ONLINE       0     0     0
              /dev/lofi/1  ONLINE       0     0     0
    
    errors: No known data errors
    
      pool: scratch-test
     state: ONLINE
     scrub: none requested
    config:
    
            NAME           STATE     READ WRITE CKSUM
            scratch-test   ONLINE       0     0     0
              /dev/lofi/2  ONLINE       0     0     0
    
    errors: No known data errors
    
    $ zfs list /scratch-\*
    NAME             USED  AVAIL  REFER  MOUNTPOINT
    scratch-global    70K   984M    19K  /scratch-global
    scratch-test      70K   984M    19K  /scratch-test
    

  • (Optional) Add Encrypted Scratch Space to a Non-Global Zone. At this point, you have everything that you need to get started. In fact, for the global zone, there are no further steps, but you can now assign the scratch space to a non-global zone (if desired) using the standard zonecfg mechanisms. For example, you could do the following:

    $ pfexec zonecfg -z test
    zonecfg:test> add dataset
    zonecfg:test:dataset> set name=scratch-test
    zonecfg:test:dataset> end
    zonecfg:test> verify
    zonecfg:test> 
    

  • (Optional) Verify Encrypted Scratch Space in a Non-Global Zone. Once booted, the new encrypted scratch space data set will be made available to the non-global zone:

    $ pfexec zlogin test
    [Connected to zone 'test' pts/2]
    Last login: Fri Jun 12 09:57:43 on pts/2
    
    root@test:~# zpool list scratch-test
    NAME           SIZE   USED  AVAIL    CAP  HEALTH  ALTROOT
    scratch-test  1016M  74.5K  1016M     0%  ONLINE  -
    
    root@test:~# df -k /scratch-test
    Filesystem            kbytes    used   avail capacity  Mounted on
    scratch-test         1007616      19 1007546     1%    /scratch-test
    root@test:~# 
    

    Upon reboot, each of the zones will be shut down before the encrypted scratch space is destroyed. Note that upon global zone or service restart, the encrypted scratch space will be re-created and therefore will not persist across global zone reboots. The encrypted scratch space will persist across non-global zone reboots.

    There you have it! Enabling encrypted scratch in OpenSolaris 2009.06 (for the global and non-global zones) is as easy as following these few simple steps. It is worth stating that this solution is just a temporary workaround. Once ZFS encryption is available, it should be used instead of this approach. In the meantime, however, if you are interested in enabling encrypted scratch on your OpenSolaris 2009.06 systems, give this model at try and please be sure to send along your feedback!

    Take care!

    P.S. Some of you may be wondering why the SMF service and associated files are labeled with an ISC prefix? The answer is simple. They were developed and are being used as part of the Immutable Service Container project! Look for more information and materials from this project in the near future!

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[Trackback] This article talks about how to enable encrypted scratch space on OpenSolaris 2009.06 using a set of contributed SMF scripts.

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