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Configuring the Boot Process in SUSE Linux Enterprise

In this hands-on lab, we will be looking at applying a password to the GRUB2 bootloader in SUSE Linux Enterprise. This is part of the server hardening process and is a security best practice within enterprise computing environments.

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Path Info

Clock icon Beginner
Clock icon 30m
Clock icon Dec 20, 2019

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Table of Contents

  1. Challenge

    Create a Password for Use with GRUB2

    1. Generate a GRUB2 password and copy the resulting hash:

      sudo -i grub2-mkpasswd-pbkdf2

      Enter the cloud_user password provided with the lab credentials.

    2. Copy the resulting hash, which starts with grub.pbkdf2.sha512. (It will be really long).

    3. Open the /etc/grub.d/40_custom file:

      sudo -i vim /etc/grub.d/40_custom
    4. The contents of the file should be:

      exec tail -n +3 $0
      # This file provides an easy way to add custom menu entries.  Simply type the
      # menu entries you want to add after this comment.  Be careful not to change
      # the 'exec tail' line above.
      set superusers="root"
      password_pbkdf2 root <LONG_PASSWORD_HASH>
  2. Challenge

    Edit the GRUB2 Configuration to Use the Created Password

    1. Generate the GRUB2 configuration file:

      sudo -i grub2-mkconfig --output=/tmp/grub2.cfg
    2. Copy the file:

      sudo -i cp /tmp/grub2.cfg /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
    3. List the contents of the file you copied to ensure it contains the password entry:

      sudo -i cat /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
    4. Reboot the system:

      sudo -i reboot

      Because we do not have access to the boot process of the cloud server, a reboot would render the server inaccessible due to the prompt for the boot password. Reboot the server and you will no longer be able to log in.

The Cloud Content team comprises subject matter experts hyper focused on services offered by the leading cloud vendors (AWS, GCP, and Azure), as well as cloud-related technologies such as Linux and DevOps. The team is thrilled to share their knowledge to help you build modern tech solutions from the ground up, secure and optimize your environments, and so much more!

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