Table of Content

  1. Floor
  2. System
  3. Applications, Services and User

This section describes how the Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) platform applies some of the previously described security concepts to implement platform security

Platform Definition

The Automotive Grade Linux(AGL) platform is a Linux distribution with AGL compliant applications and services. The platform includes the following hardware: - SoC (System-on-Chip) - Memory (RAM, ROM, storage, etc.) - Peripherals

The AGL platform includes the following software: - Linux BSP configured for reference boards - Proprietary device drivers for common peripherals on reference boards - Application framework - Windows/layer management (Graphics) - Sound resource management - An atomic software update system - Building and debug tools (based on Yocto project)

For more details, refer to the AGL Architecture/Specification Document.

Secure Boot

Currently, AGL does not provide a secure boot solution but highly recommends that the manufactured solution make use of a secure boot mechanism. For instructions on securing u-boot, please refer to the System Hardening Guide.

Certificate and Key Management

Currently, AGL does not provide a secure certificate and key management solution but highly recommends that the manufactured solution make use of secure key management.

Mandatory Access Control

Mandatory Access Control (MAC) is a protection provided by the Linux kernel that requires a Linux Security Module (LSM). AGL uses an LSM called Simplified Mandatory Access Control Kernel (SMACK). This protection involves the creation of SMACK labels as part of the extended attributes SMACK labels to the extended attributes of the file and then creation of a policy to define the behaviour of each label. The kernel controls access based on these labels and this policy.

There are two types of SMACK labels. * An Execution SMACK label of a process defines how files are accessed and created by that process.

  • The File Access SMACK label defines which process can access the file. This SMACK label is written to the extended attribute of the file.

By default a process executes with its File Access SMACK label unless an Execution SMACK label is defined.

AGL’s SMACK scheme is based on the Tizen 3 Q2/2015. It divides the System into the following domains :


The floor domain includes the base system services and any associated data and libraries. This data remains unchanged at runtime. Writing to floor files or directories is allowed only in development mode or by installation and upgrade software.

The following table details the floor domain:

Label Name File Process Comment
- Floor r-x for all Only kernel and
internal kernel thread
^ Hat — for all rx on all domains Only for privileged system services (currently only systemd-journal). Useful for backup or virus scans. No file with this label should exist except in the debug log.
* Star rwx for all None used for device files or /tmp Access restriction managed via DAC. Individual files remain protected by their SMACK label.


The system domain includes a reduced set of core system services of the OS and any associated data. This data may change at runtime.

The following table details the system domain:

Label Name File Process Comment
System System none Privileged
Process should write only to file with transmute attribute.
System::run Run rwxatl for User and System label None Files are created with the directory label
from user and system domain (transmute)
Lock is implicit with w.
System::shared Shared rwxatl for system domain
r-x for User label
None Files are created with the directory label from system domain (transmute)
User domain has locked privilege
System::Log Log rwa for System label
xa for user label
None Some limitation may impose to add w to enable append.
System::Sub SubSystem Subsystem Config files SubSystem only Isolation of risky Subsystem**

Applications, Services and User

The application, services and user domain includes code that provides services to the system and user, as well as any associated data. All code running in this domain is under Cynara control.

The following table details the application, services and user domain:

Label Name File Process Comment
App::$AppID AppID rwx (for files created by the App).
rx for files installed by AppFW
$App runtime
executing $App
Only one Label is allowed per App.
A data directory is created by the AppFW in rwx mode.
Older releases still use User::App::$AppID
User::Home Home rwx-t from System label
r-x-l from App
None AppFW needs to create a directory in /home/$USER/App-Shared at first launch if not present with label
app-data access is “User::App-Shared”
without transmute.
App-Shared Shared rwxat from System and User domains label of $User None Shared space between all App running for a given user.
Older releases may still use User::App-Shared

Yocto Security Layer

Currently, AGL relies on Cynara and Security Manager from Yocto Layer meta-intel-iot-security. Please note that support for these components has been dropped in the upstream project.

Application API Transport

Currently, AGL Application framework uses D-Bus interface for transport and uses the inherent security that comes with this protocol.

Resource Management and Protection

AGL provides resource management and protection through SMACK labels. Please refer to application framework documentation for more details.


Currently, AGL does not provide any direct support for TrustZone. This feature strictly depends on the SoC and is only available on ARM architectures.

AGL Platform Software Update

The update solution must be atomic and the following update requirements: - Support Smack as MAC - Support Read-Only Filesystem - Support Integrity Enforcement

Currently AGL offers a reference implementation of the Over-The-Air update system using OSTree. Work is being done to secure the OTA updates using Uptane.

For more information on Uptane, please refer to:

Cloud Service Infrastructure

Currently, AGL does not provide a any cloud service infrastructure

For recommendations on hardening the system, please refer to the System Hardening Guide.