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Subject: [FreeBSD-Announce] FreeBSD Errata Notice FreeBSD-EN-19:19.loader
From: FreeBSD Errata Notices <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2019 19:11:32 +0000 (UTC)

Hash: SHA512

FreeBSD-EN-19:19.loader                                         Errata Notice
                                                          The FreeBSD Project

Topic:          UEFI Loader Memory Fragmentation

Category:       core
Module:         loader
Announced:      2019-11-12
Credits:        Rebecca Cran
Affects:        FreeBSD 12.0 and later
Corrected:      2019-09-27 05:12:28 UTC (stable/12, 12.1-STABLE)
                2019-11-12 18:10:26 UTC (releng/12.1, 12.1-RELEASE-p1)
                2019-11-12 18:10:26 UTC (releng/12.0, 12.0-RELEASE-p12)

For general information regarding FreeBSD Errata Notices and Security
Advisories, including descriptions of the fields above, security
branches, and the following sections, please visit

I.   Background

Prior to executing the kernel, the UEFI loader must obtain the final memory
map from the firmware and pass it to the kernel for consumption.

II.  Problem Description

Allocating memory to retrieve the memory map may cause further fragmentation
in the memory map.  This fragmentation may cause the memory map to grow
enough for the previously allocated memory to no longer be sufficient to
hold the memory map.  In this case, the UEFI loader would simply fail to
boot the kernel instead of reallocating and attempting to fetch the memory
map again.

III. Impact

Some systems may intermittently fail to boot due to this fragmentation, and
require a restart.

IV.  Workaround

No workaround is available.  Systems that are not configured to boot via the
UEFI loader are not affected, and not all systems that are configured to
boot via the UEFI loader will exhibit this behavior.

V.   Solution

Upgrade your system to a supported FreeBSD stable or release / security
branch (releng) dated after the correction date.

Perform one of the following:

1) To update your system via a binary patch:

Systems running a RELEASE version of FreeBSD on the i386 or amd64
platforms can be updated via the freebsd-update(8) utility:

# freebsd-update fetch
# freebsd-update install

2) To update your system via a source code patch:

The following patches have been verified to apply to the applicable
FreeBSD release branches.

a) Download the relevant patch from the location below, and verify the
detached PGP signature using your PGP utility.

[FreeBSD 12.x]
# fetch
# fetch
# gpg --verify loader.patch.asc

b) Apply the patch.  Execute the following commands as root:

# cd /usr/src
# patch < /path/to/patch

c) Recompile the operating system using buildworld and installworld as
described in <URL:>.

If the system was first installed with FreeBSD 12.0 or later a copy of the
EFI loader is installed as \EFI\freebsd\loader.efi on the EFI System
Partition (ESP).  In that case mount the ESP and copy /boot/loader.efi to

VI.  Correction details

The following list contains the correction revision numbers for each
affected branch.

Branch/path                                                      Revision
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
stable/12/                                                        r352788
releng/12.1/                                                      r354652
releng/12.0/                                                      r354652
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------

To see which files were modified by a particular revision, run the
following command, replacing NNNNNN with the revision number, on a
machine with Subversion installed:

# svn diff -cNNNNNN --summarize svn://

Or visit the following URL, replacing NNNNNN with the revision number:


VII. References

The latest revision of this advisory is available at

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