Run-time Integrity Monitoring

Keylimes run-time integrity monitoring requires the set up of Linux IMA.

You should refer to your Linux Distributions documentation to enable IMA, but as a general guide most recent versions already have CONFIG_IMA toggled to Y as a value during Kernel compile.

It is then just a case of deploying an ima-policy file. On a Fedora or Debian system, the file is situated in /etc/ima/ima-policy.

For configuration of your IMA policy, please refer to the IMA Documentation

Within Keylime we use the following for demonstration:

dont_measure fsmagic=0x9fa0
dont_measure fsmagic=0x62656572
dont_measure fsmagic=0x64626720
dont_measure fsmagic=0x01021994
dont_measure fsmagic=0x858458f6
dont_measure fsmagic=0x73636673
measure func=BPRM_CHECK
measure func=FILE_MMAP mask=MAY_EXEC
measure func=MODULE_CHECK uid=0

This default policy measures all executables in bprm_check, all files mmapped executable in file_mmap and module checks.

Once your ima-policy is in place, reboot your machine (or even better have it present in your image for first boot).

You can then verify IMA is measuring your system:

# head -5 /sys/kernel/security/ima/ascii_runtime_measurements
PCR                                  template-hash filedata-hash                                 filename-hint
10 3c93cea361cd6892bc8b9e3458e22ce60ef2e632 ima-ng sha1:ac7dd11bf0e3bec9a7eb2c01e495072962fb9dfa boot_aggregate
10 3d1452eb1fcbe51ad137f3fc21d3cf4a7c2e625b ima-ng sha1:a212d835ca43d7deedd4ee806898e77eab53dafa /usr/lib/systemd/systemd
10 e213099a2bf6d88333446c5da617e327696f9eb4 ima-ng sha1:6da34b1b7d2ca0d5ca19e68119c262556a15171d /usr/lib64/
10 7efd8e2a3da367f2de74b26b84f20b37c692b9f9 ima-ng sha1:af78ea0b455f654e9237e2086971f367b6bebc5f /usr/lib/systemd/
10 784fbf69b54c99d4ae82c0be5fca365a8272414e ima-ng sha1:b0c601bf82d32ff9afa34bccbb7e8f052c48d64e /etc/

Keylime IMA whitelists

A whitelist is a set of “golden” cryptographic hashes of a files un-tampered state.

The structure of the white list is a hash followed by a full POSIX path to the file:

ffe3ad4c395985d143bd0e45a9a1dd09aac21b91 /path/to/file

Keylime will load the whitelist into the Keylime Verifier. Keylime will then poll tpm quotes to PCR 10 on the agents TPM and validate the agents file(s) state against the whitelist. If the object has been tampered with, the hashes will not match and Keylime will place the agent into a failed state. Likewise, if any files invoke the actions stated in ima-policy that are not matched in the whitelist, keylime will place the agent into a failed state.

Generate a whitelist

Keylime provides a script to generate whitelists from initramfs, but this is only a guide. We encourage developers / users of Keylime to be creative and come up with their own process for securely creating and maintaining a whitelist.

The script is available here

Run the script as follows:

#  whitelist.txt [hash-algo]

With [hash-algo] being sha1sum, sha256sum (note, you need the OpenSSL app installed to have the shasum CLI applications available).

This will then result in whitelist.txt being available for Agent provisioning.


It’s best practice to create the whitelist in a secure environment. Ideally, this should be on a fully encrypted, air gapped computer that is permanently isolated from the Internet. Disable all network cards and sign the whitelist hash to ensure no tampering occurs when transferring to other machines.

Alongside building a whitelist from initramfs, you could also generate good hashes for your applications files or admin scripts that will run on the remotely attested machine.

Excludes List

An excludes list can be utilised to exclude any file or path. The excludes list supports standard regular expressions, for example the tmp directory can be ignored:


Remotely Provision Agents

Now that we have our whitelist available, we can send it to the verifier.

Using the keylime_tenant we can send the whitelist and our excludes list as follows:

keylime_tenant -v <verifier-ip> -t <agent-ip> -f /path/excludes.txt --uuid D432FBB3-D2F1-4A97-9EF7-75BD81C00000 --whitelist /path/whitelist.txt --exclude /path/excludes.txt


If your agent is already registered, you can use -c update

Should you prefer, you can set the values ima_whitelist & ima_excludelist within /etc/keylime.conf, you can then use default as follows:

`keylime_tenant -v -t neptune -f /root/excludes.txt --uuid D432FBB3-D2F1-4A97-9EF7-75BD81C00000 --whitelist default --exclude default`

The whitelist can also be uploaded using the WebApp:


How can I test this?

Create a script that does anything (for example echo “hello world”) that is not present in your whitelist or the excludes list. Run the script as root on the agent machine. You will then see the following output on the verifier showing the agent status change to failed:

keylime.tpm - INFO - Checking IMA measurement list...
keylime.ima - WARNING - File not found in whitelist: /root/
keylime.ima - ERROR - IMA ERRORS: template-hash 0 fnf 1 hash 0 good 781
keylime.cloudverifier - WARNING - agent D432FBB3-D2F1-4A97-9EF7-75BD81C00000 failed, stopping polling