chkboot is a tool to help detect changes to an unencrypted /boot partition.
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chkboot is a set of scripts that are meant to be run on a system with an encrypted disk drive. Due to the nature of disk encryption, in order to get the operating system to boot, there needs to be a portion of it which remains un-encrypted. These scripts check that those files have not changed between reboots. Since the scripts and the data they generate are stored on the encrypted part of the disk, any attempts to modify the boot partition between reboots will be detected.


chkboot: When run as root, this generates sha256sum hashes of each boot file and the MBR of the boot partition if it exists, then compares the values of these hashes against previously generated hashes if they exist, and any files that don't match get added to a list. A timestamped log of all files that have had changes made to them is kept, but the short term list meant to alert the user is erased the next time chkboot is run.

chkboot-check: This file can be run by anyone who can view /var/lib/chkboot, and will display a warning a the list of changed files if any were detected last time chkboot was run.

chkboot.conf: Contans settings for your configuration, including which alert types will be used. Alert types are currently on shell login via '/etc/profile.d' and in the vterm header by modifying '/etc/issue'

INITCPIO SUPPORT: If your system uses initcpio, add 'chkboot' to the end of your modules array to have chkboot run automatically when you upgrade linux.

SYSTEMD SUPPORT: If your system uses systemd, you should enable the chkboot service to have your boot partitioned checked every time your system starts.

Package building

Note: This should work properly on Debian 8 (Jessie) and Debian 9 (Stretch).

First install the packages for building:

~# apt-get install git devscripts

Then clone this repository:

~$ git clone

Build the package:

~$ cd ./chkboot/
~$ dpkg-buildpackage -uc -us


Install package:

~# dpkg -i ../chkboot*.deb

Install zenity for graphical notifications about boot changes:

 ~# apt-get install zenity

Install missing dependencies:

~# apt-get -f install

IMPORTANT: Create an autostart entry that calls chkboot-desktopalert script to be notified about changes after login. For XFCE just copy the /usr/share/chkboot/chkboot.desktop to $HOME/.config/xfce/autostart/ directory. Every time this user logs in and boot changes are detected a message will be shown. NOTE: zenity or xmessage must be installed for this.

Manual Installation

Everything should be installed as shown below

install -D -m644 chkboot/chkboot.conf /etc/default/chkboot.conf
install -D -m755 chkboot/chkboot /usr/bin/chkboot
install -D -m755 chkboot/chkboot-check /usr/bin/chkboot-check
install -D -m755 chkboot/ /etc/profile.d/
install -D -m755 chkboot-desktopalert /usr/bin/chkboot-desktopalert

To make chkboot run on startup on BSD-style init-based systems (e.g. Debian, Ubuntu), add the following line to /etc/rc.local:

/usr/bin/chkboot &


Add chkboot to the end of the 'HOOKS' array in /etc/mkinitcpio.conf

install -D -m644 chkboot/chkboot-initcpio /usr/lib/initcpio/install/chkboot


Run systemctl --system daemon-reload and then systemctl enable chkboot


chkboot-bootcheck can be installed elsewhere and added to the startup sequence with another system:

install -D -m644 chkboot/debian/chkboot.service /usr/lib/systemd/system/chkboot.service
install -D -m755 chkboot/chkboot-bootcheck /usr/lib/systemd/scripts/chkboot-bootcheck

chkboot-desktopalert notifies the desktop user about the change and can be included as startup script in the desktop environment or window manager.


Maintainer: Grazzolini (

Author: Ju (ju at heisec dot de)

chkboot originally appeared in an article titled "Boot-Sicherung" in [c't magazin's March 2012 issue] 1. The original author is Juergen Schmidt, ju at The original source code can be found either at the first commit of this repository, or at the [original URL] 2.

Additional authors: Inhies ( Prurigro (

Contributors: sercxanto ( Philipp Meisberger (