TPM2 software stack maintainership

My last post left some work in progress on TPM2 event long handling hanging. Sadly the state of that work hasn’t progressed since. An now for the excuse: I’ve taken over maintainership of the TPM2.0-TSS project.

If you’ve ever taken over a large project with minimal time to plan for the “hand-off” then you’ll understand how that can derail pretty much every other technical project that you may have in progress. So I’ve had to back-burner the Grub / event log stuff for the short term. My focus these days is reverse engineering the internals of the TPM2.0-TSS and generally trying to make sense of the thousands of pages of relevant specs.

On the upside this is a great opportunity to get some much needed documentation and refactoring done for the TSS source tree. As the previous maintainer told me, the documentation for this code is the TPM specifications. This is synonymous with “no documentation” in my mind because while the TPM2 specs describe the functioning of a TPM and the associated software stack should behave it says nothing about how the source code is structured. This is the proverbial up hill battle that comes with taking over a “legacy software” project.

I’ve got a few posts in my backlog of lessons learned from trying to get my brain wrapped around this project. Up till now I’d just been making sure things built well and easily on Linux platforms and so my knowledge of the guts of the infrastructure was limited. Now that I’m neck deep in it I’ll do my best to get some lessons learned up here on the blog and unblock the writers block I’ve been suffering.

The first hurdle I had to overcome was making sense of the TPM2 response codes and their inherent complexity. After that I’m hoping to pick apart some of the unit tests that I’ve been pushing these last few weeks since those are mostly how I’m learning about the structure of the source code.

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