Provided by: mandos-client_1.4.0-1_amd64 bug


       mandos-client - Client for Mandos


       mandos-client [--connect ADDRESS:PORT | -c ADDRESS:PORT]
                     [--interface NAME | -i NAME]
                     [--pubkey FILE | -p FILE]
                     [--seckey FILE | -s FILE]
                     [--priority STRING]
                     [--dh-bits BITS]
                     [--delay SECONDS]
                     [--retry SECONDS]

       mandos-client {--help | -?}

       mandos-client --usage

       mandos-client {--version | -V}


       mandos-client is a client program that communicates with mandos(8) to get a password. In
       slightly more detail, this client program brings up a network interface, uses the
       interface’s IPv6 link-local address to get network connectivity, uses Zeroconf to find
       servers on the local network, and communicates with servers using TLS with an OpenPGP key
       to ensure authenticity and confidentiality. This client program keeps running, trying all
       servers on the network, until it receives a satisfactory reply or a TERM signal. After all
       servers have been tried, all servers are periodically retried. If no servers are found it
       will wait indefinitely for new servers to appear.

       This program is not meant to be run directly; it is really meant to run as a plugin of the
       Mandos plugin-runner(8mandos), which runs in the initial RAM disk environment because it
       is specified as a “keyscript” in the crypttab(5) file.


       The purpose of this is to enable remote and unattended rebooting of client host computer
       with an encrypted root file system. See the section called “OVERVIEW” for details.


       This program is commonly not invoked from the command line; it is normally started by the
       Mandos plugin runner, see plugin-runner(8mandos). Any command line options this program
       accepts are therefore normally provided by the plugin runner, and not directly.

       --connect=ADDRESS:PORT, -c ADDRESS:PORT
           Do not use Zeroconf to locate servers. Connect directly to only one specified Mandos
           server. Note that an IPv6 address has colon characters in it, so the last colon
           character is assumed to separate the address from the port number.

           This option is normally only useful for testing and debugging.

       --interface=NAME, -i NAME
           Network interface that will be brought up and scanned for Mandos servers to connect
           to. The default is the empty string, which will automatically choose an appropriate

           If the --connect option is used, this specifies the interface to use to connect to the
           address given.

           Note that since this program will normally run in the initial RAM disk environment,
           the interface must be an interface which exists at that stage. Thus, the interface can
           not be a pseudo-interface such as “br0” or “tun0”; such interfaces will not exist
           until much later in the boot process, and can not be used by this program.

           NAME can be the string “none”; this will not use any specific interface, and will not
           bring up an interface on startup. This is not recommended, and only meant for advanced

       --pubkey=FILE, -p FILE
           OpenPGP public key file name. The default name is “/conf/conf.d/mandos/pubkey.txt”.

       --seckey=FILE, -s FILE
           OpenPGP secret key file name. The default name is “/conf/conf.d/mandos/seckey.txt”.

           GnuTLS priority string for the TLS handshake. The default is
           “SECURE256:!CTYPE-X.509:+CTYPE-OPENPGP”. See gnutls_priority_init(3) for the syntax.
           Warning: changing this may make the TLS handshake fail, making server-client
           communication impossible.

           Sets the number of bits to use for the prime number in the TLS Diffie-Hellman key
           exchange. Default is 1024.

           After bringing the network interface up, the program waits for the interface to arrive
           in a “running” state before proceeding. During this time, the kernel log level will be
           lowered to reduce clutter on the system console, alleviating any other plugins which
           might be using the system console. This option sets the upper limit of seconds to
           wait. The default is 2.5 seconds.

           All Mandos servers are tried repeatedly until a password is received. This value
           specifies, in seconds, how long between each successive try for the same server. The
           default is 10 seconds.

           Enable debug mode. This will enable a lot of output to standard error about what the
           program is doing. The program will still perform all other functions normally.

           It will also enable debug mode in the Avahi and GnuTLS libraries, making them print
           large amounts of debugging output.

       --help, -?
           Gives a help message about options and their meanings.

           Gives a short usage message.

       --version, -V
           Prints the program version.


       This is part of the Mandos system for allowing computers to have encrypted root file
       systems and at the same time be capable of remote and/or unattended reboots. The computers
       run a small client program in the initial RAM disk environment which will communicate with
       a server over a network. All network communication is encrypted using TLS. The clients are
       identified by the server using an OpenPGP key; each client has one unique to it. The
       server sends the clients an encrypted password. The encrypted password is decrypted by the
       clients using the same OpenPGP key, and the password is then used to unlock the root file
       system, whereupon the computers can continue booting normally.

       This program is the client part. It is a plugin started by plugin-runner(8mandos) which
       will run in an initial RAM disk environment.

       This program could, theoretically, be used as a keyscript in /etc/crypttab, but it would
       then be impossible to enter a password for the encrypted root disk at the console, since
       this program does not read from the console at all. This is why a separate plugin runner
       (plugin-runner(8mandos)) is used to run both this program and others in in parallel, one
       of which will prompt for passwords on the system console.


       This program will exit with a successful (zero) exit status if a server could be found and
       the password received from it could be successfully decrypted and output on standard
       output. The program will exit with a non-zero exit status only if a critical error occurs.
       Otherwise, it will forever connect to any discovered Mandos servers, trying to get a
       decryptable password and print it.


       This program does not use any environment variables, not even the ones provided by


       /conf/conf.d/mandos/pubkey.txt, /conf/conf.d/mandos/seckey.txt
           OpenPGP public and private key files, in “ASCII Armor” format. These are the default
           file names, they can be changed with the --pubkey and --seckey options.


       Note that normally, command line options will not be given directly, but via options for
       the Mandos plugin-runner(8mandos).

       Normal invocation needs no options, if the network interface is “eth0”:


       Search for Mandos servers (and connect to them) using another interface:

       mandos-client --interface eth1

       Run in debug mode, and use a custom key:

       mandos-client --debug --pubkey keydir/pubkey.txt --seckey keydir/seckey.txt

       Run in debug mode, with a custom key, and do not use Zeroconf to locate a server; connect
       directly to the IPv6 link-local address “fe80::aede:48ff:fe71:f6f2”, port 4711, using
       interface eth2:

       mandos-client --debug --pubkey keydir/pubkey.txt --seckey keydir/seckey.txt --connect
       fe80::aede:48ff:fe71:f6f2:4711 --interface eth2


       This program is set-uid to root, but will switch back to the original (and presumably
       non-privileged) user and group after bringing up the network interface.

       To use this program for its intended purpose (see the section called “PURPOSE”), the
       password for the root file system will have to be given out to be stored in a server
       computer, after having been encrypted using an OpenPGP key. This encrypted data which will
       be stored in a server can only be decrypted by the OpenPGP key, and the data will only be
       given out to those clients who can prove they actually have that key. This key, however,
       is stored unencrypted on the client side in its initial RAM disk image file system. This
       is normally readable by all, but this is normally fixed during installation of this
       program; file permissions are set so that no-one is able to read that file.

       The only remaining weak point is that someone with physical access to the client hard
       drive might turn off the client computer, read the OpenPGP keys directly from the hard
       drive, and communicate with the server. To safeguard against this, the server is supposed
       to notice the client disappearing and stop giving out the encrypted data. Therefore, it is
       important to set the timeout and checker interval values tightly on the server. See

       It will also help if the checker program on the server is configured to request something
       from the client which can not be spoofed by someone else on the network, unlike
       unencrypted ICMP echo (“ping”) replies.

       Note: This makes it completely insecure to have Mandos clients which dual-boot to another
       operating system which is not trusted to keep the initial RAM disk image confidential.


       intro(8mandos), cryptsetup(8), crypttab(5), mandos(8), password-prompt(8mandos), plugin-

           Zeroconf is the network protocol standard used for finding Mandos servers on the local

           Avahi is the library this program calls to find Zeroconf services.

           GnuTLS is the library this client uses to implement TLS for communicating securely
           with the server, and at the same time send the public OpenPGP key to the server.

           GPGME is the library used to decrypt the OpenPGP data sent by the server.

       RFC 4291: IP Version 6 Addressing Architecture

           Section 2.2: Text Representation of Addresses

           Section IPv4-Mapped IPv6 Address

           Section 2.5.6, Link-Local IPv6 Unicast Addresses
               This client uses IPv6 link-local addresses, which are immediately usable since a
               link-local addresses is automatically assigned to a network interfaces when it is
               brought up.

       RFC 4346: The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol Version 1.1
           TLS 1.1 is the protocol implemented by GnuTLS.

       RFC 4880: OpenPGP Message Format
           The data received from the server is binary encrypted OpenPGP data.

       RFC 5081: Using OpenPGP Keys for Transport Layer Security
           This is implemented by GnuTLS and used by this program so that OpenPGP keys can be


       Copyright © 2008-2009, 2011 Teddy Hogeborn, Björn Påhlsson

       This manual page is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the
       terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation,
       either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

       This manual page is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY
       WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
       PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

       You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program.
       If not, see


        1. Zeroconf

        2. Avahi

        3. GnuTLS

        4. GPGME