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2.2.22 Enabling FIPS Mode

To make an Oracle Linux 6.9 system compliant with Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) Publication 140-2, perform the following steps:

  1. Install the dracut-fips package:

    # yum install dracut-fips
  2. Recreate the initramfs file system:

    # dracut -f
  3. Identify either the device file path (device) under /dev of your system's boot device or its UUID (uuid) by using ls -l to examine the entries under /dev/disk/by-uuid.

  4. Add either a boot=device entry or a boot=UUID=uuid entry for the boot device to the kernel command line in /etc/grub.conf.

  5. Add a fips=1 entry to the kernel command line in /etc/grub.conf to specify strict FIPS compliance.

  6. Disable prelinking by setting PRELINKING=no in /etc/sysconfig/prelink.

  7. Remove all existing prelinking from binaries and libraries:

    # prelink -ua
  8. Install the openssh-server-fips and openssh-client-fips packages and their dependent packages:

    # yum install openssh-server-fips openssh-client-fips
  9. Shut down and reboot the system.


If you specify fips=1 on the kernel command line but omit a valid boot= entry, the system crashes because it cannot locate the kernel's .hmac file.

If you do not disable and remove all prelinking, users cannot log in and /usr/sbin/sshd does not start.

(Bug ID 17759117)