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tpm2_policypcr - Man Page

Create a policy that includes specific PCR values.


tpm2_policypcr [Options]


tpm2_policypcr(1) - Generates a PCR policy event with the TPM. A PCR policy event creates a policy bound to specific PCR values and is useful within larger policies constructed using policyor and policyauthorize events. See tpm2_policyor(1) and tpm2_policyauthorize(1) respectively for their usages. The PCR data factored into the policy can be specified in one of 3 ways: 1. A file containing a concatenated list of PCR values as in the output from tpm2_pcrread. 2. Requiring the PCR values be read off the TPM by not specifying a PCR file input. 3. The digest of all the PCR values directly specified as an argument.



Context Object Format

The type of a context object, whether it is a handle or file name, is determined according to the following logic in-order:

Authorization Formatting

Authorization for use of an object in TPM2.0 can come in 3 different forms: 1. Password 2. HMAC 3. Sessions

Note: “Authorizations default to the EMPTY PASSWORD when not specified”.


Passwords are interpreted in the following forms below using prefix identifiers.

Note: By default passwords are assumed to be in the string form when they do not have a prefix.


A string password, specified by prefix “str:” or it’s absence (raw string without prefix) is not interpreted, and is directly used for authorization.




A hex-string password, specified by prefix “hex:” is converted from a hexidecimal form into a byte array form, thus allowing passwords with non-printable and/or terminal un-friendly characters.




A file based password, specified be prefix “file:” should be the path of a file containing the password to be read by the tool or a “-” to use stdin. Storing passwords in files prevents information leakage, passwords passed as options can be read from the process list or common shell history features.


# to use stdin and be prompted

# to use a file from a path

# to echo a password via stdin:
echo foobar | tpm2_tool -p file:-

# to use a bash here-string via stdin:

tpm2_tool -p file:- <<< foobar


When using a policy session to authorize the use of an object, prefix the option argument with the session keyword. Then indicate a path to a session file that was created with tpm2_startauthsession(1). Optionally, if the session requires an auth value to be sent with the session handle (eg policy password), then append a + and a string as described in the Passwords section.


To use a session context file called session.ctx.


To use a session context file called session.ctx AND send the authvalue mypassword.


To use a session context file called session.ctx AND send the HEX authvalue 0x11223344.


PCR Authorizations

You can satisfy a PCR policy using the “pcr:” prefix and the PCR minilanguage. The PCR minilanguage is as follows: <pcr-spec>=<raw-pcr-file>

The PCR spec is documented in in the section “PCR bank specifiers”.

The raw-pcr-file is an optional argument that contains the output of the raw PCR contents as returned by tpm2_pcrread(1).

PCR bank specifiers


To satisfy a PCR policy of sha256 on banks 0, 1, 2 and 3 use a specifier of:


specifying AUTH.

PCR Bank Specifiers

PCR Bank Selection lists follow the below specification:

<BANK>:<PCR>[,<PCR>] or <BANK>:all

multiple banks may be separated by `+'.

For example:


will select PCRs 3 and 4 from the SHA1 bank and PCRs 0 to 23 from the SHA256 bank.

Certain commands support specifying forward sealing values as well:


This will select the current values for PCRs 0 and 2, but use the specified value for PCR 1. Digest lengths must match the bank size. An optional 0x prefix will be stripped off.


PCR Selections allow for up to 5 hash to pcr selection mappings. This is a limitation in design in the single call to the tpm to get the pcr values. PCR.

Common Options

This collection of options are common to many programs and provide information that many users may expect.

TCTI Configuration

The TCTI or “Transmission Interface” is the communication mechanism with the TPM. TCTIs can be changed for communication with TPMs across different mediums.

To control the TCTI, the tools respect:

  1. The command line option -T or --tcti
  2. The environment variable: TPM2TOOLS_TCTI.

Note: The command line option always overrides the environment variable.

The current known TCTIs are:

The arguments to either the command line option or the environment variable are in the form:


Specifying an empty string for either the <tcti-name> or <tcti-option-config> results in the default being used for that portion respectively.

TCTI Defaults

When a TCTI is not specified, the default TCTI is searched for using dlopen(3) semantics. The tools will search for tabrmd, device and mssim TCTIs IN THAT ORDER and USE THE FIRST ONE FOUND. You can query what TCTI will be chosen as the default by using the -v option to print the version information. The “default-tcti” key-value pair will indicate which of the aforementioned TCTIs is the default.

Custom TCTIs

Any TCTI that implements the dynamic TCTI interface can be loaded. The tools internally use dlopen(3), and the raw tcti-name value is used for the lookup. Thus, this could be a path to the shared library, or a library name as understood by dlopen(3) semantics.

Tcti Options

This collection of options are used to configure the various known TCTI modules available:


Starts a trial session, builds a PCR policy and uses that policy in the creation of an object. Then, it uses a policy session to unseal some data stored in the object.

Step 1: create a policy

tpm2_createprimary -C e -g sha256 -G ecc -c primary.ctx

tpm2_pcrread -o pcr.dat "sha1:0,1,2,3"

tpm2_startauthsession -S session.dat

tpm2_policypcr -S session.dat -l "sha1:0,1,2,3" -f pcr.dat -L policy.dat

tpm2_flushcontext session.dat

Step 2: create an object using that policy

tpm2_create -Q -u key.pub -r key.priv -C primary.ctx -L policy.dat \
-i- <<< "12345678"

tpm2_load -C primary.ctx -u key.pub -r key.priv -n unseal.key.name \
-c unseal.key.ctx

Step 3: Satisfy the policy

tpm2_startauthsession --policy-session -S session.dat

tpm2_policypcr -S session.dat -l "sha1:0,1,2,3" -f pcr.dat -L policy.dat

Step 4: Use the policy

tpm2_unseal -psession:session.dat -c unseal.key.ctx

tpm2_flushcontext session.dat


Tools can return any of the following codes:


It expects a session to be already established via tpm2_startauthsession(1) and requires one of the following:

Without it, most resource managers will not save session state between command invocations.


Github Issues (https://github.com/tpm2-software/tpm2-tools/issues)


See the Mailing List (https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/tpm2)


tpm2-tools General Commands Manual