Setting up VSCode for RCE on M1

This method assumes you have working QEMU machine running on M1. Following steps prepare vm for running VSCode Remote Extension which is useful in case you wish to use debugger and run commands easily.

NOTE : this doesn’t work for ssh to root because vscode assumes its in linuxulator root

NOTE : This setup can’t run make buildworld buildkernel becuase while changing .profile we change priority of many binaries. To run buildworld or buildkernel disable path export in .profile

NOTE : its possible you are connecting to wrong host, as it might very on system restarts. Use ifconfig to check ip to ssh.

NOTE : try to attach to debugger over network and nfsd

NOTE : Sometimes dhcp doesn’t work properly on m1 host, usually due to system upgrades and reboots. execute this if your qemu machine doesn’t get an ipv4 address on host. since we run vm in host mode, bootpd offers the DHCP lease

# add bootpd to firewall
sudo /usr/libexec/ApplicationFirewall/socketfilterfw --add /usr/libexec/bootpd
# allow bootpd to run thru firewall
sudo /usr/libexec/ApplicationFirewall/socketfilterfw --unblock /usr/libexec/bootpd


On Host Machine Setup User

  • Create a user
# execute
# follow thru default for most of options but make sure to add user to wheel user group
  • Add your public ssh keys in .ssh/authorized_keys
# become user & add your public key to authorized_keys
su - smk
mkdir .ssh
touch .ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 700 .ssh
echo "YOUR_KEY" >> .ssh/authorized_keys

Enable sshd service (if not enabled)

# add this line to /etc/rc.conf
echo "sshd_enable=YES" >> /etc/rc.conf

# or alternatively use
# sysrc sshd_enable="YES"

service sshd restart

# to watch login logs for debug
tail -f /var/log/auth.log

# from you mac
ssh <user>@<ip> -i <identity_file>
  • Add your user to sudoers
# install sudo
pkg install sudo wget curl

# always use visudo to edit sudoers file or else system can brick

# uncomment any one of these lines, based on preference
# %wheel ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL

su - smk
sudo whoami
# should be root

Enable linuxulator and install linux Userland

sysrc linux_enable="YES"
service linux start
pkg install linux_base-c7

# check installation
/compat/linux/usr/bin/uname -a
# sometimes first install don't work fine until reboot

# more :

Enable bash config files

# add following .profile for the user you want to ssh
export PATH="/compat/linux/usr/sbin:/compat/linux/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin"

# note on next login make sure .profile is loaded and echo $PATH is same as what you set
# only login shells load .profile so its possible it may not be set when ssh freebsd-vm is used, check this is loaded on vscode terminal

SSH Config Block

Host freebsd-vm
    Port 22
    User smk
    IdentityFile /Users/smk/.ssh/id_ed25519
    RemoteCommand /compat/linux/usr/bin/bash
    RequestTTY force

On VSCode

  • Now install remote ssh plugin on VS-Code
  • Make sure this is enabled : remote.SSH.enableRemoteCommand": true
  • <cmd>+<shift>+p and look for remote ssh : connect to host : freebsd-vm
  • <cmd>+<shift>+p and look for preferences : open remote settings (freebsd-vm)
  • Add following config specifying shell you wish to enable :
    "terminal.integrated.defaultProfile.linux": "bash"
  • Reconnect to host and you got a shell yay

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