Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 31st Oct 2011 12:25 UTC
Linux "Red Hat, Canonical and the Linux Foundation have laid out a set of recommendations for hardware vendors in hopes of preserving the ability to install Linux on Windows 8 machines. Windows 8 machines should ship in a setup mode giving users more control right off the bat, the groups argue." Group hug-cheer combo for Red Hat, Canonical, and the Linux Foundation please.
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"How is it a PITA? Going into the BIOS and turning it off is a pain in the ass? How lazy are you?"

There are really two issues at stake:

1. The ability to the option off AND have windows continue working without restriction so that dual boot is possible. It's entirely up to microsoft whether normal dual booting will be possible or not. If MS decide to require secure boot to boot a fully functional windows, then even with mainboards that allow users to disable the feature, it will be a major "pain in the ass".

2. The ability to keep the secure boot option on AND enable it for alternate operating systems. It's hard to justify a security measure being included in every system that, in effect, gives special treatment to the microsoft monopoly. It's a faulty design that doesn't deserve standardization if it can't be used effectively by third parties, which it won't be able to if owners don't control the keys.

"If a manufacturer can't read the specs of a particular MB, then they just suck, and should go out of business."


"If an enthusiast can't? Then they really suck."

Do you honestly think stores will bother distinguishing between "designed for windows" and "locked to windows"? Most consumers won't know that it works or not until it fails to boot. Now dual booting might only affect a minority of users, but for those of us in that minority, it really does suck.

I purchased a number of secondhand machines extremely cheap to use as linux servers - some came with windows licenses, others didn't, but I didn't really care since I was confident linux would run fine on them, and I was right. Unfortunately secure boot, as spec'ed, may very well add artificial restrictions on what these machines can run. Now tell us again it's not a PITA.

And as someone else said, it's not just linux. All other operating systems are at risk, especially enthusiast operating systems. None of this "secure boot" would be at all controversial if the engineers had only placed the actual owners at the top of the chain of trust. This is all so obvious that it's hard to imagine it not being a deliberate goal for DRM purposes.

Edited 2011-11-01 00:41 UTC

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