Linked by Howard Fosdick on Thu 6th Dec 2012 05:26 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes With computers now shipping with UEFI Secure Boot enabled, users of any OS other than Windows 8 will want to know how to circumvent it. Jesse Smith of DistroWatch tells how he did it here. The Linux Foundation describes its approach here. If you want to boot an OS other than Windows 8, you'll want to figure this out before you buy that new computer.
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RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Sat 8th Dec 2012 00:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

That will work right up until the board manufacturers choose to (or are forced to) remove the ability to do so. It is coming, and it's only a matter of time.


Then don't buy motherboards or computers off dodgy vendors who do such things in the first place. You know, the whole concept of 'putting ones money where ones mouth is". I guess I'll have to book mark this statement as well to see whether your horror story comes true in 2-4 years time just as a certain other person on this website claimed that OS X will be locked down and become 'AppStore only' in the future.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by Alfman on Sat 8th Dec 2012 01:30 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kaiwai,

"Then don't buy motherboards or computers off dodgy vendors who do such things in the first place."

But if it doesn't get advertised, how would you know which models do it? That's one of the points made by the article, he went back to look at the specs to confirm that UEFI wasn't even listed at all, so there's no way he could have made an informed decision for one product based on the merchant specs, much less scanning through hundreds of product listings.

Hopefully someone will come up with a public database for this kind of information. If anyone knows of one, please link!

That said, I think MS backed away from enforcing secure boot on x86 because they feared the legal outcomes of that battle. Like you, I don't think they'll be reversing this decision. Even so, they've still managed to put an end to the proliferation of trouble-free linux live boot media in the hands of newbies, which could be considered a partial victory for MS.

Edited 2012-12-08 01:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Sat 8th Dec 2012 02:44 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

kaiwai,

"Then don't buy motherboards or computers off dodgy vendors who do such things in the first place."

But if it doesn't get advertised, how would you know which models do it? That's one of the points made by the article, he went back to look at the specs to confirm that UEFI wasn't even listed at all, so there's no way he could have made an informed decision for one product based on the merchant specs, much less scanning through hundreds of product listings.

Hopefully someone will come up with a public database for this kind of information. If anyone knows of one, please link!

That said, I think MS backed away from enforcing secure boot on x86 because they feared the legal outcomes of that battle. Like you, I don't think they'll be reversing this decision. Even so, they've still managed to put an end to the proliferation of trouble-free linux live boot media in the hands of newbies, which could be considered a partial victory for MS.


1) Stop conflating UEFI with secure boot - they're not interchangeable.
2) The issue is a crappy/buggy firmware which can occur in ANY motherboard and not just some nefarious evil doer rubbing their hands with glee dreaming up new ways to screw over the 'growing Linux user base'.
3) Buggy firmware impacts on Windows users just as it impacts on alternative operating systems as well - it is just that Microsoft has the time and resources to spend working around the crapnastic nature of many motherboard vendors out there.
4) I just had a check out of the MSI motherboard in question and they made no secret that it uses UEFI - all you have to do is download their manual and read it. Again, the issue isn't with UEFI but its poor implementation and like any horrible product you make the decision based on reviews, feedback from family and friends, asking online forums etc. Microsoft is in no way responsible for MSI's lack time and effort when it comes to putting out a motherboard with a well tested and debugged firmware.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by ssokolow on Sat 8th Dec 2012 02:38 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Then don't buy motherboards or computers off dodgy vendors who do such things in the first place. You know, the whole concept of 'putting ones money where ones mouth is". I guess I'll have to book mark this statement as well to see whether your horror story comes true in 2-4 years time just as a certain other person on this website claimed that OS X will be locked down and become 'AppStore only' in the future.


I think the point is that there are a lot of people who, either due to budget or due to circumstance, might no longer be able to learn Linux on an old clunker of a PC that someone gave them, they pulled out of an electronics recycling bin, or they bought for $100 from a liquidator/refurbisher.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Sun 9th Dec 2012 14:44 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I think the point is that there are a lot of people who, either due to budget or due to circumstance, might no longer be able to learn Linux on an old clunker of a PC that someone gave them, they pulled out of an electronics recycling bin, or they bought for $100 from a liquidator/refurbisher.


All you have to do is research into how good the vendor actually are at providing updates and fixing bugs - how much proprietary tweaks do they add or do they give up that customisation in favour of conforming to open standards? these are questions a purchaser should ask when purchasing a motherboard or a computer. I'm assuming that if you do have an interest in non-Microsoft operating systems that you also have a reasonable level of IT knowledge as well.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by Neolander on Sat 8th Dec 2012 08:06 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Then don't buy motherboards or computers off dodgy vendors who do such things in the first place. You know, the whole concept of 'putting ones money where ones mouth is". I guess I'll have to book mark this statement as well to see whether your horror story comes true in 2-4 years time just as a certain other person on this website claimed that OS X will be locked down and become 'AppStore only' in the future.

Please do so, I am ready to bet. I could even add some extra items to the prediction if you like:

The Linux scene, as of today, is too big to disappear in one day in the event of a Secure Boot apocalypse. There are too much professional interests invested on it. So what would likely happen is that we'd see more hardware manufacturers designing specifically for Linux support, kind of like what happens with Android phones and all these credit-card sized ARM computer projects that have popped up recently.

Since Windows is a clunky beast that requires lots of support from hardware manufacturers, it won't run properly on such machines, even in a VM. The Linux community will thus lose all these users who like and use the OS, but still have to run Windows from time to time because they need some piece of software at work or want to play better games. What will remain will thus be a mix of die-hard zealots and people who need Linux for work and solely use it there.

And even if some that are nostalgic about the C64/Amiga era could perhaps see such a scenario as a good thing ("OMG ! Integration !") , I personally think that it would be a disaster. Without the presence of "regular users" that report bugs, voice their opinion, and attempt to calm things down a bit, the developers would likely tend much more often to go completely overboard, Poettering-style. That is, they would change whatever part of the stack they think is ugly without much concern for stability, compatibility, and everyday usability. This would, in turn, irritate entreprise customers, who would become even more protective of whatever software version works, and stick with 10-year old software with long-solved bugs to this end. And, in turn, reduce the amount of testing that new software gets, perpetuating this vicious circle.

And the zealot population wouldn't care, they are ready to spend money in hardware that only runs Linux, know how to fix their stuff and can remove/replace whatever is released in a broken state anyway. Perhaps they would be the only ones that would be happy in such a scenario, since at last Linux would get the recognition that it deserves instead of perpetually living in the shadow of Windows.

I would estimate that things would become noticeably unbearable for new users at most 10 years after full UEFI lockdown, so 12-14 years after now, if UEFI lockdown does happen, you'll be able to tell me if I was wrong.

As for OSX, the extended prediction is simpler. Considering the attitude of most Mac fans around me when I express my concerns about the path Apple is currently heading, I'll predict that a technically skilled minority (10-25%) will try alternatives to see if they can match their needs and moral convictions better, while the vast majority will just consider the lockdown as some sort of divine punishment for humanity's sins and accept it as a fact of life without much complaining.

Edited 2012-12-08 08:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by Morgan on Sat 8th Dec 2012 09:47 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Believe me, I hope it doesn't come true, but I have to be realistic. Now that I'm getting a proper workstation next week (M92p with EFI/Legacy BIOS I mentioned earlier) I'm going to hang onto it and upgrade it as much as I can over the next several years, just in case I'm right.

But I still hope I'm wrong.

Reply Parent Score: 3