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[4]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Sat 8th Dec 2012 02:44 UTC 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[5]: Comment by kaiwai
by Alfman on Sat 8th Dec 2012 05:03 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kaiwai,

"1) Stop conflating UEFI with secure boot - they're not interchangeable."

I've conflated them? I've reread that quote and the instances of "UEFI" and "secure boot" were both correct and intentional. Secure boot is a subset of the UEFI standard that's required now by microsoft. I think we both already know this, so please let us not fuss.

"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'."

I'm sorry but I don't know what this is in response to?

"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."

Ditto here. But I'd add that manufacturers go out of their way to explicitly make their wares compatible with windows. Linux doesn't get the same attention.


"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."

I'm taking the article's claims at face value. I'd be disappointed if the author lied and the specs were listed at his merchant's website, but it doesn't really change his conclusion about secure boot: "Software freedom requires vigilance and I fear that is more true now than it was a year ago. Be careful when shopping for new computers, it is easy to purchase more trouble than one bargained for."

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Sun 9th Dec 2012 14:39 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I've conflated them? I've reread that quote and the instances of "UEFI" and "secure boot" were both correct and intentional. Secure boot is a subset of the UEFI standard that's required now by microsoft. I think we both already know this, so please let us not fuss.


The incompatibility therefore has nothing to do with 'secure boot' so why is the issue even raised in the first place? a crappy UEFI implementation - join the list of crappy motherboard vendors doing the same thing purely out of laziness rather than some sort of 'evil master plan' to 'screw over Linux users'.

I'm sorry but I don't know what this is in response to?


The implication that is at least implied by your posts (and others) that motherboards vendors are going out of their way to screw over Linux users.

Ditto here. But I'd add that manufacturers go out of their way to explicitly make their wares compatible with windows. Linux doesn't get the same attention.


Why should it receive the same attention when such a miniscule number of Linux users make up their customer base?

I'm taking the article's claims at face value. I'd be disappointed if the author lied and the specs were listed at his merchant's website, but it doesn't really change his conclusion about secure boot: "Software freedom requires vigilance and I fear that is more true now than it was a year ago. Be careful when shopping for new computers, it is easy to purchase more trouble than one bargained for."


It doesn't say it on the product page itself but if you go to the downloads section and read through the manual it makes several references to UEFI, how to get access to the UEF command line, how to UEFI boot off a USB thum drive etc. The issue ISN'T UEFI at all given that we've finally got a firmware that is properly documented and designed rather than a hacked together mess BUT if a vendor fails to test and debug their firmware then the issue has nothing to do with UEFI but the poor implementation of UEFI byt he said vendor and in all due respects the same thing can and has happened with traditional BIOS - I'm sure you remember not too long ago the Foxconn motherboard fiasco in reference to ACPI being deliberately incompatible with Linux. Having a traditional BIOS doesn't some how give you the magic of being protected from not being screwed over by lazy companies.

Reply Parent Score: 3