Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 29th Dec 2012 16:37 UTC
Linux It's sad that we need this, but alas - Matthew Garret has made a list of Linux distributions that boot on Windows 8 PCs with Secure Boot enabled. Tellingly enough, the list is short. Very short. Can someone hack this nonsense into oblivion please?
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Screw that.
by UltraZelda64 on Sun 30th Dec 2012 14:08 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

Vote with your money... don't buy Windows 8-based ARM PCs.

If they want to lock you out of the hardware you just bought, then lock them out of your possibilities for possible computer purchases.

The more Linux distributions that support this catastrophe, the more this shit will catch on, and then we'll *all* be fucked.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Screw that.
by Brendan on Sun 30th Dec 2012 19:22 in reply to "Screw that."
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Vote with your money... don't buy Windows 8-based ARM PCs.


Please don't call them "Windows 8-based ARM PCs" - they aren't.

Part of what makes a PC a personal computer is that the hardware is a completely different product to the software. The people designing the hardware don't care what software any specific consumer might decide to use, and consumers are able to install whatever software (including OS) that they feel like on it.

Almost all ARM systems are sold as a single ("hardware plus software") product , and they are not 2 separate products. For example, you might have a smart TV with software and an ARM CPU intended for one specific purpose, or have a telephone with an ARM CPU and software intended for one specific purpose, or have a tablet with an ARM CPU and software intended for one specific purpose. None of these things are intended to be generic and none of these things are "PCs".

What I can't understand is why secure boot is used for ARM systems at all. It's much easier to skip UEFI completely and have a locked down system by burning (at least part of) the OS into flash/ROM; which is what almost all ARM systems have done in the past.

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Screw that.
by UltraZelda64 on Sun 30th Dec 2012 23:37 in reply to "RE: Screw that."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Hi,
Please don't call them "Windows 8-based ARM PCs" - they aren't.

Part of what makes a PC a personal computer is that the hardware is a completely different product to the software. The people designing the hardware don't care what software any specific consumer might decide to use, and consumers are able to install whatever software (including OS) that they feel like on it.

Almost all ARM systems are sold as a single ("hardware plus software") product , and they are not 2 separate products. For example, you might have a smart TV with software and an ARM CPU intended for one specific purpose, or have a telephone with an ARM CPU and software intended for one specific purpose, or have a tablet with an ARM CPU and software intended for one specific purpose. None of these things are intended to be generic and none of these things are "PCs".

I get the point, I know the difference, and I purposely used the term to jab at Microsoft due to the fact that they are trying to move away the term "PC" for all the computers their OS runs on. You know, "device" seems to be the new overused buzzword. In that case, I'd argue that "device" is misleading most of the time it's used. After all, since when did computers and devices (you knew, those internal computer peripherals you install device drivers for) get mixed up? Someone's bastardizing the definition of "device" over at Microsoft and several other corporations, and I don't see anyone complaining.

Also a PC is simply a "personal computer," so by that definition ANY computer that is intended to be used as, well, a personal computer can theoretically be labeled as such. Who cares if traditionally those were originally marketed as the IBM PC and clones with an x86 processor and a Microsoft operating system... I really don't, unless it is important within context to make a distinction to. In which case... simply specifying the architecture as I did should be enough.

Also--ARM computers with Win8 could easily be just as open as x86 computers. The only reason they're not is because Microsoft says so. Last I checked, Microsoft was not a major producer of ARM hardware. And don't try to claim that their Surface RT (one product) automatically makes them a a major producer. They don't even "own" ARM.

What I can't understand is why secure boot is used for ARM systems at all. It's much easier to skip UEFI completely and have a locked down system by burning (at least part of) the OS into flash/ROM; which is what almost all ARM systems have done in the past.

The claimed reason? Security. The real reason and effects? Destroying the competition and controlling what their users can do with their own hardware.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Screw that.
by westlake on Sun 30th Dec 2012 20:28 in reply to "Screw that."
westlake Member since:
2010-01-07

The more Linux distributions that support this catastrophe, the more this shit will catch on, and then we'll *all* be fucked.


Too late.

Secure Boot dates from UEFI spec 2.2. [2008.]

It didn't come out of the blue and it is not Microsoft only - and it is not going away.

The Unified EFI Forum...is an alliance between several leading technology companies to modernize the booting process. The board of directors includes representatives from eleven "Promoter" companies: AMD, American Megatrends, Apple, Dell, HP, IBM, Insyde Software, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, and Phoenix Technologies.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_EFI_Forum

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Screw that.
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 31st Dec 2012 00:01 in reply to "RE: Screw that."
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I think you might be mixing UEFI, a modern BIOS replacement, with SecureBoot--Microsoft's purposely crippling UEFI-based technology that just happens to use UEFI as its vehicle and method of execution.

SecureBoot is not a required part of UEFI; it's just another feature that, theoretically, is supposed to be possible to be switched on and off at will (see: probably every single UEFI x86-based machine). It is a required part for OEMs to implement in order to pass the Windows Logo test and obtain official certification from Microsoft. Microsoft is the one requiring that it be enabled on all ARM systems with no way to disable, and therefore it is more of a Microsoft/Windows restriction than anything.

In the way it's being used, I would say that it does in fact have absolutely nothing to do with anything other than Windows, Microsoft's bottom line, and their desire to thwart competition without any real merits.

It's almost 2013 now, and apparently EULAs are no longer enough for these companies; they will stop at nothing to strictly enforce their plans it seems. First an agreement... now technical restrictions built into the hardware.

Edited 2012-12-31 00:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4