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Ubuntu Lays Plans For Getting Past UEFI SecureBoot 393

Posted by timothy
from the first-you-fake-an-injury dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Canonical has laid out their plans for handling UEFI SecureBoot on Ubuntu Linux. Similar to Red Hat paying Microsoft to get past UEFI restrictions, Canonical does have a private UEFI key. Beyond that they will also be switching from GRUB to the more liberal efilinux bootloader, and only require bootloader binaries be signed — and they want to setup their own signing infrastructure separate from Microsoft."
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Ubuntu Lays Plans For Getting Past UEFI SecureBoot

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  • by oakgrove (845019) on Friday June 22, 2012 @08:53AM (#40410135)
    Does only the kernel need signing or is there more to it than that for Linux?
    • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday June 22, 2012 @08:58AM (#40410177)
      It is the bootloader that needs signing. The problem is that any bootloader capable of loading more than one (signed) kernel would defeat the purpose of secureboot. I mean the official purpose, protection against rootkits, not the actual purpose.
      • by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:03AM (#40410247)

        This smells of the war against terror. There are actually very few pieces of malware out in circulation which rely on rootkits invoked by the bootloader. It's something which we haven't really seen much of since the viruses of the DOS days. I'd rather take my chances with the malware than have the liberties of doing what I want with my computer taken away.

        • by kav2k (1545689) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:11AM (#40410331)
          There are, however, easy-to-use piracy tools for Windows that do exactly that. I'm pretty sure it's a big chunk of MS motivation for the whole mess.
          • That sounds plausible.
            • It isn't just plausible its pretty damned obvious. Go to TPB and you'll see they have "Windows 7 all versions pre-activated" DVD which will give you ANY version from Basic to Ultimate and they all get full Windows Updates using the bootloader hack. Since the hack involves using legit OEM bootloaders to shut it down they'd have to blacklist so many OEM desktops and laptops it'd be chaos so they might as well consider Win 7 a total wash when it comes to piracy.

              As someone who works in a little PC shop if anybody at MSFT with any clout reads this? i have the solution to Windows piracy without any secureboot crap, ready? Win HP at $50, Win HP family packs at $100. I saw guys who had NEVER had a legit version of Windows buy when you had Win 7 HP at $50, in fact while that was going on I don't remember seeing a pirate version around, they were all legit HP. You jacked up the price and now Craigslist is filled with $100 PCs with $300 copies of Win 7 Ultimate on them.

              so take a lesson from valve MSFT, the carrot don't work. Are you forgetting what happened with Vista? You made it originally pretty damned pirate proof, even having a kill switch, remember? it BOMBED because its those same guys that actually know how to pirate that support your ass by telling their families what to buy and supporting them. lets face it you've never made your big money at retail anyway, so selling Win HP at $50 isn't gonna kill you but it WILL turn a lot of pirates into actual paying customers because at $50 frankly it isn't worth the hassle to pirate. I'll be the first to admit the reason my family is running Win 7 HP is the family packs and if it wasn't for the 3 for $100 deal they'd be running hacked pro, paying $100+ a machine for HP when the machines themselves cost $250-$350 a kit? Not worth it. there is a sweet spot MSFT, and I'd argue its Starter at $35, HP at $50, Pro and the family packs at $100.

              • by Rinikusu (28164)

                $50 windows 7 HP, $100 family pack and I'll upgrade ALL of my machines to Win7 from XP. So, I concur.

              • by Lord_Jeremy (1612839) on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:02PM (#40412575)
                Jesus christ if they dropped a family pack version to $100 I'd buy it in a heartbeat! I've got three personal machines running Windows and I haven't bought a single license because Home Premium is $200. Never mind that I occasionally use something like XP Mode so having Ultimate was helpful. Actually right now a new Win7 HP license on Newegg is $100, presumably due a price drop in the wake of Win8. On the other hand, Win7 HP upgrade (from Vista or XP) is still $120.
              • by bmo (77928)

                Go to TPB and you'll see they have "Windows 7 all versions pre-activated" DVD which will give you ANY version from Basic to Ultimate and they all get full Windows Updates using the bootloader hack.

                Just a heads-up for anyone considering going to TPB or any other torrent site and downloading one of these things to install:

                Welcome to the botnet.

                Every single one of them is infected. The ones that scan clean have simply not had their rootkits entered into the malware databases yet, and it takes a good while fo

              • Since the certification requirements for Win8 (on x86) mandate that Secure Boot can be disabled, I predict that the instructions for the Win8 version of Windows Loader (or whatever it is the kids use these days) will be roughly:

                1. Disable Secure Boot.
                2. Run program, click OK

                I also predict that for Win9 MS will change that requirement to its opposite, due to the "overwhelming success of the programme" or somesuch, citing the fact that even Linux vendors have signed on as a "see, we're not evil" argument.

                I wo

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Absolutely, 100%, this. In doing this, M$ is looking out for its bottom line; it is only tangentially interested in your data security, and then only insofar as it affects said bottom line. The only rootkits "in the wild" that M$ is even remotely concerned about are the ones which circumvent its own activation and policing systems.

        • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Friday June 22, 2012 @10:08AM (#40410987)

          This smells of the war against terror. There are actually very few pieces of malware out in circulation which rely on rootkits invoked by the bootloader.

          Whether or not the reasons they gave are bogus, THIS isnt true. There are TONS of rootkits out there that screw with the bootloader, which is why MBRCheck should be a standard part of everyone's rootkit removal kit. If you ever see a machine with a virus, you must assume the bootloader has been tampered with.

          Off the top of my head, Sinowal and TDSS come to mind.

        • by blueg3 (192743) on Friday June 22, 2012 @10:19AM (#40411121)

          The point isn't to protect against bootloader infections, per se. The problem is that if you use a protection mechanism based on one layer being signed (say, signed application code), then it's made irrelevant by attacking one layer lower. So you need to sign from the bottom-most layer all the way up. That means either a signed BIOS or one that can't be changed in software, a signed bootloader, a signed kernel, signed drivers, and signed application code. The purpose of the signed bootloader isn't to protect against bootloader malware that exists now, but to protect against the bootloader malware that would appear if you started relying on a signed kernel.

          I'd rather take my chances with the malware than have the liberties of doing what I want with my computer taken away.

          So turn off UEFI Secure Boot.

      • If the kernel is not signed, the rootkit would just infect the kernel instead of the bootloader.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I'm less familiar with the workings of Linux, but you generally solve that problem in FreeBSD by setting the kernel modules and the various start up files to be immutable and run the system at secure level 1 or higher.

          There's probably still ways of infecting or messing with the boot process, but it's a lot harder when you can't change any of the files to load other code.

          Signing the kernel, modules and various start up scripts is probably not a bad idea, but you end up with some trouble figuring out where ex

          • by tepples (727027)

            you generally solve that problem in FreeBSD by setting the kernel modules and the various start up files to be immutable

            Does Windows honor FreeBSD immutability?

        • That's a pretty big if, though. Anyone who is worried about that attack vector can use a signed kernel (as I believe MS is), and those who are more concerned about the signing mechanism itself can minimize their exposure. Folks who are really concerned about it will probably be replacing their BIOSes, but if I understand correctly this compromise will maintain the ability to dual boot with Windows.

          • by tepples (727027)

            Anyone who is worried about that attack vector can use a signed kernel (as I believe MS is)

            But unless the bootloader is designed to require a signed kernel, the bootloader can be configured to load a Linux kernel that chain-loads a compromised Windows kernel. And at that point, Microsoft will add the bootloader to the blacklist in a Windows update.

            • by chrb (1083577)

              But unless the bootloader is designed to require a signed kernel, the bootloader can be configured to load a Linux kernel that chain-loads a compromised Windows kernel. And at that point, Microsoft will add the bootloader to the blacklist in a Windows update.

              True, but with TPM enabled Windows Update should be able to download code that checks the boot path status and then alerts the user that their Windows has been compromised. Chapter 8 – UEFI and the TPM: Building a foundation for platform trust [infosecinstitute.com]. TPM is not a requirement for Secure Boot, but I don't really see how it can be that effective without it. I wouldn't be surprised if some pressure is brought to bear on vendors to enable TPM by default.

      • by Sloppy (14984) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:11AM (#40410341) Homepage Journal

        That's what I like about it. They're not even paying lip service to that bullshit official purpose. Red Hat made it sound like they have drank some of the Koolaide, with all their worrying about how the person who owns the computer might abuse an unsigned module to take control of their computer.

        Once you're running your bootloader, then the issue is over. There is no need to further check for any other signatures or try to guarantee that the owner can't run their own code. You have satisfied the requirement and thereby gotten the computer to work.

        • That sounds though like just the type of thing Microsoft may use as an excuse to refuse to sign, and they control the one key that you can be confident all computers will accept.
      • by bws111 (1216812)

        No. As soon as Windows kernel comes up it uses the TPM to determine who loaded it. If the answer is not someone Microsoft trusts (ie, UEFI), the system is running in 'unsecure' mode.

    • by GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) on Friday June 22, 2012 @10:41AM (#40411381)
      Don't you worry, the secure boot system is anyway totally compromised to begin with. Anyone with a fake ID and 90 USD will be able to buy a trusted key from Microsoft. This is even more silly than the current CA system.

      What you have to understand here, is that Ubuntu is only adding yet another layer of vendor lock. It's not better than the one from Microsoft.

      The only REAL and TRUE freedom and equality would have been to ask all users to first type a fingerprint before they can use their computer for the first time. Having keys already installed in the BIOS by default is a pure travesty.

      And don't tell me that too hard to do for the average user. There's in fact only 2 categories for which it is the case: blind people and those who shouldn't ever touch a computer anyway.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2012 @08:55AM (#40410155)

    Along with draconian DRM and anti privacy laws, UEFI SecureBoot is crippling the computer as a tool.

    It will take generations and countless wars to undo the damage that is currently being done.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gellenburg (61212)

      My 24" Core 2 Duo iMac has EFI Boot. It didn't stop me from installing Linux Mint on it last month (full format & repartition of the hard drive, not as a "guest"). Can someone help me understand what's the difference?

      • by cdwiegand (2267) <chris@wiegandfamily.com> on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:01AM (#40410209) Homepage

        Because Apple doesn't care if you load Linux - they're a hardware company (well, user experience company, but anyways). You've already bought their hardware and software. But Microsoft, which has the x86/x64 non-Mac world by its balls, is a software company, so they will do things that strategically make non-Windows software harder. So a similarly-capable Acer, as an example, is going to be more locked down than your Mac.

        Hence, I'm slowly finding myself thinking of buying Mac hardware again, even given the higher-than-I-need quality (and price).

      • by am 2k (217885) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:02AM (#40410225) Homepage

        Unlike iOS devices, Macs aren't configured (yet) to require a signed bootloader. This is only an optional feature of EFI.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:04AM (#40410261)

        The difference is that you have an iMac that currently does not use the EFI Secureboot features, as I understand it. If you purchase a Windows 8 certified PC, those are the ones that will be requiring the EFI Secure Boot.

        I told my friends & family that I have bought my last Windows PC, shortly after I purchased a Macbook a few years ago...turns out that may have been a good choice...

            I'm not going to encourage PC manufacturers to bow and kowtow to any one software vendors wishes. If I buy my hardware from [insert your favorite PC maker here] and I want to install some oddball software on it, say AROS, or ReactOS, then that is what I should be able to do without having to wage war against EFI or any other "security features" that may prevent me from installing software that I want to use.

        That's a bit of a rant...but things like this that don't make sense to me are hot-button issues with me...

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:08AM (#40410305)

        Can someone help me understand what's the difference?

        Well let's see...

        "My 24" Core 2 Duo iMac has EFI Boot" vs "UEFI SecureBoot is crippling the computer"

        hmm...

        "My 24" Core 2 Duo iMac has EFI Boot" vs "UEFI SecureBoot is crippling the computer"

        ehhh...

        "My 24" Core 2 Duo iMac has EFI Boot" vs "UEFI SECURE Boot is crippling the computer"

        humm... nope can't see a damned thing different.

    • ...or a bootloader (Score:5, Informative)

      by DrYak (748999) on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:04PM (#40412605) Homepage

      It will take generations and countless wars to undo the damage that is currently being done.

      Or it will take a signed bootloader that let you then load whatever you want.

      That's what Canonical is paying for:
      they get EFILinux signed.

      EFILinux in turn can load pretty much any kernel you want.
      - Either an official distro provided one.
      - Or your own compiled linux kernel
      - Or another system's kernel (*BSD, ReactOS, etc.)
      - Or even a better/bigger bootloader like GRUB's stage2.

      What we need now is the legislative framework so Microsoft can't revoke the bootloader without attracting a shitstorm of antimonopoly antitrust suits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2012 @08:56AM (#40410163)

    Shouldn't I be able to load my own private key (or that of my distribution of choice) in the UEFI interface and then sign the bootloader I want with it (or use that of said distribution)? Ideally changing the key would only be possible while a jumper on the board is set.

    If I trust Ubuntu, then my computer would reject the Windows bootloader and vice versa. Isn't that how it should be?

    • by oakgrove (845019)
      basically, yes. The issue is that represents quite a hurdle for the non technical users ubuntu is going for. As far as locking out Linux, many free software geeks are salivating at the thought of delivering systems that can't easily be with windows.
      • by oakgrove (845019)
        That last sentence should read: As far as locking out windows, many free software geeks are salivating at the thought of delivering systems that can't easily be reformatted with windows.
        • by Nerdfest (867930)

          I'm under the impression that, unfortunately, Windows will run on those machines, they just can't be sold as "Windows Certified". It would be fantastic if they stopped it from being installed. The hardware vendors would love it as a vast number more machines would be sold.

          • by jez9999 (618189) on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:21PM (#40412869) Homepage Journal

            I'm under the impression that, unfortunately, Windows will run on those machines, they just can't be sold as "Windows Certified". It would be fantastic if they stopped it from being installed. The hardware vendors would love it as a vast number more machines would be sold.

            Did I just flip into a Bizarro World where there are a ton of people looking to buy PCs which won't boot Windows?

  • by Junta (36770) on Friday June 22, 2012 @08:58AM (#40410173)

    Seems like this leaves things open for an MS rootkit. A rootkit that happens to have an entry point resembling a linux kernel seems a likely scenario.

    Also surprised with efilinux. It can load from block devices only, which omits network boot. I understand that grub2 GPL3 concerns make sense, but you would think they might go with elilo. It may be less 'active', but it is capable of doing more than efilinux, notably network deployment.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      It can't load GPXE from a small block device?
      That seems like it would solve your netboot concern.

    • *STAGED* boot (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DrYak (748999) on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:12PM (#40412707) Homepage

      Also surprised with efilinux. It can load from block devices only, which omits network boot. I understand that grub2 GPL3 concerns make sense, but you would think they might go with elilo. It may be less 'active', but it is capable of doing more than efilinux, notably network deployment.

      Canonical specifically stated that EFILinux could be used to a non-signed Grub2 (or maybe they could even sign it through their own infrastrucutre if they can make it GPLv3 compliant). On non-SecureUEFI machine, this is supposed to be the default behaviour they want to do (if EFILinux detects that Secure is disabled, it chains straight to Grub2).

      The idea is to load the smallest possible bootloader in signed mode and then do everything else you want from that point onward.
      Once EFILinux has chained to Grub2, you can do all the crazy cool stuff you want here.

      Just think of EFILinux as a special type of stage1 that is compliant for SecureUEFI devices. (Well technically, the UEFI firmware is the stage1, but you got the idea).

  • Next -- compilers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2012 @08:59AM (#40410193)

    The next step should be requiring a background check in order to have access to a compiler. Compilers are a subversive tool that is essential to creating malware, the cyberspace equivalent of a chemistry lab. Just as having an unauthorized chemistry lab should automatically make one suspect for creating drugs, explosives or chemical weapons, posession of an unauthorized compiler and of a machine that does not have a secure boot should make one suspect of cyberterrorism.

    Of course, this is impossible right now, just as fifty years ago nobody would have taken such a dire view on chemistry. However, the next generation of people raised in fear of pedophiles and terrorists will work hard to make this a reality. And the generation after that will be the blessing of knowing that things have always been like this, since all authorized books will be in electronic format, periodically updated with the best and most recent knowledge about the past.

  • So... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:07AM (#40410291)
    In order to compete with Microsoft, they have to beg Microsoft to sign their bootloader? UEFI's secure boot was dubious idea at best, and Microsoft has just hijacked it into a way to greatly inconvenience all the competition under the excuse of security against a threat that barely exists. Red Hat and Fedora might be able to jump through these hoops and beg Microsoft for permission to compete (Which I sure will involve a hefty signing fee for 'administrative costs') but how are the hundreds of smaller distros and niche distros supposed to exist? Right now the only concession made to them is that Microsoft generously permits for secure boot to be disabled (though only on x86, not ARM) - and who here trusts them not to reverse that policy in a few years?
    • As much as I hate MS in all of this, the cost to sign a binary through MS is $99, always and for any binary. The ability to disable secure boot is in the spec. The reason that MS ensured that this ability exists in the spec is to prevent a cry of anti-trust -- they can always point at it and say, "We made sure there was a way for competing operating systems to get installed." Now, of course, they can run the FUD machine claiming that without secure boot enabled Ubhatse (sounds sexy) can be owned, but MS

    • If I understand correctly, once a signed bootloader is installed this bootloader can run any OS. UEFI Secureboot only checks the files loaded from the UEFI "BIOS". Which files are loaded by the files loaded from UEFI isn't checked.
      So, assuming the UEFI loads a signed bootloader, the bootloader can run anything it wants.
      • So, assuming the UEFI loads a signed bootloader, the bootloader can run anything it wants.

        Yup, and if you read the phoronix blurb, that's their plan.

        Have efilinux run either official canonical kernels, or any custom kernel compiled by the user, or even Grub2 for a more complex boot behaviour (the default behaviour if SecureUEFI is not detected to be active).

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:10AM (#40410323)

    I have no problem with security features being put in the bios. But if they could potentially make given OS's incompatible then it has to be something you can turn off.

    And if you can turn it off then everyone gets what they want.

    MS gets a little security on their malware plagued OS. And everyone else can just shut it off.

  • crazy stuff (Score:4, Insightful)

    by l3v1 (787564) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:16AM (#40410377)
    I have multipl issues wih this whole uefi secureboot shebang.

    How can it happen that one company (however large) can seemingly make most of the manufacturers to comply with their crazy ideas? The option to easily disable uefi secureboot _should_ be there on every and each motherboard (desktop, server or laptop). It should not be the manufacturer (and indirectly Microsoft) who decides what kernel and drivers (regardless f the operating system) a user or developer uses. How would anyone make custom kernels and/or modules (Linux) and/or drivers (e.g. Windows) if signing everything through a 3rd party signing service would be required every time? This is crazy.

    Second, I don't like where Fedora/RH and Ubuntu are going with this. Aligning with MS on this issue is definitely not the right way to go and most people start to see this. Yet, nobody seems to want to find a way out, most seem to even have stopped protesting, or asking for mandatory secureboot disable options. There are not only 2 distros out there, there are a lot more of them, and most of them will not go along with MS-signing kernels and drivers. Also, if Ubuntu goes for a secureboot lockdown scheme, they might be good from the enterprise side, moving away from the average users, and that just might be what they want to do.

    Some still say this whole thing is a non-issue and too much fuss about nothing, but if it were so, then please, for crying out loud, why is there so much smoke around about the planned existance or non-existance of a secureboot disable option? If manufacturers would just say disabling will be there always, this whole issue would just go away.

    The biggest problem still is that most average users can't see the point in all this, simply don't care, thus unwillingly participating in making it worse for those, who do.
    • Because despite what the Libertarians, deluded Linux fans and Microsoft apologists will tell you, Microsoft do have a monopoly in this area. There are no realistic alternatives, otherwise there would have been a mass exodus a long time ago, especially in the corporate sector.

      • otherwise there would have been a mass exodus a long time ago

        Oh, but there was a mass exodus away from Windows. Native applications have fallen prey to browser interfaces for server applications. That most of the machines are still running Windows is incidental, even if it superficially benefits Microsoft and explicitly benefits Windows desktop specialists.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      How can it happen that one company (however large) can seemingly make most of the manufacturers to comply with their crazy ideas?

      Like this: "Our operating system will only run on machines with this idea implemented. We've told all your major customers this, and we've made it clear that we will only sell operating systems to them if they only buy equipment that can handle this. You sure wouldn't want to lose 95% of your customer base." If their market share was 5% rather than 95%, they couldn't pull that off.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:19AM (#40410403)

    Seriously... I read the article the FIRST time this UEFI news was posted from http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/12368.html [dreamwidth.org], when it was regarding Red Hat, and the edit was already made back then. The money does not go to Microsoft! Why are people still saying this?
    It is very misleading to write "Similar to Red Hat paying Microsoft to get past UEFI restrictions" when it is really not the truth.

    "Microsoft will be offering signing services through their sysdev portal. It's not entirely free (there's a one-off $99 fee to gain access edit: The $99 goes to Verisign, not Microsoft - further edit: once paid you can sign as many binaries as you want)"

    my bias: I have Linux on all of my systems, no MS OS around here. Please, stop the inaccuracies and write what is true.

  • by aglider (2435074) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:21AM (#40410427) Homepage

    I want to boot whatever software I want, not what you gracely will allow me.
    Hardware is MINE, not yours!

  • by hey_popey (1285712) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:22AM (#40410441)
    Couldn't the buyer of an OEM PC with Windows just flash their UEFI with one allowing disabling the Secure Boot?
    This would add just one step to the alternative OS setup!
  • Kill with fire (Score:4, Interesting)

    by peppepz (1311345) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:27AM (#40410483)
    The right thing to do, would be to send UEFI and ACPI into the hell where they belong (2.045 pages for loading a fucking boot loader into RAM and jumping into it), and switch the PC architecture into using something more human, say, a kind of Open Firmware. For security, the firmware should pop up an alert telling the user that their boot loader has changed, asking him if he agrees with the operation. Which is the same security model that Windows has at runtime. Which is where the end user will catch 99.99999% of malware, since boot viruses in practice don't exist.

    But no, instead they'll institute this ludicrous dance of keys which will impair the end user's boot experience (which is what UEFI should really be all about) without adding a gram of security (loadable modules at runtime = zero advantage from using "secure" boot).

  • by os10000 (8303) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:41AM (#40410611) Homepage

    Hi Guys & Gals,

    before you all get worked up, please remember that Ubuntu was founded by Mark Shuttleworth. Mark became a billionaire by running Thawte. Thawte is a certificate authority for X.509 certificates.

    My take is he knows a thing or two about such infrastructures and I also think he is a positive influence for the free software world.

    have a good day!

  • by iamacat (583406) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:45AM (#40410659)

    All of a sudden, a genuine reason to buy Raspberry Pi! Sparc/PowerPC workstations and laptops back in demand as being "better for business/medicine/science" when consumer x86 hardware is restricted to tablet touchscreen OS! PC vendors pissed off by Surface offer custom desktops/laptops for running Linux and FreeBSD and without Windows 8 support!

    I for one welcome our new diverse hardware overlords.

  • booting cd's (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fluffythedestroyer (2586259) on Friday June 22, 2012 @09:49AM (#40410723) Homepage

    "Booting our CDs will rely on a loader image signed by Microsoft's WinQual key, for much the same reasons as Fedora: it's a key that, realistically, more or less every off-the-shelf system is going to have,...

    So that means if my bootcd's that I create or the ones that I have like Hiren's boot cd, bartpe or any other won't work anymore if its not signed by MS ? That means the IT world will get a kick in the balls with this... like Hiren's will pay for the key

    Besides, Microsoft made it clear that arm computers which is loaded with windows 8 will make it impossible to disable the UEFI. in other words, no other OS will be possible. Is it me or it's a very bad idea for all of us...except Microsoft which is clear what their intent is with this crap.

  • No restrictions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I work in a lab where we often need to make a custom build machine. There is no way we will accept any kind of UEFI OS restrictions, nor will we pay an extra fee for their removal. If they wish to do business with us and our partners, then we must have the option to install whatever we like.

  • From a quick read of this, it sounds like Canonical is basically trying to build a signed chain loader that will make a transition from a Microsoft-signed boot environment to a libre boot environment. Seems to me as if this will be useful not just for Ubuntu, but for pretty much anyone who wants to boot Linux on a Microsoft-encumbered computer.

    If that's the case, we'll eventually start to see Debian, Mint, etc. distributions that make use of the Ubuntu boot loader to get the system up and running.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:22AM (#40411995)

      And also Windows malware that does exactly the same thing. At which point the Canonical key will be revoked, and all Linux distributions that relied on it will cease to function.

    • If that's the case, we'll eventually start to see Debian, Mint, etc. distributions that make use of the Ubuntu boot loader to get the system up and running.

      ...and according to the phoronix blurb even Grub2. (For more complex booting option beyond the small capabilities of efilinux itself).

      Just get the EU legal whatdogs involved to hit microsoft with a big legal anti-monopoly hammer, if they ever try to put a "sony-linux" and suddenly decide to revoke the bootloader.

      Also, other big players with money (Novell Suse ?) could join the trend and signs other similar boot loaders (elilo got mentionned) to give more such options.

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