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Microsoft tries to block Linux off Windows 8 PCs


A Guy

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#1
If this wasn’t so sad, it would be funny. After Microsoft recently declared victory over Linux, it turns out that Microsoft appears is still trying to arrange it so that Linux won’t even boot on the next generation of PCs that come with Windows 8. Yeah, Linux isn’t on your enemy list anymore right Microsoft? Sure.

Matthew Garrett, a Red Hat engineer, gets the credit for spotting Microsoft’s latest anti-Linux move. In a blog posting, Garrett explains that Windows 8 logo guidelines require that systems have Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) secure boot enabled. This, in turn, would block Linux, or any other operating system, from booting on it.
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A Guy
 

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vrosa

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#2
Really sad :(
 

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mikedl

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#3
I expect GParted (or some other boot manager) to circumvent this before the release for those wanting to boot both.
 

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Bill2

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#4
This issue is still quite fuzzy. There're lots of if and buts such as whether it would be mandatory for win8 to secure boot to boot at all on the new EFI machines, whether secure boot can be disabled through a manufacturer provided means (such as a hardware switch in CR-48 notebooks), whether OEMs will provide users with the public key required to install non-MS stuff and such like.
 

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Aegis

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#5
This issue is still quite fuzzy. There're lots of if and buts such as whether it would be mandatory for win8 to secure boot to boot at all on the new EFI machines, whether secure boot can be disabled through a manufacturer provided means (such as a hardware switch in CR-48 notebooks), whether OEMs will provide users with the public key required to install non-MS stuff and such like.
I'm expecting they will indeed allow it to be deactivated simply so the end-user has choice and would cause them less headaches (also saving manufacturers money) but I also expect they will indeed attempt to go down this path at least once over the next decade.

One fact I have seen missed by everyone is how other 'secure' code has always been broken. E.g. BlueRay, PS3, iPhone, iPad, SSL, TLS, PGP... If you consider these much stronger and also consider the fact they have all been broken (some multiple times and reoccurring like the iPhone) it's no doubt someone will have a method to deactivate Secure Boot ;)

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SmartEyeball

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#6
One fact I have seen missed by everyone is how other 'secure' code has always been broken. E.g. BlueRay, PS3, iPhone, iPad, SSL, TLS, PGP... If you consider these much stronger and also consider the fact they have all been broken (some multiple times and reoccurring like the iPhone) it's no doubt someone will have a method to deactivate Secure Boot ;)

Aegis
True. But it still feels like one step forward 3 steps back. It feels a little Apple-ish tbh.
 

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mikedl

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#7
But it still feels like one step forward 3 steps back. It feels a little Apple-ish tbh.
Exactly. The market really isn't about us geeks or current Win7 desktop users, it's about the future.

Y'all can dig in your heels screaming and carrying on as you get dragged down this path but, rest assured, it's coming whether you like it or not. :)
 

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robinbredin

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#8
You can run Win8 with Ubuntu running in Oracle VirtualBox. There is nothing that M$ can do about that.:mad:
 

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Max Peck

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#9
Linux (desktop, at least) is dead on its own, Microsoft doesn't have to block it. Why they waste their time on something like that is beyond me. It's a petty move.

-Max
 

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SIW2

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#10
It may be possible to cicumvent by some kind of hack.

It is also possible that some oem's might provide an unlock mechanism - possibly on their higher end machines.

Nevertheless, MS seem to want the majority of machines to be locked.

Nobody in their right minds could approve of that.

It restricts consumer choice.

It also smacks of desperation.
 

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Bill2

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#11
I believe the only entity MS is trying to "secure" here is MS. Secure boot seems to be aimed at pirates, locking down the boot path will put a certain and certainly very popular method of piracy out of action (at least temporarily). Linux is not big enough for MS to be tackled in this manner IMO though it may be a collateral victim in the piracy fight.
 

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Max Peck

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#12
An anti-piracy mechanism makes more sense to me. I doubt Microsoft is operating under any kind of "desperation". The depth of their technology and the massiveness of the Windows ecosystem makes it pretty certain that they're going to be around for quite awhile. Oh the growth of the corporation may flatten a little bit. This is often the case with huge corporations. Linux just doesn't have the clout to drive Microsoft into desperation on any front, as much as the "open source" folks would like people to think.

I have absolutely no concern over whether the Microsoft platform will exist, and be prevalent going foward. I've made a living writing to their platforms since they have existed. My main challenge now is just keeping up with a small part of what they've got going. :eek:

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Brink

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#13
At first glance, Microsoft’s decision to go with UEFI instead of BIOS seemed like a decent security-minded step. Microsoft plans on requiring that all PCs shipping with Windows 8 implement the secure boot option included in recent UEFI specifications. That’s good, right? It stops malware from playing around with the boot path and disabling antivirus programs! The smiles faded into looks of concern when it was pointed out that a PC with OEM and Microsoft secure boot keys couldn’t launch Linux distros. The ‘Net raged, and yesterday, Microsoft responded to the allegation.
Read more at: Maximum PC | Microsoft Responds To Windows 8/Linux Secure Boot Concerns, Fails To Alleviate Said Concerns
 

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#15
This was fake news. :cool:
 

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gdm40

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#16
This was fake news. :cool:
What part the virtual disabling of non sanctioned software and potentially hardware?

(or)

Microsoft's denial

Regardless it cinches the decision on my next build to be based around the Z68 chip set "just to be safe" As when it ages I usually turn old hardware into a Nix server for media files etc..
 

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jimbo45

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#17
Hi there
I'm sure this might run foul of the EU Anti competition or Monopoly legislation.
If you remember how much irritation was caused by the "Browser" wars then this "restricted" boot won't last 5 minutes.

MS can of course write OS's however they want but they have no authority to actually interfere with the PC hardware.

In any case Virtualisation is big business now so would MS really prevent their OS being run as a VM.

Note that in real life more and more Servers are always run as Virtual Machines -- MS is surely aware of this.

Sounds like another of those rubbish Gartner Predictions.

Cheers
jim
 

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Avalon

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#18
MS can of course write OS's however they want but they have no authority to actually interfere with the PC hardware.
Well see, of course they can't interfere with the hardware... that's why they get OEM's and other manufacturers to sign agreements and partnerships. That gives Microsoft the secure UEFI boot they need, and guarantees the manufacturer operating system exclusivity. It's a win-win in their eyes, but a loss for the customer.
 

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Mike Lonewolf

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#19
hmmmmmm...Seems to me, that you in the Linux fanclub are back peddling!
Could it be from your own knowledge that Windows has already crushed other
competitors? Like IBM's O/S2 Warp, Apple O/S eh? From what I can see, even
the Linux camp itself is divided unto it's own self - How many different distribs
are there currently? And NOW even in Windows 8 DP, you can run Redhat's RPM
packages, as well as Debian packages. Seriously now wouldn't you rather play
Stickman Sam 4 with a high level Windows ONLY videocard hmmmmmmmmmmmm?
I'm sure sooner or later that the Linux camp will have drivers ready to match the current
crop of high level video cards. BUT heck by then there will be a new generation of video cards
out that are even better than those. I even see Ubuntu faltering, and being more Windows
eco friendly. To be honest Linux camp I suggest that you JUST pack it in, and join Bill's Windows
world. Windows - WHERE you WANT to BE! *edit* I did fight the good fight back in the day!
In the O/S2 Warp camp, BUT we knew we were beaten, and took our lumps.
 
Last edited:

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#20
Well we all know the answer to this. Simply boycott 8 until they remove that feature. None of us actually need 8 when 7 functions so well. Holding out on 8 until they get their act together would be a wise decision and would basically strong arm them into listening to consumers. If the enthusiast community alone would do this much it would be enough I am sure.
 

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