AboutWelcome to Free Software Daily (FSD). FSD is a hub for news and articles by and for the free and open source community. FSD is a community driven site where members of the community submit and vote for the stories that they think are important and interesting to them. Click the "About" link to read more...
"This document is intended to describe how the UEFI secure boot specification can be implemented to interoperate well with open systems and to avoid adversely affecting the rights of the owners of those systems while providing compliance with proprietary software vendors’ requirements."
Microsoft has announced that if computer makers wish to distribute machines with the Windows 8 compatibility logo, they will have to implement a measure called "Secure Boot." Secure Boot is designed to protect against malware by preventing computers from loading unauthorized binary programs when booting.
"Canonical, together with Red Hat, today publishes a white paper highlighting the implications of these requirements for users and manufacturers. The paper also provides recommendations on how to implement “Secure Boot”, to ensure that users remain in control of their PCs."
The process of booting a Linux® system consists of a number of stages. But whether you're booting a standard x86 desktop or a deeply embedded PowerPC® target, much of the flow is surprisingly similar. This article explores the Linux boot process from the initial bootstrap to the start of the first user-space application.
LILO (Linux Loader) and GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) are both configured as a primary boot loader (installed on the MBR) or secondary boot loader (installed onto a bootable partition). Both work with supporting operating systems such as Linux, FreeBSD, Net BSD, and OpenBSD. They can work with unsupported operating system, such as Microsoft Windows XP, in the configuration file. Both allow users—root users—to boot into single-user-mode.
We, the undersigned, urge all computer makers implementing UEFI's so-called "Secure Boot" to do it in a way that allows free software operating systems to be installed. To respect user freedom and truly protect user security, manufacturers must either allow computer owners to disable the boot restrictions, or provide a sure-fire way for them to install and run a free software operating system of their choice. We commit that we will neither purchase nor recommend computers that strip users of this critical freedom, and we will actively urge people in our communities to avoid such jailed systems.
In TLWIR 51, I talked about how Coreboot might provide a solution to the confusion created by the Secure Boot fiasco. In the Linux Week in Review 52, I’ll talk about the need for a GNU/Linux reference system. In this “gold standard” system, all of the installed hardware would be known to work perfectly with the latest version of the Linux kernel.
Is it possible that the recent attempts to push secure boot onto computer users was a response to the growing hardware vendor support for coreboot back in 2011? This is only speculation on my part, but I suspect that this might be the case. Coreboot is a badly need solution that can restore freedom to PC users while updating the outdated PC BIOS technology.