[ubuntu-uk] Implications Of Secure Boot Lockout

Nigel Verity nigelverity at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 6 11:38:01 UTC 2015


I have been reading recently that Microsoft are removing the requirement for hardware manufacturers to provide a secure boot "off" switch, in order to gain Windows 10 accreditation. If this comes to pass it will place Linux distros entirely at the mercy of Microsoft to sign their authentication keys, otherwise they will be shut out from installation on mainstream computers.

Given that Microsoft look like making a lot less money out of the Windows OS itself over the coming years, it seems reasonable to assume that they will seek to maximise whatever revenue they can generate. This points towards eventually shutting out even "approved" Linux distributions. Presumably Apple can do exactly the same to prevent installation on Macs.

If this comes to pass I have to admit to not having a clear view of where this will leave us. The only possibilities I can see are:

1) Being confined to installing on Chromebooks
2) Being forced to use more expensive specialist hardware (e.g hardware designed primarily to be a server)
3) A move to ARM-powered devices

I stress I am not an expert on this so my outlook may be unduly pessimistic, but it would be interesting to get the views of anyone with more insight into the implications.

Could something akin to Wubi be a way around the problem, albeit far from ideal?

I suppose ultimately I am looking for some reassurance that Linux on the desktop is not being forced onto a road to nowhere.


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