[ubuntu-uk] Implications Of Secure Boot Lockout

Paul Waring paul at xk7.net
Tue Apr 7 08:16:19 UTC 2015


On Mon, Apr 06, 2015 at 12:38:01PM +0100, Nigel Verity wrote:
> 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"m not sure moving to ARM would help, given that the Windows Hardware
Certification requirements state:

'Disabling Secure Boot must not be possible on ARM systems.'

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/jj128256

I don't know if this requirement will be relaxed for Windows 10, given
that it's supposed to run on the Raspberry Pi, unless the Pi won't be
certified.

I think we are still a long way off ARM desktop machines anyway. 64 bit
ARM processors are relatively new, and as far as I'm aware Ubuntu
doesn't support them (though Debian does, so it might not be too hard to
add support).

-- 
Paul Waring
http://www.pwaring.com



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