Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:01 pm

TheEmrys wrote:DX11 > OpenGL.

That's a marketing ****. They're equal. OpenGL is superior at some CAD like things while DX is targeted towards gaming crowd. But they are both APIs to reach the same hardware. Rage will be OpenGL mainly, and it will bring some new features to the table that haven't been done before.

TheEmrys wrote:Half of the people out there use(d) Linux in a desire to be different/feel superior. I personally found that Linux just didn't have any advantages at all over Windows. I just haven't found anything that I, as a home user, needed to do in Linux because it was better.

That was the attitude I had few years back. But Linux is finally usable. The actual point nowadays is that Windows have no advantages over Linux, quite the contrary.

Linux:
[*]As an OS it does everything (I ignore the fact that it cannot run all windows executables, just like I ignore the fact that windows cannot run Linux ELFs or scripts, here intentionally. We are talking about OS)
[*]It's easier to set up than Windows
[*]It's free

Plus it has multiple desktops, awesomely powerful terminal, easy to install package manager and so on. And, by the way, Ubuntu boots a lot faster than W7.

So if you stop looking at Linux as something that only nerds use, it's actually a good OS.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:05 pm

Glorious wrote:
cheesyking wrote:...


Good lord, am I using a computer or am I enlisting in some sort of social cause? How the heck did you get from point A to point B? And why would expect anyone to follow you there?


do whatever you want, I was just pointing out to all the people saying "Linux, so what? I don't use it, why should I care?" that they are in fact users and that if this was damaging to Linux it could be bad for them too in the long run.

As it is though this shouldn't make any difference and that's why no one should care about this.

Not too sure what your angle is? I'm guessing you've just got a bit of spare time on your hands... perhaps you could do something constructive and help out beta testing Ubuntu 11.10 :D
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:16 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:The above will teach you a great deal. This is the source presentation for all this misplaced hysteria.
There certainly is something about TPM that sets some people's hair on fire even through their doubleweight tinfoil hats.
Interestingly during one of the first questions he mentions that even Windows 8 32bit will not work under secure boot.
More surprising: that there will be a 32bit Windows 8.
This makes sense given that 32bit Windows has never had a requirement of signature enforcement on drivers. That has been exclusive to 64bit Windows.
UEFI and 32bit were never really happy playmates anyway.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:22 pm

UberGerbil wrote:More surprising: that there will be a 32bit Windows 8.

I thought about this one too. But then again, the Windows source have to compile down to x64 and ARM, I guess x86 is not that much of a deal. And some tablets are x86, or not?
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:39 pm

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/apps/br229516

The x86 and x64 version of Windows 8 are available as part of the Developer preview. :)

I suspect this will be a final release for x86 Windows.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:41 pm

Madman wrote:
UberGerbil wrote:More surprising: that there will be a 32bit Windows 8.
I thought about this one too. But then again, the Windows source have to compile down to x64 and ARM, I guess x86 is not that much of a deal. And some tablets are x86, or not?
It's not so much the kernel itself as the commitment to maintaining the drivers, particularly as new hardware rolls out (PCIe 3.0, etc).

Maybe there's still a Yonah-based Celeron lurking in Intel's OEM-only pricelist, but really I don't think either vendor still sells a CPU that isn't x64-capable. And with RAM as cheap as it is, I can't see anyone offering something --even a tablet -- with less than 4GB even if they're only running a single channel (and the minimal added overhead from the extra page tables is more than compensated by access to that last half-GB or so under x64). No, I suspect the culprit here are some F500 accounts (and the OEMs that serve them) that still insist they are sticking with 32bit because of compatibility concerns (as ridiculous as that might be at this point). It'll be interesting to see if there is even a retail SKU for 32bit, or if those customers will have to buy the 64bit box and then contact MS to get the 32bit version.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:05 pm

Madman wrote:So if you stop looking at Linux as something that only nerds use, it's actually a good OS.


Its not the nerd thing... I'm pretty cool with nerds. I just haven't seen any advantage to using Linux in the home. As long as my wife is going to have laptops, Windows is free for her. I've spent all of $30 on Windows over the last....9 years. And it just flat out works with better driver support.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:24 pm

TheEmrys wrote:
Madman wrote:So if you stop looking at Linux as something that only nerds use, it's actually a good OS.


Its not the nerd thing... I'm pretty cool with nerds. I just haven't seen any advantage to using Linux in the home. As long as my wife is going to have laptops, Windows is free for her. I've spent all of $30 on Windows over the last....9 years. And it just flat out works with better driver support.

Not everyone gets Windows for $30...
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:23 pm

UberGerbil wrote:No, I suspect the culprit here are some F500 accounts (and the OEMs that serve them) that still insist they are sticking with 32bit because of compatibility concerns (as ridiculous as that might be at this point).


The compatibility concerns aren't totally off the wall. They're just niche in comparison to the overall scale of the market. The most likely culprit for retaining 32bit is the need for a proprietary unsigned driver to power proprietary hardware. Following that, how many business applications leverage some sort of DRM that uses 32bit drivers?

I also wonder if perhaps having one more x86 OS isn't a concession to those who are sitting on older - but perfectly servicable - hardware. Standard user computing needs have seemed to be flat for years now.

I'm also not very up on what computing trends look like outside the 1st world. I know 7 & Vista starter editions for the emerging markets were 32bit only in nature. If I had to guess though, computing outside the 1st world is just fine with 32bit.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:45 pm

Madman wrote:Not everyone gets Windows for $30...
If you buy an OEM machine with Windows pre-installed, you're not paying retail prices (since the OEMs apparently pay Microsoft something under $70 per copy, depending on volume, and presumably pass that on to customers in the price of the machine)
Ryu Connor wrote:The compatibility concerns aren't totally off the wall. They're just niche in comparison to the overall scale of the market. The most likely culprit for retaining 32bit is the need for a proprietary unsigned driver to power proprietary hardware. Following that, how many business applications leverage some sort of DRM that uses 32bit drivers?
Yeah, that was my thought. But Win7 changed the driver model anyway, so it's not like your old 32bit XP drivers are going to load happily in Win8, and how many of those proprietary drivers are getting updated? I don't know about DRM for those big LOB apps, but I would hope they've gotten on the 64bit bandwagon by now. It's not like getting a driver signed is an insurmountable challenge even for a small developer.

And at this point, if you're got funky old unsupported/un-updated 32bit hardware and drivers, a better solution in many cases is XP Mode virtualization anyway.
I also wonder if perhaps having one more x86 OS isn't a concession to those who are sitting on older - but perfectly servicable - hardware. Standard user computing needs have seemed to be flat for years now.
But how many of those people are really likely to buy an OS upgrade for those antiquated machines? If they can't be bothered or don't have the money to upgrade their hardware, they don't seem like candidates for a retail OS sale unless it offered something compelling -- and much of the seemingly compelling features in Win8 are tied to new hardware (ie tablets, kinect, etc). And volume business customers generally don't roll out an OS upgrades by itself, but tie it to new hardware that replaces the machines they've fully depreciated.
I'm also not very up on what computing trends look like outside the 1st world. I know 7 & Vista starter editions for the emerging markets were 32bit only in nature. If I had to guess though, computing outside the 1st world is just fine with 32bit.
This is an interesting point that I hadn't considered. It is indeed possible that the Starter/RestOfWorld edition in itself justifies maintaining the 32bit codebase. At this point though they should just make the full, legit 32bit version be the "starter" version and get rid of the other arbitrary limitations. Leaving you stuck at ~3.5GB usable memory when RAM prices are where they are is limitation enough.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:02 pm

UberGerbil wrote:But Win7 changed the driver model anyway, so it's not like your old 32bit XP drivers are going to load happily in Win8, and how many of those proprietary drivers are getting updated?


Vista, 7 will happily use an XP driver! Heh. We'll see of course, but I suspect 8 32bit will also.

Even personally done it first hand on an old Dothan based laptop. Only XP sound drivers are available for it. They work well under 7. :)

UberGerbil wrote:I don't know about DRM for those big LOB apps, but I would hope they've gotten on the 64bit bandwagon by now. It's not like getting a driver signed is an insurmountable challenge even for a small developer.

And at this point, if you're got funky old unsupported/un-updated 32bit hardware and drivers, a better solution in many cases is XP Mode virtualization anyway.


I would hope most developers have made the leap, but I have seen some truely sloth like behavior from large development houses before. BuddistFish could share plenty of stories regarding the horror of medical software. Let's not forget sometimes it's not the developer who hasn't updated... it's the business that doesn't wanna come off the money. :P

As for XP virtualization, remember that you can't always jam every driver or device you need into it.

UberGerbil wrote:But how many of those people are really likely to buy an OS upgrade for those antiquated machines? If they can't be bothered or don't have the money to upgrade their hardware, they don't seem like candidates for a retail OS sale unless it offered something compelling -- and much of the seemingly compelling features in Win8 are tied to new hardware (ie tablets, kinect, etc). And volume business customers generally don't roll out an OS upgrades by itself, but tie it to new hardware that replaces the machines they've fully depreciated.


Yeah, much like the business scenario above this does seem pretty niche. If we it add it as one more step the whole though, perhaps it explains the justification for Win8 x86 living.

UberGerbil wrote:This is an interesting point that I hadn't considered. It is indeed possible that the Starter/RestOfWorld edition in itself justifies maintaining the 32bit codebase. At this point though they should just make the full, legit 32bit version be the "starter" version and get rid of the other arbitrary limitations. Leaving you stuck at ~3.5GB usable memory when RAM prices are where they are is limitation enough.


7 starter got rid of the three application limit that existed in Vista starter. I'm presuming 8 will also live on without it.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:23 pm

Thanks RyuConnor for the good explainations. So as long as the OEMs provide an option in the firmware to allow unsigned boot, there should be no problems in dual-booting Win8 x64 and Linux (or even other flavors of Windows). And given your explainations, it seems likely that most OEMs will provide the option to do unsigned boot so doesn't seem like a problem for now. Correct?
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:25 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:Vista, 7 will happily use an XP driver! Heh. We'll see of course, but I suspect 8 32bit will also.

Even personally done it first hand on an old Dothan based laptop. Only XP sound drivers are available for it. They work well under 7. :)
Interesting. My couple of attempts at that -- with pre-SP Vista, admittedly -- failed rather badly. All the slides showed XP drivers (including video) existing side-by-side but the reality seemed rather different. Maybe that was just the Vista teething problems, or maybe I just had bad luck with the drivers I picked. (Though my mother's cheap old canon scanner never worked with Win7 either)
As for XP virtualization, remember that you can't always jam every driver or device you need into it.
I would've said that about loading XP drivers into Vista/7, too, though....
It's too late now, but I still think they could've done transparent virtualization for loading 32bit drivers into 64bit Win7. It would have been suboptimal along several dimensions, but it would've accelerated 64bit adoption.
7 starter got rid of the three application limit that existed in Vista starter. I'm presuming 8 will also live on without it.
Yes, but there are a bunch of other rather arbitrary restrictions, most notably no DWM/Aero. I expect the stuff they trim out to create Win8-starter will be different, but it will still be de-featured compared to the "real" 32bit Win8. (It might be more acceptable if they were guided by minimizing the memory footprint, but that's clearly not the case).
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:22 am

Madman wrote:The point that Windows is superior to other OSes, it's really not. Applications make it appear to be superior.


Must I repeat again that the entire point of an OS is to use applications?

It doesn't "appear" to be superior, it *IS* superior if you want to use those applications.

Madman wrote:If all of the applications would have been cross-platform, there would be 0 things why I would choose Windows over Linux


But they're not. Outside of completely non-practical metaphysical speculation, you have no point.

Which *IS* the point, because computers are real things with practical uses.

Madman wrote:oh, actually -1, because Linux is free


Once again, is this about actually using a computer or fighting for some sort of social cause? Because if it's the former I care, if it's the latter take it to R & P.

Madman wrote:You're arguing about OS+applications.


From the standpoint of someone who just wants to use a computer to do stuff, what's the difference?

Madman wrote:That's a marketing **** They're equal


Madman wrote:OpenGL is superior at some CAD like things while DX is targeted towards gaming crowd


Can you go a single sentence without contradicting yourself?

Madman wrote:But they are both APIs to reach the same hardware.


You do realize that DirectX is a HECK of a lot more than just Direct3d? Right?

And, in any event, if games predominantly only use ONE of those two APIs, well, gee.

Madman wrote:That was the attitude I had few years back. But Linux is finally usable. The actual point nowadays is that Windows have no advantages over Linux, quite the contrary.

Linux:
[*]As an OS it does everything (I ignore the fact that it cannot run all windows executables, just like I ignore the fact that windows cannot run Linux ELFs or scripts, here intentionally. We are talking about OS)


Yes. You are "right" when you ignore the entire reason why OSs exist.

Madman wrote:[*]It's easier to set up than Windows


People here disagree. You just ignore them and repeat the party line.

Madman wrote:So if you stop looking at Linux as something that only nerds use, it's actually a good OS.


I guarantee you that I've used more computer architectures and OSes for real-life purposes than you ever have. So please, take your exhuberant ignorance and baseless slander elsewhere.

cheesyking wrote:do whatever you want, I was just pointing out to all the people saying "Linux, so what? I don't use it, why should I care?" that they are in fact users and that if this was damaging to Linux it could be bad for them too in the long run.


This is true of virtually anything you can think of in a modern industrial society. It is not unique to linux and thus it has no bearing on anything. I also completely disagree that desktop linux really has all that much impact on server linux anyway.

cheesyking wrote:Not too sure what your angle is? I'm guessing you've just got a bit of spare time on your hands... perhaps you could do something constructive and help out beta testing Ubuntu 11.10


This is surreal. Are you talking about actually using a computer to use a computer, or using a computer in furtherance of a social cause?

Do you understand the difference? Do you understand that conflating the two things will annoy people, and that disentangling the two is "my angle" here?
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:00 am

A_Pickle wrote:I mean, be vigilant, but I don't think that Linux is at risk here unless they put themselves there. UEFI is a technology that (I could be wrong) I think most of us want. It's better than the BIOS. Linux better be up to the task of supporting that, otherwise... I mean... I don't think that other organizations are to blame unless they're deliberately obtuse enough to not provide a solution.

Intel's heavily involved in the development and distribution of UEFI, so I think Linux is safe.


Linux is at the mercy of the hardware vendors to implement specs correctly, every OS is really. Software can be written to get around the deficiencies, but that doesn't excuse a shoddy implementation by the OEM.

OpenBoot, OpenBIOS, or CoreBoot would be better. As it stands UEFI is still a locked box of proprietary code.

Intel's involvement doesn't mean anything. They can write whatever they want into the spec, but it's up to the hardware vendors to implement the spec fully and correctly. For instance, ACPI is supposed to be a neutral spec for power control; it's supposed to work with every OS that implements the spec correctly. Unfortunately, an OS can implement the spec 100% correctly, and AHCI will still be horribly broken because the OEM did a half-assed job implementing it. Usually, the OEM gets ACPI to work with Windows and quits leaving many things broken, missing, and generally useless because they aren't coded to spec or are tailored to look only for Windows. (Yes, this is a problem, and the reason the Linux kernel reports itself as Windows to the AHCI subsystem.)

A_Pickle wrote:I'm not an idiot. I know Windows like the back of my hand. ... I am not technically inept.

We're all technically inept until we get on the backside of the learning curve. I'm not as proficient with Powershell as I am with cmd.exe, or Solaris as I am with Linux/FreeBSD, or Debian as I am with RHEL/CentOS/Fedora, or....


But when I install Kubuntu...


I think I found your problem. :) Kubuntu isn't very well supported. Canonical prefers to concentrate on Ubuntu, and OpenSuse and Mandravia are better KDE distros.

I'm told that most distributions of Linux have a PDF soft-printer right out-of-the-box, which is nice -- but how would I find that? Where's the equivalent of Windows' "Devices and Printers" in Ubuntu or Kubuntu? And why did installing CUPS-PDF from apt-get somehow kill the boot process?


They do. The PDF option is the under the "Print to File" option in the print dialog. On my Fedora box the "Devices and Printers" equivalent is "Printing", and in KDE the print options are buried in the System Config. I'd just search for printing from the KDE4 launcher.

I'm not sure why it killed it. Idiocy like that is why I left Ubuntu.

Edit: It's ACPI not AHCI.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:53 am

Obstinately to make the OS and system more secure, this requirement seems to not only knock out linux but also boot loaders, other OSes, certain types of encrypted drivers, older versions of windows, and recovery software.

Best case senario: if self-signed certificates are allowed, recent and custom linux distros and kernels would work, and maybe a patch or two for win7 and winXP would allow them to hobble along. Sophisticated viruses and malware would also sign their own certificates, eliminating the "secure" part of the equation (though it may stop a few less sophisticated attacks). So the end result is more work for everyone to get through the boot process.

If there are no self-signed certificates this would be REALLY bad. All things mentioned above would not work, dual booting anything with win8 would essentially be impossible, system recovery would be more difficult - yet malware would likely use another attack vector and continue to bother people in general. And whatever private keys are used to sign the certs would either be 1) a very high value target for brute-forcing by botnets or 2) the more likely scenario of some "trusted party" OEM leaking the keys.

The "open" platform of the PC used to be a strength, but seems to be more of a problem for companies like MS as time goes on. I like tablets, smartphones, and other gadgets as much as the next guy, but there are times where I want the ability to to fully customize and control digital input/output.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:13 am

Glorious wrote:
cheesyking wrote:do whatever you want, I was just pointing out to all the people saying "Linux, so what? I don't use it, why should I care?" that they are in fact users and that if this was damaging to Linux it could be bad for them too in the long run.


This is true of virtually anything you can think of in a modern industrial society. It is not unique to linux and thus it has no bearing on anything.

I don't follow your logic here. If this is true then surly everyone in a modern industrial society is reliant on oil so worrying about the supply of oil also has no bearing on anything. I agree there isn't much any individual can do about either the supply of oil or computer OSs or a whole host of other things of greater or lessor importance but that doesn't mean you shouldn't care about them.
I also completely disagree that desktop linux really has all that much impact on server linux anyway.

You're probably right, I don't think it has much direct impact on the server space and made no such claim but people have to start somewhere, I know I started out on Red Hat 9 and I'd imagine that the majority of developers and admins with Linux knowledge started off in a similar way. Playing around with an interesting toy (EDIT: meaning the desktop bit) before moving on to do something useful.

This is surreal. Are you talking about actually using a computer to use a computer, or using a computer in furtherance of a social cause?

Do you understand the difference? Do you understand that conflating the two things will annoy people, and that disentangling the two is "my angle" here?

Really? So you're part of some kind of social cause to stop people being annoyed at entangling computer use with social causes?

Anyway I don't think I am confusing the two, I'm not telling everyone that it is their duty use Linux on the desktop or all the baby panders will die. I'm not suggesting people should send letter bombs to Redmond or Dell HQ, I'm just suggesting that given its position as a foundation to much of the internet it's something people frequenting a technology website should have at least a passing interest in even if they never choose to install it on their own computers.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:37 am

cheesyking wrote:I don't follow your logic here.


It seems pretty clear to me. People use computers to use computers, not to advance whatever personal agenda of yours that you've decided to assign to them.

You want to know why your linux advocacy gets the reception it does? Because it's all about telling people what they need to do for you/linux, not telling people what linux can do for them.

cheesyking wrote: If this is true then surly everyone in a modern industrial society is reliant on oil so worrying about the supply of oil also has no bearing on anything.


It doesn't.

To spell that out for you, worrying about the supply of oil has no bearing on anything, because worrying about it doesn't actually do anything.

cheesyking wrote:I agree there isn't much any individual can do about either the supply of oil or computer OSs or a whole host of other things of greater or lessor importance but that doesn't mean you shouldn't care about them.


Nor does it mean that they should.

cheesyking wrote:You're probably right, I don't think it has much direct impact on the server space and made no such claim but people have to start somewhere,


They do? What, exactly, is it they are starting?

cheesyking wrote:I know I started out on Red Hat 9 and I'd imagine that the majority of developers and admins with Linux knowledge started off in a similar way


And they'll continue to do so regardless of how people shamelessly and inaccurate pimp Ubuntu in a windows forum.

cheesyking wrote:Playing around with an interesting toy (EDIT: meaning the desktop bit) before moving on to do something useful.


Right, but as a replacement for "windows" you're not, and Madman isn't either, talking about a replacement for Windows server 2003 or 2008 or whatever. You're talking about the desktop.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:02 am

I think Glorious is just being grumpy because desktop Linux didn't live up to the hype. :lol:

However, his overall point is valid: An OS can't be "better" in an overall sense if it doesn't facilitate running the applications and/or services that the user needs. Linux evangelists often seem to lose sight of this fundamental fact.

I'd been dabbling with Linux as a server OS for several years before I tried using it seriously as a desktop OS. Windows Vista eventually shoved me over the edge (speaking of not living up to the hype... :wink:), and I haven't looked back.

I don't game any more, and Linux is capable of doing *almost* everything I need. Aside from typical web, e-mail, and office type stuff I mostly use my PCs for software development, and teaching myself about new software tech. Once I came up the Linux learning curve (key point there...), I found it more flexible and easier to maintain than Windows. Unlike a few years ago, driver support is actually *better* in Linux these days, especially for legacy hardware. I also really like the fact that I can move system images around, reinstall, create VMs to try things out, etc. without worrying about product activation. And yes, free (as in beer) and Free (as in you get the soure code) are both good, but are secondary issues relative to the "does this actually do what I need?" question.

For me, the advantages outweigh the (IMO minor) inconvenience of needing to occasionally use a VM for stuff that absolutely requires a Windows app. At work, I just leave a Windows VM running all the time (on one of my 10 virtual desktops!) for MS Outlook and Word. At home, I fire up a VM to run Microchip's microcontroller IDE. But ~80% of my time on the computer at work (and probably close to 99% at home) are spent in Linux.

That doesn't mean Linux is going to be ideal (or even usable at all...) for everyone. I realize that my use case isn't typical; gaming (as has already been mentioned multiple times) is a potential show-stopper, as are many other Windows-only apps that some people can't get by without. VMs are a potential solution in some cases (like mine)... but you do take a performance hit, and VMs are probably not viable if the Windows apps need 3D acceleration. And if you're going to spend most of your time in the Windows VM anyway it would be rather silly not to run Windows as your native OS...

***

Getting back to the original topic of this thread, it sounds to me like "make sure the BIOS has a switch to disable this feature" just got added to my motherboard pre-purchase checklist. As long as there's a way to turn it off when necessary, it is probably a good thing.

I think a more important question (and one I haven't seen asked yet...) is who will be allowed to issue the security certificates. As we've seen recently, the infrastructure for issuing the certificates for secure (HTTPS) web traffic is broken. There are too many certificate authorities, some of which have rather lax security practices. In the case of HTTPS, at least you can easily distribute updates to everyone's web browsers to revoke the compromised certificates. But if a similar security breach ever occurs at a CA who issues these secure boot certificates, you're gonna have to somehow update everyone's BIOS (best case), or possibly even replace the motherboards (worst case). A certificate-based system is only as secure as the entity issuing the certificates...
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:05 am

UberGerbil wrote:
I'm also not very up on what computing trends look like outside the 1st world. I know 7 & Vista starter editions for the emerging markets were 32bit only in nature. If I had to guess though, computing outside the 1st world is just fine with 32bit.
This is an interesting point that I hadn't considered. It is indeed possible that the Starter/RestOfWorld edition in itself justifies maintaining the 32bit codebase. At this point though they should just make the full, legit 32bit version be the "starter" version and get rid of the other arbitrary limitations. Leaving you stuck at ~3.5GB usable memory when RAM prices are where they are is limitation enough.

My experience outside of the 1st world is that most of it is fine with 32-bit XP! Of course, all it takes for them to move is when Microsoft finally stops releasing security fixes and one massive pwnage by a piece of malware that exploit the unpatched hole(s). But then again, at that point the users may decide to not even buy a new computer and switch full time to tablet/smartphone because their main computer uses now are just email and Facebook.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:03 pm

JBI wrote:I think Glorious is just being grumpy because desktop Linux didn't live up to the hype.


haha I'm certainly grumpy, and yes, it really grates on me that people have been saying this stuff for like ten years now.

You've certainly explained what I'm trying to get at in a much nicer and accessible way, and I appreciate that.

Now, time to revert your good work and re-divert this thread :p

The reason I get all fed up is probably because I see too much of myself in all these comments. Back when I was in middle school and high school I had all this enthusiasm for advocacy and all that jazz, but eventually I lost interest. Years later, I realized why.

One, I moved on but the overall cause never did. It is forever the "year of desktop linux." I'll agree that progress has been made, but after a decade you just can't take the claims seriously. If you are programmer, please FSM make the open source applications better. Instead of saying Linux is the same, why not try to make GIMP a little more like photoshop, because it still feels like you have hamfists and looks like you're wearing drunk googles. And, FFS, don't even speak to me about NLE, because I may have to slap you.

Two, I realized that everyone else was not like me, did not have the same aspirations & ideas as me, and did not have interests like me. I further realized that this was not only OK, but a good thing. If people are happy with what they have, fine, leave 'em be. People don't have to understand how a car works in order to successfully drive and enjoy one. Same with computers.

Three, I realized that all of this is probably a hopeless cause anyway. Look at the explosive growth in smartphones and tablets and tell me with a straight face that people really want to tinker. I'm pretty sure that they just want to have latest "cool" gadget that lets them do what THEY want to do, not what WE want them to do. This is increasingly true of even technologically-minded folks in my peer group. So, free as in beer or as in speech, they just don't seem to care. I don't think we're going to be able to change that.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:41 pm

Flying Fox wrote:My experience outside of the 1st world is that most of it is fine with 32-bit XP!
Or even Win2K, until fairly recently. But Microsoft is still motivated to create a Starter edition that they can offer at lower cost to OEMs that sell there (and who are competing with all the vendors offering pirated full Windows versions), and that may be enough to keep the x86 codebase alive.
Of course, all it takes for them to move is when Microsoft finally stops releasing security fixes and one massive pwnage by a piece of malware that exploit the unpatched hole(s). But then again, at that point the users may decide to not even buy a new computer and switch full time to tablet/smartphone because their main computer uses now are just email and Facebook.
Certainly consumers in a lot of the rest of the world will skip the PC era entirely (just as they skipped the cable TV and landline eras) going to smart handheld devices and the cloud. But there are still business users that need proper desktops (or laptops on desks), and for them whitebox PCs with a pirated OS are still a cheap and viable alternative to tablets plus physical keyboards or whatever. (Possibly the skip the pirated OS and go with Linux, but they seem to want what the rest of the world is using, and that argument is going fine in this thread already)

It's been a while since I frequented the internet cafes in asia, but I'm not sure mass pwnage will be enough to move some of these places -- in many cases they were already pwned by malware, and didn't seem to care. Of course there were also the places that were totally on top of things: a decade ago I sat down in an internet cafe in Phnom Penh and discovered my allotted machine (running Windows NT!) wasn't connecting. The granny running the place yelled into the back and this little girl who was probably eleven years old but looked no older than eight came out, sat down, brought up a command line, and started interrogating the router, running ipconfig, etc., and had me connected in a few seconds. (The odds were stacked against her, but I hope she went on to the great things she was clearly capable of).

Anyway, the point is that regardless of the realities on the ground, Microsoft is still going to want a de-featured version of Windows that they can offer at a lower cost to OEMs without cannibalizing sales of Home Premium, and in the Win8 timeframe that will probably still be a 32bit version.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:43 pm

just brew it! wrote:A certificate-based system is only as secure as the entity issuing the certificates...

And in my day job us IT-aware types have worried and grumbled over the trusted third party issue for a good decade or so.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:50 pm

Glorious wrote:One, I moved on but the overall cause never did. It is forever the "year of desktop linux." I'll agree that progress has been made, but after a decade you just can't take the claims seriously. If you are programmer, please FSM make the open source applications better. Instead of saying Linux is the same, why not try to make GIMP a little more like photoshop, because it still feels like you have hamfists and looks like you're wearing drunk googles. And, FFS, don't even speak to me about NLE, because I may have to slap you.
One of the things I found odd about the overall user experience (apps and desktop) in Linux over the years was that the highest aspiration for the developers often seemed to be no higher than "equivalent to Windows" (and photoshop and office and etc) -- and in many cases they didn't even manage that. There were exceptions here and there, obviously, but much of the time everybody seemed to be quite content with that low bar. Maybe my expectations were unreasonable, and maybe the nature of the project is such that the developers are more interested in tinkering under the hood, but I anticipated more innovation on the UI side than actually occurred.

Given the growth of Android, though, I think you can argue that the "year of Linux" finally happened... just in people's pockets, not on the desktop.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:52 pm

JBI wrote:I think a more important question (and one I haven't seen asked yet...) is who will be allowed to issue the security certificates. As we've seen recently, the infrastructure for issuing the certificates for secure (HTTPS) web traffic is broken. There are too many certificate authorities, some of which have rather lax security practices. In the case of HTTPS, at least you can easily distribute updates to everyone's web browsers to revoke the compromised certificates. But if a similar security breach ever occurs at a CA who issues these secure boot certificates, you're gonna have to somehow update everyone's BIOS (best case), or possibly even replace the motherboards (worst case). A certificate-based system is only as secure as the entity issuing the certificates...


During the Q & A session of the presentation I linked your question was asked and answered. Windows Update (Windows 8) has the ability to update a blacklist in the UEFI firmware to account for certificate compromises.

Obviously older versions of Windows and Linux won't have to worry about this... as they'll be running with the secure boot off any way.

I seriously doubt any enthusiast mobo or business oriented OEM system will ever ship without the needed setting exposed in the firmware. As the inability to run older OS's would be considered a non-starter by both Enterprise customers and enthusiast users alike.

The only place it gets iffy is if you buy an OEM PC for the home. The cheap $300 HP home PC you were gonna turn into a *nix router might need a bit more research before the buy.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:17 pm

UberGerbil wrote:One of the things I found odd about the overall user experience (apps and desktop) in Linux over the years was that the highest aspiration for the developers often seemed to be no higher than "equivalent to Windows" (and photoshop and office and etc) -- and in many cases they didn't even manage that. There were exceptions here and there, obviously, but much of the time everybody seemed to be quite content with that low bar. Maybe my expectations were unreasonable, and maybe the nature of the project is such that the developers are more interested in tinkering under the hood, but I anticipated more innovation on the UI side than actually occurred.

Yes, UI design has always been a weak spot. IMO there are a number of reasons for this; you've touched on one of them (many developers more interested in tinkering under the hood). The fact that there have been (and still are) multiple competing desktop environments has also hurt quite a bit from a usability standpoint; GNOME and KDE are different enough that even though it is possible for each to run the other's apps, you get a very inconsistent user experience when you mix-n-match that way.

UberGerbil wrote:Given the growth of Android, though, I think you can argue that the "year of Linux" finally happened... just in people's pockets, not on the desktop.

Yup. And Android was able to sidestep the whole Linux UI morass because they were essentially starting from scratch with a single unified UI vision.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:19 pm

Glorious wrote:And they'll continue to do so regardless of how people shamelessly and inaccurate pimp Ubuntu in a windows forum.


:lol: , I'd assumed this was in the Linux forum (I clicked on it from the front page). Yeah asking you to beta test 11.10 is basically trolling in the same way posting some of your comments would have been trolling in a Linux forum, so sorry about that.

I don't think I've shamelessly and inaccurately pimped anything, though I'll agree there has been quite a bit of that going on. Madman and I are not the same person and I don't think we've been say the same thing.

Moving on...

Presumably no existing PCs have got the requisite keys built in even if they do have EFI so there won't be any upgrading to win8 without a new PC? Though so far it's hard to see a reason to upgrade from 7 to 8 anyway.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:28 pm

Glorious wrote:
Madman wrote:The point that Windows is superior to other OSes, it's really not. Applications make it appear to be superior.


Must I repeat again that the entire point of an OS is to use applications?

It doesn't "appear" to be superior, it *IS* superior if you want to use those applications.


And you CAN use applications with Linux, everything the x86 or amd64 or ARM can do, all that is available to applications through Linux. Just because Windows only app doesn't run on Linux doesn't make Linux any worse as an OS. Because if it would, we could say Windows is worse than Mac because it cannot run MacOS app.

Glorious wrote:
Madman wrote:If all of the applications would have been cross-platform, there would be 0 things why I would choose Windows over Linux


But they're not. Outside of completely non-practical metaphysical speculation, you have no point.

Which *IS* the point, because computers are real things with practical uses.


Even accounting for this, I can use Gimp, Firefox, Skype, LibreOffice on Linux, and unless I need to play a game that's not supported through Wine, Linux has everything I need. And is a very solid and practical platform.

Glorious wrote:
Madman wrote:oh, actually -1, because Linux is free


Once again, is this about actually using a computer or fighting for some sort of social cause? Because if it's the former I care, if it's the latter take it to R & P.


Why cant you use a computer if it's running a Linux? :roll:

Glorious wrote:
Madman wrote:You're arguing about OS+applications.


From the standpoint of someone who just wants to use a computer to do stuff, what's the difference?


Because you can do stuff with Linux, unless it's some weirdo scenario. What is exactly you can't do with it?

Glorious wrote:
Madman wrote:That's a marketing **** They're equal


Madman wrote:OpenGL is superior at some CAD like things while DX is targeted towards gaming crowd


Can you go a single sentence without contradicting yourself?

Madman wrote:But they are both APIs to reach the same hardware.


You do realize that DirectX is a HECK of a lot more than just Direct3d? Right?

And, in any event, if games predominantly only use ONE of those two APIs, well, gee.


Dam, I hoped it would never come to this... Anyway...

TLDR; version: OpenGL and DirectX are equal, because they are a wrapper around same damn hardware.

Long version: OpenGL is supperior, because it supports advanced features like true stereoscopic buffers that are used in professional CAD development and true 3D, not the gimick/hack one used in DirectX. Then, OpenGL has extension mechanism that actually allows using hardware features that are not exposed through DirectX until next version. Nvidia just released path rendering extension that allows vector graphics acceleration through hardware, it's available as an OpenGL extension, you check hardware has it, you query for function addresses, and you call them. With DirectX, you have to wait for DX12, and even then you're at the mercy of Microsoft, if they'll allow it or not.

Concerning other features, there are still shading languages in both APIs, interaction with computing shaders, etc., etc.

OpenGL also has less problems with batch submissions, so instance rendering that was hyped for DirectX as a performance savior was actually irrelevant for OpenGL.

So OpenGL actually allows you to get more out of hardware. DirectX allows you to get less, but, they have functions that simplify mundane tasks like texture loading, which takes 2 pages of code anyway, so who cares...

Still, why I said they're equal, because for all the consolitis plagued games nowadays, there is no difference, they won't use true stereoscopic 3D with quad buffering, they won't rely on bleeding edge features, and they don't need a full backwards compatibility of OpenGL.

I hoped it cleared your Microsoft centric view on how OpenGL is useless and limited.

Glorious wrote:
Madman wrote:But they are both APIs to reach the same hardware.


You do realize that DirectX is a HECK of a lot more than just Direct3d? Right?

And, in any event, if games predominantly only use ONE of those two APIs, well, gee.


Right, so few texture loading classes, few tools and an input processing code is like something that turns world around? In true game engine they account for maybe 2% of code. Moreover OpenGL has alternative libraries, the only difference is that OpenGL developer often simply rewrite these libraries because they take few hours to write anyway.

And why predominant? Marketing anyone? Look at how you react on OpenGL and Linux, like it's unusable, when in all reality it's the same damn thing as your Windows or DirectX

Glorious wrote:
Madman wrote:That was the attitude I had few years back. But Linux is finally usable. The actual point nowadays is that Windows have no advantages over Linux, quite the contrary.

Linux:
[*]As an OS it does everything (I ignore the fact that it cannot run all windows executables, just like I ignore the fact that windows cannot run Linux ELFs or scripts, here intentionally. We are talking about OS)


Yes. You are "right" when you ignore the entire reason why OSs exist.

See what I did there.

Glorious wrote:
Madman wrote:[*]It's easier to set up than Windows


People here disagree. You just ignore them and repeat the party line.


I walked through the Ubuntu install for a non-IT girl through phone. She had zero problems installing it.

In Ubuntu setup they ask you for: Username, Time Zone (automatically detected), Keyboard input. Then you press ok, and the system is ready. Hardest part is booting from CD.

Glorious wrote:
Madman wrote:So if you stop looking at Linux as something that only nerds use, it's actually a good OS.


I guarantee you that I've used more computer architectures and OSes for real-life purposes than you ever have. So please, take your exhuberant ignorance and baseless slander elsewhere.


Really...? :roll:
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:34 pm

cheesyking wrote:
I also completely disagree that desktop linux really has all that much impact on server linux anyway.

You're probably right, I don't think it has much direct impact on the server space and made no such claim but people have to start somewhere, I know I started out on Red Hat 9 and I'd imagine that the majority of developers and admins with Linux knowledge started off in a similar way. Playing around with an interesting toy (EDIT: meaning the desktop bit) before moving on to do something useful.

Well, the Linux desktop is still more effective to administer Linux servers. All built in tools, SSH, SFTP, SFTP through GUI. It's a lot faster to develop applications for Linux servers on Linux than it is to develop them on Windows and push over to target server for debugging.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:03 pm

Ubergerbil wrote:Given the growth of Android, though, I think you can argue that the "year of Linux" finally happened... just in people's pockets, not on the desktop.


True, but like I said in my third point, that really isn't the kind of thing people were imagining, for multiple reasons.
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