Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

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Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:14 am

Terrible news. Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting:

http://goo.gl/VRzRU
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:23 am

A little too over dramatic?

The article wrote:Garrett, for his part, is not panicking about the new requirement. He's hopeful that OEMs will be able to include an option in their UEFI firmware to disable the secure booting feature.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:24 am

It's a bit of a sticky widget, but I understand why they're doing what they're doing. It would be nice if it allowed for self-signed certificates though.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:54 am

If I cannot dual-boot Windows and Linux, then I guess I will have to stick to Linux. The only reason I still have Windows is because it comes pre-installed and I like to play games. I need UNIX for work -- games are nice, but I can't give it up. Or maybe I will just buy a MacBookPro the next time around; hopefully I will have enough money to afford it in a couple of years.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:05 am

I'm not so concerned about Linux (sorry!!!) but it sounds like maybe DIY PCs and buying OEM copies of Windows could be complicated as well? Not that I plan on running Win8 on a desktop - but probably a tablet and the first thing I'd do is wipe it and install from scratch...
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:05 am

This might eliminate dual booting but only on OEM systems. For those of us who build our own computers, I don't see anything in that article that would prevent us from dual booting.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:16 am

cfroese wrote:This might eliminate dual booting but only on OEM systems. For those of us who build our own computers, I don't see anything in that article that would prevent us from dual booting.


Windows 8 is going to push manufacturers to make some sweet tablet hardware (Intel and ARM based). I want to run Ubuntu, not Windows 8, on next gen PC tablet hardware.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:35 am

less than .005% cry as a result...
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:41 am

xtalentx wrote:less than .005% cry as a result...


I'm not willing to lie down and accept Microsoft as the sole OS provider in the PC hardware space. They are the 800 lb gorilla that needs to be dealt with.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:43 am

End User wrote:
cfroese wrote:This might eliminate dual booting but only on OEM systems. For those of us who build our own computers, I don't see anything in that article that would prevent us from dual booting.


Windows 8 is going to push manufacturers to make some sweet tablet hardware (Intel and ARM based). I want to run Ubuntu, not Windows 8, on next gen PC tablet hardware.


Hmm, hadn't considered the tablet space when I wrote that. I can see a bunch of issues there.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:50 am

This is a variation of the same tech that already exists in Windows 7 and Vista.

in order to gain access to it in 7 and Vista you must:

1. Have a TPM module
2. Enable Bitlocker

Under those conditions a change to the boot files is flagged during the boot process as a possible malicious/compromising change to the machine.

In order for the machine to continue booting all one has to do is enter in a Recovery password that is set during the setup of Bitlocker. It is also possible to disable the securing of the boot through GPO.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd835565(WS.10).aspx

I see little reason to believe that a similiar method of recovery will not exist under this new system. There should be a way to accept untrusted boot files.

From a security perspective Microsoft does have a bit of a point. The other thought listed in that article is that Linux distro's might follow suit and begining signing boot files. I think that would be a win, win if the vendors can work through the GPL compliance issues.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:29 pm

End User wrote:
xtalentx wrote:less than .005% cry as a result...


I'm not willing to lie down and accept Microsoft as the sole OS provider in the PC hardware space. They are the 800 lb gorilla that needs to be dealt with.


I find Microsoft makes better products than just about anyone (not with everything) in the OS space there is just no beating them.. That may change in the future but right now - they are king and for a reason.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:30 pm

I've always been against Linux fanatics and stuff. But right now I dream that something pushes Linux at least over 10% of usage. I really, really hope.

The Linux is very simple and usable nowadays, and the only problem with it is the fact that software manufacturers don't produce software that works in Linux.

I would dump the Windows in a second, if I could launch all games and few apps that I sometimes use without problems.

And the new Metro interface and the holy mess with .NET, Native, WinRT, Win32, ARM vs. x86/x64 is only forcing me more and more towards Linux.

And no, I don't get that flick stupid simple thing interface, even though I own an Android phone, which is basically a phone, emergency camera and an internet source, because it cannot do anything else even remotely useful. PC is for productivity (read no Metro) and games (read full-screen no Metro) and DVD/Blu-Ray (read full-screen no Metro).

Then again Unity with that Zeitgeist stuff kinda sucks...
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:32 pm

xtalentx wrote:I find Microsoft makes better products than just about anyone (not with everything) in the OS space there is just no beating them.. That may change in the future but right now - they are king and for a reason.

Not true anymore...

I'm thinking of switching to Ubuntu as soon as I'll get the second HDD. There is nothing Windows can do better, I repeat - nothing.

What saves Windows is only the fact that a lot of cool programs simply doesn't work under Linux.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:56 pm

Madman wrote:There is nothing Windows can do better, I repeat - nothing.

What saves Windows is only the fact that a lot of cool programs simply doesn't work under Linux.


Which is, you know, something.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:03 pm

Glorious wrote:
Madman wrote:There is nothing Windows can do better, I repeat - nothing.

What saves Windows is only the fact that a lot of cool programs simply doesn't work under Linux.


Which is, you know, something.

Yes, but not from Microsoft, so my point still stands.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:05 pm

Madman wrote:Not true anymore...


I wish I could agree. Really, I wish I could, but my experience with Linux (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mint) has been anything but painless or useful. Make no mistake: I believe in "the cause" of Linux, and I wish I could run a Linux distro as my main machine... but I can't. I have tried.

I'm not an idiot. I know Windows like the back of my hand. I can use just about every Microsoft Office program to it's fullest extent, and I can use just about every LibreOffice program to even fuller extents. I work with Cisco's IOS on their routers and switches day-in and day-out, and sometimes I get to mess around with 3M networking equipment, as well. I've worked with multiplexers, I've worked with Android devices, I've worked with Blackberries, iPhones, PalmOS devices... you name it. I am not technically inept.

But when I install Kubuntu (it's the most appealing variant of "easy Linux" to me) on my Toshiba notebook sporting vanilla Intel guts (965 Express Mobile, GMA3150, and Wi-Fi Link 4965) and boot it for the first time, try to install a PDF printer and then am unable to boot back into a usable desktop environment, it's a bit of a disappointment. I don't know what the hell I did. I do know that I've never, ever been unable to boot into Windows as a result of the failed install of a PDF printer, though. Windows just installs the PDF printer. Successfully.

I'm sure I did something stupid. 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?

I'm sorry, but that's an instant turn-off. Like I said, I'm all for the cause of the GPL, and I'd love to be using GPL-only software. But Linux, while improving (still), is not yet in the same league as Mac OS X or Windows as far as usability goes.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:38 pm

A_Pickle wrote:
Madman wrote:Not true anymore...


I wish I could agree. Really, I wish I could, but my experience with Linux (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mint) has been anything but painless or useful. Make no mistake: I believe in "the cause" of Linux, and I wish I could run a Linux distro as my main machine... but I can't. I have tried.


As a person that has used (and enjoyed using!) Gentoo for years, sometimes as my sole OS...I agree. I'm back to just Windows (7) right now, as the last two years of work have been unpleasant enough to suck most of my alternative OS tweaking energy right out of me.

You are obviously capable of learning Linux, but don't have the time or patience for it. This is perfectly OK. I spent years trying to learn, many many months of frustration all together, before I got comfortable. It would be stupid to expect that kind of commitment to a single hobby from anybody else!
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:40 pm

CasbahBoy wrote:
A_Pickle wrote:
Madman wrote:Not true anymore...


I wish I could agree. Really, I wish I could, but my experience with Linux (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mint) has been anything but painless or useful. Make no mistake: I believe in "the cause" of Linux, and I wish I could run a Linux distro as my main machine... but I can't. I have tried.


As a person that has used (and enjoyed using!) Gentoo for years, sometimes as my sole OS...I agree. I'm back to just Windows (7) right now, as the last two years of work have been unpleasant enough to suck most of my alternative OS tweaking energy right out of me.

You are obviously capable of learning Linux, but don't have the time or patience for it. This is perfectly OK. I spent years trying to learn, many many months of frustration all together, before I got comfortable. It would be stupid to expect that kind of commitment to a single hobby from anybody else!

Stick with Ubuntu, it's so simple anyone can just install and use it. Easier than Windows actually.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:46 pm

End User wrote:
cfroese wrote:This might eliminate dual booting but only on OEM systems. For those of us who build our own computers, I don't see anything in that article that would prevent us from dual booting.


Windows 8 is going to push manufacturers to make some sweet tablet hardware (Intel and ARM based). I want to run Ubuntu, not Windows 8, on next gen PC tablet hardware.

it works on this gen hardware just fine. a touchpad runs ubuntu, and they can be purchased reasonably cheap.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:21 pm

Regardless of your views on Linux on your personal machines something that has the potential to harm Linux has the potential to harm everyone because the fact is that everyone who uses the internet uses Linux. This site runs on it; much of Google, Yahoo, Amazon runs on it; many ISPs use it for all sorts of things; the list could go on for a long time.

OK killing desktop Linux (which this probably won't do anyway) won't kill it on the server but it won't do it any good either. Since Linux relies on its users to help with development putting a barrier in front of new users getting into Linux could lead to a shortage of developers a few years down the line.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:28 pm

Madman wrote:Yes, but not from Microsoft, so my point still stands.


No, it doesn't.

I use an OS so I can use applications. Perhaps you use an OS just to use an OS, but that's called doing nothing.

Similiarly, I have a car so I can go places. I do not have a car so that I can have a car. I know there are people who prefer certain cars because they like going to places in comfort/style, but that's complementary. In my case, I don't really care so long as the car is functional.

There are those who have a car just to have a car, like an antique or showpiece. I can relate to that in that I have a Quantum Bigfoot HD and all sorts of other technological oddities stored away, because I think they're cool and I like owning a unique/bizarre piece of history.

If you're running linux on some esoteric piece of hardware, you fail into the latter category. Other than that, we're talking about the first one.

And, in the first category, where you can go with a car has everything to do with that car itself and the decision to use it. To better complete the analogy, it is as if roads are/were built with certain cars in mind, and LOTS of roads have been built for a certain car. Yes, you can pretend that these things are not complementary, but the notion that the roads built for a certain car have nothing to do with that car itself is sort of, well, ridiculous on any level other than a purely abstract one.

I appreciate that for your needs, this other car of yours takes you to where ever you need to go. GOOD FOR YOU, but what about the rest of us?

Some of us don't think the "routine maintenance" of that car is as "routine" as you claim it is, because we are not willing to labor for that which we do not love. Or, more congenially, perhaps we're just used to the sort of maintenance that our car requires, and not willing to do a different, but comparable, type of maintenance. For whatever reason, your car just isn't the same as our car, sorry. Believe it or not, people are different!

Or maybe we just need to ride on roads that only our car can go on, or merely just want to. And while those roads and our car are theoretically separate, for any practical purpose they're CLEARLY the same. To us, what's the difference?

So, no, your "point" does not stand.

cheesyking wrote:Regardless of your views on Linux on your personal machines something that has the potential to harm Linux has the potential to harm everyone because the fact is that everyone who uses the internet uses Linux. This site runs on it; much of Google, Yahoo, Amazon runs on it; many ISPs use it for all sorts of things; the list could go on for a long time.

OK killing desktop Linux (which this probably won't do anyway) won't kill it on the server but it won't do it any good either. Since Linux relies on its users to help with development putting a barrier in front of new users getting into Linux could lead to a shortage of developers a few years down the line.


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?
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:32 pm

OK killing desktop Linux (which this probably won't do anyway) won't kill it on the server but it won't do it any good either.


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. And, even then, I've never known the OSS hacking community to not be up to a task.

Intel's heavily involved in the development and distribution of UEFI, so I think Linux is safe. Microsoft obviously doesn't really like the idea of easy Linux gaining traction, but the reality is that the "easy Linux" distributions for x86 systems haven't made a dent in Windows sales. I think they'd lose a lot more by being obtuse about it than simply enduring the same competitive pressure that they've managed to endure (and maintain a huge market share) for decades now.

I agree, losing Linux won't do anyone any good... but I don't think we're losing Linux.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:46 pm

UEFI includes the ability to disable secure boot.

The terms the documentation use is user mode and setup mode.

User mode = secure
Setup mode = "normal" or insecure - will boot unsigned code

-

The auther of the original blog post that started all this even admits in his own comments that disabling secure boot is possible. His bitch and moan is that OEMs might be lazy and not expose the setting in their custom firmware.

That's a legitimate complaint, but it's not Microsoft committing the sin of sloth in this case.

-

This technology came about as part of whole disk encryption and TPM modules. It was not developed by Microsoft and its intent is to secure PCs, not to destroy the Linux empire and kill your dog. This technology developed out of the PC security field and given how many of those inviduals are *nix users, you can imagine they didn't build it to destroy Linux and burn down your house.

I'd also note that this secure boot technology can and will break older versions of Windows too.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:56 pm

Glorious wrote:...


The point that Windows is superior to other OSes, it's really not. Applications make it appear to be superior. If all of the applications would have been cross-platform, there would be 0 things why I would choose Windows over Linux, oh, actually -1, because Linux is free.

You're arguing about OS+applications.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:57 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:His bitch and moan is that OEMs might be lazy and not expose the setting in their custom firmware.


Thanks for pointing that out. Something to be mindful of when looking at tablets next year.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:09 pm

Flying Fox wrote:A little too over dramatic?

The article wrote:Garrett, for his part, is not panicking about the new requirement. He's hopeful that OEMs will be able to include an option in their UEFI firmware to disable the secure booting feature.

D'oh!
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:41 pm

Madman wrote:
Glorious wrote:...


The point that Windows is superior to other OSes, it's really not. Applications make it appear to be superior. If all of the applications would have been cross-platform, there would be 0 things why I would choose Windows over Linux, oh, actually -1, because Linux is free.

You're arguing about OS+applications.


If and if and if.... but it doesn't affect is. Windows is just better for gaming. DX11 > OpenGL. There just isn't getting around that. 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.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:54 pm

http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/BUILD/BUILD2011/HW-457T

The above will teach you a great deal. This is the source presentation for all this misplaced hysteria.

Interestingly during one of the first questions he mentions that even Windows 8 32bit will not work under secure boot.

This makes sense given that 32bit Windows has never had a requirement of signature enforcement on drivers. That has been exclusive to 64bit Windows.
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Re: Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting

Postposted on Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:00 pm

Windows 7 also does not work under secure boot.

It lacks the ability to to validate the UEFI firmware, which is one of the requirements.

The presenter states clearly that if you needed to dual boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 you would have to disable secure boot in the UEFI.
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