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Linux Users Might Soon Despise Microsoft Must Root Your PC?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Bob Maxey, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
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    I was looking for cute kitten videos and an Eggs Florentine recipes on the web and I came across this:

    Windows 8 Spells Trouble for Linux, Hackintosh Users and Malware Victims

    I talked to someone last week who mentioned this issue in passing, and I did not believe it. I am not worried so far, just interested in seeing what you folks have to say.

    Apparently, Windows 8 will give us firmware locks and something called "Secure Boot" which must be enabled by computer manufacturers in order to be able to use the new Windows 8 Logo.

    From the link, "The downside is that users have a lot less control over their hardware with this feature enabled. Much like mobile devices that prevent unsigned ROMs from loading, this would mean desktop systems with Windows 8 would not run unsigned OSes without rooting the computer. If you have malware on your system, you're stuck with the OEM recovery media instead of being able to use your own recovery software."

    More . . .

    "Microsoft is trying to lock down system firmware to prevent malware and pirated copies of Windows. Unfortunately, this may have some undesirable side effects for Linux users and anyone else that wants to boot an operating system not officially blessed by Microsoft and OEMs. This poses a problem for hobbyists and large organizations alike."

    Discuss? What do you Ubuntu fans think?
     

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  2. NightHawk877

    NightHawk877 Android Enthusiast
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    It's flat out bogus.
     
  3. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
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    Perhaps not as dire as reported, but it is being reported by some folks that should know. Like Matthew Garrett, Power management and mobile Linux developer at Red Hat who wrote a piece about Secure Booting.

    I guess we will have to wait and see.

    Read this, perhaps:

    mjg59 | UEFI secure booting

    "The UEFI secure boot protocol is part of recent UEFI specification releases. It permits one or more signing keys to be installed into a system firmware. Once enabled, secure boot prevents executables or drivers from being loaded unless they're signed by one of these keys. Another set of keys (Pkek) permits communication between an OS and the firmware. An OS with a Pkek matching that installed in the firmware may add additional keys to the whitelist. Alternatively, it may add keys to a blacklist. Binaries signed with a blacklisted key will not load.

    There is no centralised signing authority for these UEFI keys. If a vendor key is installed on a machine, the only way to get code signed with that key is to get the vendor to perform the signing. A machine may have several keys installed, but if you are unable to get any of them to sign your binary then it won't be installable.

    This impacts both software and hardware vendors. An OS vendor cannot boot their software on a system unless it's signed with a key that's included in the system firmware. A hardware vendor cannot run their hardware inside the EFI environment unless their drivers are signed with a key that's included in the system firmware. If you install a new graphics card that either has unsigned drivers, or drivers that are signed with a key that's not in your system firmware, you'll get no graphics support in the firmware."

    Sounds like Apple and Blobs
     
  4. drdoom

    drdoom Android Expert
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    I'll be sticking with my dual Windows 7 and Ubuntu if this is true.
     
  5. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian
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    I foresee that the default key will be a M$ key - that will soon be hacked, much to M$'s chagrin - that you can use to install software. But, yeah, it smacks of Apple all the way.

    I build my own computers, and I'll do whatever it takes to keep building the compute and installing what software I own. if M$ gets in my way, to hell with them, I'm conversant enough in FOSS alternatives to give them the permanent boot.
     
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  6. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    Forget that. Ill dump windows in a heartbeat. This is going too far.
     
  7. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    Eh.. I keep waiting for (more, MORE) PC makers to include an open source Linux distro as OEM. If something like this the OP is posting comes along, we could see more of my wish to come true. Microsoft driving more users to Linux and the mfg responding, or to Mac as well.
     
  8. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    As much as i hate to admit it, but this would def lead me to dual booting / vm linux & osx. This would also drive the need for a distro that can natively run .exe with full hardware support.
     
  9. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
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    Didn't MS do away with XP Activations because the public went nuts? Perhaps before Win 8 is released, there will be people finding ways around whatever MS does or MS will decide they do not want history repeated.

    Or people will decide enough is enough and go Apple.

    I installed XP and I could never properly activate the damn OS. I was constantly bothered by errors related to the process and since I bought a retail copy of XP with my ill gotton gains, I did not like being told I could not activate Windows and that I had to verify my copy was legal. BS, it was legal.

    Not sure what happened but one bright and sunny day, my XP box stopped booting and gave me a warning about activation. The only solution was a complete re-install. Yes, it was likely me.

    So I found a registry hack that solved the problems I has once and for all.
     
  10. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants
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    Ha I've run into that a few times repairing people's PC's and I actually have a PDF saved with all the proper commands to do it lol.
     
  11. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
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    In my opinion, most buyers will still go MS. Sure some will opt for something new but most will likely put up with MS and their craziness because they do not want to learn another OS. I have noticed alternatives like Ubuntu are just too strange for many people. No desire to learn a new OS, so they will stick it out or buy Apple.

    Then again, what do I know, anyway. I still love NeXSTEP, the AmigaOS, OS2/Warp, and Dr. DOS from Digital Research so you cant trust my judgement.

    Not to mention, I adore the ONLY Microsoft "OS" named after me, I'm that Bob.

    Microsoft Bob - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Anyway, I am in favor of more choices and MS is rapidly becoming Apple so I am rapidly becoming anti-MS and because Apple sucks dragon nipples (Big Smiley), I have no choice but to start building a box. I hope I saved my DR DOS disks and OS Warp floppies.

    I see it now, "The Microsoft App Store." Only MS software or software approved by MS can be installed. Hey, it works for Apple.

    OR stick with Windows 7 and ignore MS altogether. Yes, that is what I'll do.
     
  12. andruoid

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    If they go ahead with this manufacturers should make a physical jumper on the MB to turn it on or off. This would make things really simple to allow users to install alternative OSes. It would also ensure the security if kept 'on'; if the pins aren't connected via a jumper, nothing can be written to that area.

    There is always this route as well; Open-source hardware - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  13. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
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    Perhaps, but you must consider if the device can run something else like an alternative OS. I do not think it is as simple as you think. As for open source hardware, we debated that some time ago on this forum.

    I firmly believe if Google could do it over, Android might not be open source and free. I'll never create a product that is open source because I want to be paid.
     
  14. andruoid

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    I should have been more clear, I didn't mean to say the manufacturing is easy. What I meant was a simple way for the user to control the hardware they buy and use it the way they want.

    If Google didn't use open source, they wouldn't be where they are today. Think of all the devs out there who do this for pure enjoyment of providing end-users with excellent products from the OS to the application. Both you and I know they don't have to do this but they do! Sure, donations are sometimes asked for. Being paid is always a good thing, money is what makes the world go around. However, this is their free time they are using, this is self-determination at its finest.
     
  15. 9to5cynic

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    I think the idea itself it alright, and to help prevent malware, sure. But I don't really see how it'll stop unauthorized copies of Windows. It'll be what? less than a month until the underbelly of the web figure out how to bypass this.

    It seems like a major pain for linux users. But, I'm sure they too will find a way around it. Nothing is forever.
     
  16. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
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    It has to do with Keys and signing. Perhaps magic beans and blessings from Balmer. Try this for a little more info:

    Windows 8 OEM specs may block Linux booting | ITworld

    "PC users who run Windows and Linux on the same machine will want to do some research before purchasing a Windows 8 computer. That's because systems with a "Designed for Windows 8" logo must ship with UEFI secure booting enabled
     
  17. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
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    Apple does a similar thing with iOS. Unless you save what are known as "Blobs" there is no way to downgrade your software to take advantage of a jailbreak. You cannot use another user's Blobs, either.

    If MS does something like this, there will likely be no way around it. If there is, it will take at least 5 hours. Smiley.
     
  18. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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  19. Mayhem

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    I still have a copy of OS/2 WARP from when I worked for IBM - as a Level 2 OS/2 WARP network support tech. It's too bad that IBM couldn't get enough of a foothold to keep it alive.

    Believe it or not, a bunch of the big insurance companies and banks (and the FBI) were running it back in the 90s.

    I doubt seriously that I could get it to run on anything built in the last 10 years.
     
  20. 9to5cynic

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    If my professor was right, a lot of places still use Warp for POS terminals. I guess a lot of business-y apps are run on it. I, however, have very limited Warp experience, we only installed it via vmware and used it for a couple of classes.
     
  21. karandpr

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    I dont see a problem any time soon .Most of the people will buy the product ,provided it works and it's no concern that whether it could run Linux or Not .They will just be happy that it starts .
    For the 5 p.c of people (hobbyist and hackers ),Manufacturers will have secured boot disabled hardware or some sort of alternative .
    What it will mean ,is the common folks who are using Windows 8 Logo HW cant shift to Linux or alternatives .They wont also be able to use retail versions of dows curbing so called piracy .
    The rest 5 p.c are happy using non win 8 certified HW tweaking their way to satisfaction .
    For all it is worth ,this strategy will work for 6 months or so
    If the non-geeks raise a hue and cry ,Microsoft will promise that the feature will be removed and improvised in upcoming Windows 9 .
    If not then the "additional security" will be upgraded in windows 9
    Of course they earn millions on-route . This is microsoft .They create the problems and offer solutions .
    People will rather wait for Windows 9 then shift to Linux ,
     
  22. ardchoille

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    I build my own computers. So, as long as I can buy computer parts, Microsoft can do whatever they want with secure boot as it won't affect me. Yet another benefit of building your own systems.
     
  23. Snow_Fox

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    I really hope game developers hop off the windows platform if this happens.

    May have to give up pc gaming or something, which would be a heart breaker for me since I spent more on my Graphics cards than most people spent on their console..

    I could handle "Steam OS" A distro created by Valve, for when gaming is srs bsnss.

    I Build my own rigs.. but, I would lose the ability to game :(
     

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