Open Ballot: Will "secure boot" hinder Linux adoption?


By the end of the decade, you might not be able to install Linux on a random, off-the-shelf PC. At least, not easily. This is because the UEFI "secure boot" system is being pushed by Microsoft, and could restrict the installation of other operating systems. You see, in order to boot an OS, the bootloader will need to be signed with special keys, which causes complications for totally open, free-as-in-freedom GPLed software. There may be ways around it, but it'll be fiddly.

So as we crank-start the engines for our next podcast recording, we want to hear your views: will these complications hinder the adoption of Linux? Will the necessity of fiddling with UEFI options to disable "safe boot" put people off trying the OS? Indeed, could some PC makers force "safe boot" to be the only option, effectively tying machines to Windows 8? Let us know your thoughts, and we'll read out the most interesting in our upcoming podcast.

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Your comments

look on the bright side

at the moment there are few linux laptops to buy in the uk, partly because we all buy the best value we can find and install it ourselves. If we can't do that then it may create a larger market for a few places to sell stuff which is Linux compatible or has it installed. This may be the best thing they could have done for us!

Linux newbie

I´m throu with MS.
People can use whatever OS they wan´t but i´m not byuing any more MS products.
Next time i´m getting a new laptop it won´t have MS software, maybe a Dell, i hear they´re shipping some with Ubuntu as the OS :)
I´m still a Linux newbie but i´m learning and will keep on doing so.
Linux 4ever :)

Go ahead lock them up.

I'm not worried yet. I kind of think Microsoft may get stuck in their own pile of poop if they force computer makers to permanently lock their machines. From what I have learned here I won't be buying a machine that can't be unlocked and I'm sure after word gets out many other MS users won't buy a machine that can't be unlocked. For the simple reason people don't like being told what they can or can't do with a machine that they paid good money for.

All my older machines end up with Linux on them and nobody is going to force me into anything. I just don't have to buy their stuff.

I think what will happen is machines will be offered with a choice of either Linux or Windows. Is that what they call shooting yourself in the foot?

Bingo !!

Too bjdodo,
Politics and law have no business here. They always end up doing more long term harm than good.

To Andrew Cole,
Thank you. It's refreshing to see somebody out there has more than space holding their ears apart.

it will be able to disable

it will be able to disable it in the bios, guys don't stress I have seen the image of the bois demonstrated in Phoronix,hopefully this true. if not I'll sue microsoft myself!!!!

Not Buying

Following experience with MS7 the lockout will turn people away especially if it is Hardware located.

Build your own

If this secure boot goes ahead then the obvious solution would be dont buy a pre built PC, build your own instead, it can be much cheaper, you get the system you want and you can install anything you want to it as well. Also its not hard, Ive been building my own systems for years.

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