Originally Posted by onebuck
Market will decide whether to support 'UEFI' protocol with subset 'Secure Boot'. As to the set: 'Secure boot' protocol from Microsoft that too will be decided by the market. Not by people who shout about conspiracies! You are free to make a choice or not!
Your confidence in the market is just not something I share. It is important to keep in mind that M$ is not simply carried along on the whims of the market - they expend great effort and much money to drive that market the way they want it to go - for better (for them) or worse (for the rest of us, usually). Anything as signifigant as controlling the boot process certainly was well analyzed for their own benefit within their board chambers, long before the rest of us knew about it.
And the harsh reality is that "we" (users) are no more free to make a choice in these matters than the extent of the choices "they" (market leaders) offer us. Much like the charade of democracy - you can only choose among the candidates offered. (OK, maybe this is a political rant...)
It is not necessary to invoke a conspiracy theory to see that this is how it works! On the other hand, I don't know what word better describes non-disclosed decisions and agreements (i.e., secret collusion) among businessmen with the intent of influencing (i.e. manipulating) the markets to their own ends... and if you don't think that happens daily then I envy your innocent world view, but it won't last!
But I agree with you that there needs to be a new incarnation of the BIOS layer. Whether UEFI is a good choice, I really can't say. Although I am inclined to take the word of those of you in this forum who have had early experience with it and seem to think it is OK in some ways... it is obviously what we will have to work with in future.
But when it comes to current implementations of it, and with Secure Boot in particular... we are not just talking about a replacement for BIOS!
Now back to the market strategy of M$ (aka "conspiracy theory")... here is what I really think, and what I really fear is happening...
Two general concepts are of highest importance to the development and spread of free software as we have known it:
* Ability to re-purpose, re-cycle hardware for low cost access to development platforms
* Ability to easily share the resulting products with others, for furhter development or simple use
The very origin of Linux, for example, was the idea to create a Unix-like operating system to run on i386 hardware... that is, to re-purpose existing 386 boxes to become Unix-like platforms. Very few people ran out and bought new 386 systems to install their new Unix-like operating system on! The reality is that access to disused hardware, and ability to put it to a new use has been critical for many aspects of free software's development, not just Linux.
Then, when you have your new SkyNet AI prototype semi-working, you have to be able to share it with others easily, or there is little point in doing it! That means that others must be able to easily install and run it on whatever hardware they have available, their own PC more often than not.
Now look at the effect of UEFI/Secure boot (or any form of hardware lock-down) on these two activities.
All the disused hardware in the world is useless if you cannot boot it without some one else's permission! And if that someone sees you as a threat to their profits... And no need to repeat how you can just turn it off, I have heard that many times.
But if it really is all so simple to turn off, then why all the discussion? Why this thread? Why not just read the easy to use instructions and get on with it? If you can simply ignore it, then why does Red Hat or the EFF or anyone else have to ask M$ to sign their bloody keys! That is an outrage!
Even if it were true that you can take it or leave it, yes or no, it still puts all future hardware one boolean bit away from NOT being able to turn it off, and it puts M$ in control of that particular bit... doesn't that disturb anyone?
In a worst case, I think landfills will soon be receiving tons of perfectly functional used hardware, simply because it cannot be repurposed any more. And I think that is a major point of Secure boot - to drain the swamp as it were. Used hardware will no longer compete with the market for "new improved" hardware, and developers will have to buy their hardware license just like everyone else... treadmill 2.0.
But I think more importantly is the second aspect - sharing your free software. Developers will find ways around the block, usually, but all those other potential users will have a seriously more difficult time of it!
Look back over the past 20 years with Linux, how much effort has gone into making it easy for non-techie types to install this or that Linux distro. That has been a major focus of development from the kernel to your distro of choice.
But it appears that with UEFI/Secure boot, you will no longer be able tell your buddies, "Pop in the DVD and run the installer, then boot into Linux!". I think this is going to be the insurmountable barrier for many. It will certainly be an impediment to the spread of free software, and therefore free knowledge and free ideas - which is what we are really talking about.
And it is an artificial barrier designed with that thought in mind - IMHO.