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Old 05-08-2019, 12:36 PM   #16
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
Hmm. Now that UEFI is widespread, you already need a distro with a booting key which has been signed by M$ to even get started on almost all off-the-shelf x86 systems, from notebooks to servers. Thus GNU/Linux distros now require M$ permission to even boot.
I'm not 100% certain since I choose Legacy mode but it is my understanding that no hardware manufacturers have any plans to reduce their market potential by making Secure Boot required. As long as the option to disable it exists there is no MS control. As you pointed out Apple is HUGE, Enterprise computing is even more huge and IBM just spent $38,000,000,000.00 USD just to acquire RedHat. I don't see how MS can block out all that no matter how much they might wish to. It's cheaper and less risky, not to mention a free loot area, just to absorb it and put it to use themselves as well for essentially no cost. Who can turn down a deal like that? The Carrot and the Whip are now well established. I think you worry too much
 
Old 05-08-2019, 01:23 PM   #17
Turbocapitalist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
I'm not 100% certain since I choose Legacy mode but it is my understanding that no hardware manufacturers have any plans to reduce their market potential by making Secure Boot required. As long as the option to disable it exists there is no MS control.
The weeks are running by until that happens: your legacy mode will soon disappear.

I don't have the links handy but the original plans are to eventually make Restricted Boot mandatory, getting there one smallish step at a time. We are in the middle of the process of phasing that in. First it was optional but off by default. Then optional but on by default. Then soon it will be mandatory if plans are followed through on. The OEMs have a miserable relationship with M$, but must still do whatever M$ requires of them. They've been abused since the days of the illegal, per-processor fees and that abuse may change but it does not let up.

The FSF ran a campaign against Restricted Boot (sometimes marketed as Secure Boot) about 7 or 8 years ago.

https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/...whitepaper-web

The UEFI team was either wrongfully naive or lying or both, but what they have created is a monstrously complex, insecure mess to lock out Free software.
 
Old 05-08-2019, 02:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
Hmm. Now that UEFI is widespread, you already need a distro with a booting key which has been signed by M$ to even get started on almost all off-the-shelf x86 systems, from notebooks to servers. Thus GNU/Linux distros now require M$ permission to even boot. It would not be that many more steps to a situation where Linux will only boot either on custom hardware or within an annointed Windoze environment. Greg K-H himself worked towards M$-based virtualization, so there are people high up in Linux that are not opposed to that, or at least not vigilant.

Remember also that although Google / Alphabet has been a major backer of both GNU/Linux and the kernel by itself it is almost ready with a direct comptetitor, Fuchsia. Once Fuchsia is in place they can phase out ChromeOS and Android by attrition over five or so years, with less and less investment in Linux during that time. At the end they can drop anything that is left.

Lastly, I'll point out again that the Linux Foundation is a trade group to advance the interests of its members within Linux, not the other way around. We haven't seen any help from them and in the direction they have been heading we are less and less likely to ever.
M$ had an initiative called "Trusted Computing", which I have heard called "Treacherous computing", that is that very thing; hardware based booting that validates the OS is signed, and virus free before being allowed to boot and get on the network. Of course this means only 1 OS will boot, and that is windows. There are, fortunately, open hardware manufacturers out there but they are a tad pricey. Some are not: PINE for example makes open, ARM based notebooks and other hardware.

There are enough of us rebels out there to buck the system, I am hoping anyway...
 
Old 05-08-2019, 06:28 PM   #19
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
The weeks are running by until that happens: your legacy mode will soon disappear.
Hooo-oo-ld on that Baba Looey. Don't make the mistake of conflating UEFI and Secure boot. They are two separate things. The can be no doubt that ever since UEFI was conceived that it would one day completely replace BIOS. UEFI only provides for different partitioning scheme and how they boot but does not give or take away permission to boot. That is solely the province of Secure Boot and I don't even see any hints that anyone including MS is expecting Secure Boot will ever be delivered without the option to turn it off.

As powerful as Intel is do you recall the hue and cry when they tried to make registering CPUs built-in to BIOS? I seriously doubt those up in arms numbered many in Enterprise since it could have little effect on them one way or another, yet still even to this day one can choose to enable or disable Intel's built in security. Secure Boot threatens a vastly wider set of people uses and hardware than did Intel. I say again, Apple, IBM, The Cloud, etc etc simply would not, will not stand for it. To imagine so is the flimsiest sort of paranoia. You're "tilting at windmills".
 
Old 05-08-2019, 11:24 PM   #20
Turbocapitalist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
Don't make the mistake of conflating UEFI and Secure boot. They are two separate things.
They are two separate things, but only on paper. More in practice they are very closely associated, intertwined even. Like I stated, I don't have the links any more, I should have been more clear there that I meant links about Restricted Boot / Secure Boot. The original plans were to make it mandatory, a situation that would have to be phased in through several stages. We are quite a way down that path already.

However, in contrast to assertions otherwise, all the big companies are backing Restricted Boot, including Apple and IBM:

Apple has no problem with restricted boot and even adds extra stuff on top of it:
https://www.apple.com/mac/docs/Apple...p_Overview.pdf
That will also have repercussions for imaging hard drives as many with lots of machines do in bulk.

(Edit: it's already on by default in the Apple Macintosh and a barrier to easily installing GNU/Linux. Next step: mandatory.)

IBM has Restricted Boot already with its POWER9 architecture at least. So no, IBM has been working with it not fighting it.

Cloud? That's just hosted services, on someone elses computers, see above. The UEFI site has presentation slides covering plans for it even in hosted services. But it would depend on the brand and model of machines at the data center.

Last edited by Turbocapitalist; 05-08-2019 at 11:31 PM.
 
Old 05-09-2019, 11:11 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevendogsbsd View Post
M$ had an initiative called "Trusted Computing", which I have heard called "Treacherous computing", that is that very thing; hardware based booting that validates the OS is signed, and virus free before being allowed to boot and get on the network. Of course this means only 1 OS will boot, and that is windows.
Of course that's going all the way back to the late 90s and early 2000s here, when the latest "sky is falling" schtick claimed TPM/TCPA would make it impossible to even run unlicensed, pirated, subscription expired or homebrew software at all - sort of like DEP on steroids. In spite of all this, I still recall having been able to boot Linux and watch old episodes of South Park.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
However, in contrast to assertions otherwise, all the big companies are backing Restricted Boot, including Apple and IBM:

Apple has no problem with restricted boot and even adds extra stuff on top of it:
https://www.apple.com/mac/docs/Apple...p_Overview.pdf
That will also have repercussions for imaging hard drives as many with lots of machines do in bulk.

(Edit: it's already on by default in the Apple Macintosh and a barrier to easily installing GNU/Linux. Next step: mandatory.)

IBM has Restricted Boot already with its POWER9 architecture at least. So no, IBM has been working with it not fighting it.

Cloud? That's just hosted services, on someone elses computers, see above. The UEFI site has presentation slides covering plans for it even in hosted services. But it would depend on the brand and model of machines at the data center.
And what does most of that mean? While I'd have to get enough information about Apple's new chip to make a decision either way, being "okay with" Secure Boot is not even in the same league as saying "make it completely unable to be turned off," it's just saying "let's have this functionality in one way or another."

Microsoft is a software manufacturer, and no matter how much they would like to hear the question "how high" spoken back to them when they tell AMD, Intel, and the like to jump it's not going to happen. I find it hard to believe that hundreds of thousands of companies around the world running legacy or modified operating systems, to say nothing of hardware which is well past its best before date, would willingly sit by and let that happen.

I'd place bets on the DoJ and/or EU going back to court first.

Last edited by RickDeckard; 05-09-2019 at 11:13 AM.
 
Old 05-09-2019, 01:12 PM   #22
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Hmm, my worry isn't that MS will extinguish Linux but that the developers working on it will (the maintainers here aside). How many people are working on a free Linux kernel, choice of interfaces and terminals? Android and potted Linux servers will, no doubt, go on but how many people out there are really writing OS code not their over-engineered idea of what it could be*?


*if you think you know who I mean let's leave specifics out of this, please? I think the trend is bad.
 
Old 05-09-2019, 06:32 PM   #23
enorbet
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OK Turbocapitalist, since I am a Capitalist, too, maybe we can converse in that to consider market forces and their affect on product. Anytime a desirable technology is cutoff, and often especially made illegal, that action has a "blowback" effect of making that product rare, more desirable to some and eminently more profitable. Now nobody I know of is proposing to bring back 8 Track Tape Players and if not already, soon, Cassette based devices but Reel-to-Reel is a featured draw in some professional recording studios and Vinyl is doing quite well but a hugely increased prices compared to even inflation-adjusted prices from back in it's heydey. Supply and Demand, right?

Not only do I have great confidence that hackers the world over would come up with exploits to disable any permanent "On" switch for Secure Boot (You may be aware that MS has never eliminated Piracy of their own product let alone one over which they have very limited control) but I really don't imagine any company wants to voluntarily hang that Albatross around their corporate neck.

For comparison on a far less critical subject, I now have 6 browsers I am playing with just because Firefox decided to (foolishly) disable ALSA-only operation and I am actively seeking to jump ship even though I have worked with Mozilla since Netscape days and donated from time to time. In this case the switch is still in there and Firefox can be compiled with it enabled. In fact I have some time to work out when, how and with what I will jump ship because I found a version called Firefox-FuckPA that stated with v57 and now is available up to v66.0.4. If one pokes a balloon and creates a depression at one point, the balloon just bulges elsewhere in equal amounts, and that's a passive system. When people are involved such bad press has literally killed corporations. It's one thing to be considered overly aggressively protective of one's property but quite another to attack someone elses property. People don't like to be put in the forced position of no choice.... The Boston Tea Party comes to mind.
 
Old 05-10-2019, 12:03 AM   #24
Turbocapitalist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
Supply and Demand, right?
Only in a free market situation. That's not what we have. M$ has been operating in a monopoly environment since Bill's mom got it for him from IBM in the 1980s. Little Bush even did him a favor and prevented Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson from applying any remedies at the end of the 1990s anti-trust case. Since then the DoJ has been toothless and even if it moved, it would be so slow that the market would be unrecognizably different before they made even a statement. As for the EU, M$ has the EU policiticans in its pocket. (sorry for youtube, the original Deutshe Welle link seems to be harder to find)

Talk of Intel and AMD is mostly irrelevant because their product are what the OEMs package. The OEMs are Asus, Acer, Apple, M$ (yes they make hardware), Samsung, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, and many more, even Google is on the list of hardware makers. M$ is going to push their own interests. And the rest, except for Google, are all under M$ thumb. Even Google these days is aligning more with M$.

As for cracking the system, look how well that played out for Jon Lech Johansen aka DVD Jon in Norway. That was back before the EUCD and, then as now, Norway is outside the EU. They tied him up in the courts for years and that case was just about playback, no more no less.

The browser market is an illusion. You really have only two three rendering engines among the browsers, if lump in the miniscule number of forks in with their parents: Blink, Gecko and Webkit. Blink is made by Google, a proponent of DRM mostly. Gecko is made by Mozilla, a mild proponent of DRM. Webkit is made by Apple, a strong proponent of DRM.

As for agitation? Even if the market were open, which it is not in these areas, where you going to be able to do that agitation? Facebook and Twitter both frown on "illegal" activity such as "piracy" and plans for it.

Back to the core topic, M$ is just messing with the kernel because it has to. The target audience does not appear to be people using Linux already but instead it looks to be a means to keep curent Windows users from trying it successfully. The joke is that if WSL keeps improving it will soon become a viable competitor to PuTTY.

If M$ can control these people's experience with the kernel they can keep them from having a positive, productive experience so that they will just run out of time and money for their "test" and be forced by the managers to return to dorking around ineffectively back on Windows. That would be the best case scenario but to me this looks more like the beginnings of EEE in a new area.

Last edited by Turbocapitalist; 05-10-2019 at 12:54 AM. Reason: added blink
 
Old 05-10-2019, 04:14 AM   #25
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
Not only do I have great confidence that hackers the world over would come up with exploits to disable any permanent "On" switch for Secure Boot (You may be aware that MS has never eliminated Piracy of their own product let alone one over which they have very limited control) but I really don't imagine any company wants to voluntarily hang that Albatross around their corporate neck.
That's what I thought, but look what happened with Chromebooks. Those are very locked down machines, and even though people like Mr Chromebox have tirelessly written cracks for them, it just doesn't work that well, by which I mean, one can install Linux distros on them [well some, forget Slackware] but audio will not work on most. I have Xubuntu running on my Chromebook but it locks up occasionally. So yes, there could be people who will try to crack secure boot, but functionality may be not be that good.

As for your issue with FF, I was a loyal Opera user for about 13 years before I just had to admit I didn't like what it was becoming, and I moved on to Chromium [now Vivaldi, which is at least part Opera].

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
Back to the core topic, M$ is just messing with the kernel because it has to. The target audience does not appear to be people using Linux already but instead it looks to be a means to keep curent Windows users from trying it successfully. The joke is that if WSL keeps improving it will soon become a viable competitor to PuTTY.

If M$ can control these people's experience with the kernel they can keep them from having a positive, productive experience so that they will just run out of time and money for their "test" and be forced by the managers to return to dorking around ineffectively back on Windows. That would be the best case scenario but to me this looks more like the beginnings of EEE in a new area.
Indeed, and if/when MS integrate Linux into their desktop systems most people won't notice or care. There may be announcements about how MS are now using a Linux kernel but your average man on the street won't give a monkey's. It will just be meaningless tech jargon to them.

Last edited by Lysander666; 05-10-2019 at 04:15 AM.
 
Old 05-10-2019, 08:48 AM   #26
enorbet
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Rather than answer several singular specifics put forth here please allow me to entertain a bottom line. I am posting a link that describes how UEFI works and which makes some basic, important facts and features known, since I didn't know them and apparently some here did not either.

The web page is here - https://www.howtogeek.com/116569/htg...ans-for-linux/

Here is an exceedingly important quote from that page

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowToGeek
You can control which signing certificates Secure Boot offers. You’re free to both install new certificates and remove existing certificates. An organization that ran Linux on its PCs, for example, could choose to remove Microsoft’s certificates and install the organization’s own certificate in its place. Those PCs would then only boot boot loaders approved and signed by that specific organization.

An individual could do this, too–you could sign your own Linux boot loader and ensure your PC could only boot boot loaders you personally compiled and signed. That’s the kind of control and power Secure Boot offers.
Again, MS cannot destroy Linux by virtue of Secure Boot which it did not invent and which is part of the UEFI protocol a Global Standard.. In order to function before any OpSys is installed the UEFI protocol must have a Setup phase. During this required phase is where certificates are allowed or denied and even Secure Boot itself. The likelihood that MS or anyone else can force UEFI to eliminate the option to setup what certificates if any are adhered to is exceedingly slim. If we for a wild moment of "what if?" assume they, or anyone, manages to do this it would not, could not be universally applied simply because many billions of dollars worth of computing power is not running Windows and is owned by those who require their own certification. That such a means exists and must exist for Enterprise, Supercomputers and likely Smartphones as well, not to mention specialty cases like Netbooks, Chromebooks and Tablets makes such User-Controllable UEFI firmware essential and therefore available to anyone who wants it.

Notice that initially M$ itself required the Secure Boot toggle. With Windows 10 that requirement was dropped meaning some systems could be created that will only run Win10 unless certificates are swapped out but Secure Boot itself, on those machines, cannot be disabled. This has only existed to any degree with Windows RT but as the article goes on to say, Windows RT is dead. They, or someone, could bring something like Secure Boot made permanent back but the certification must remain replaceable. Then of course there is the hardware, the chip that is the equivalent to the CMOS BIOS chip. Nobody can lock those out anymore than Intel switching to the CPU Slot locked out AMD. Regardless of closed systems, both hardware and economic, the market is just too wide and too diverse for any one "consortium" to lockout Linux nor is there financial incentive to do so.

Simply put if Company A offers you a dollar and Company B (and maybe along with Company B thru Z) offers you 10, which are you going to accept? Bottom Line - if there's money in it there will always be that choice.
 
Old 05-10-2019, 09:48 AM   #27
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So basically there are a whole lot of fundamental misunderstandings of Secure Boot floating around. Not surprising.
 
Old 05-10-2019, 10:49 AM   #28
Turbocapitalist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDeckard View Post
So basically there are a whole lot of fundamental misunderstandings of Secure Boot floating around.
That's because you are helping spread it. >:(

The GNU/Linux distros do not have any traction with the OEMs to get their keys put on each and every notebook, netbook, desktop, or server afflicted with UEFI. Even if the big distros are able to both spend the money to make that happen and overcome the political grip that M$ has on the OEMs, that still kills off all the derivative distros and the hobbyist distros. As for breaking the grip, even BeOS couldn't do that despite winning in court against M$. So there is no practical way to spread keys for GNU/Linux at the same time M$ keys are required anyway, making the situation a lock-out.
 
Old 05-10-2019, 12:59 PM   #29
RickDeckard
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The reality of multiple Linux distributions being at this very moment able to utilize Secure Boot (whether Fedora, SuSE, Ubuntu, or whatever you want to insert here) answers your whole question of traction. I deal in reality, not in hypothetical "what-ifs."
 
Old 05-10-2019, 04:20 PM   #30
cynwulf
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Short memories:

https://www.softwarefreedom.org/blog...ocks-down-ARM/
https://www.softwarefreedom.org/news...mca-exemption/

Secure boot came about during the Windows 8 / Steve "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That's the way that the license works" Ballmer era.

It was supposedly pressure from SFLC and others that forced MS to allow disabling secure boot on x86 hardware - they went ahead and made it a full "lock in/out" on ARM, because they had no real perceived monopoly there.

The "Unified EFI Forum" is the body which is pushing UEFI - the specification of which secure boot is a part. It consists of the three major BIOS vendors, Microsoft, it's most notable x86 OEMs, the two major chip vendors and of course Apple Inc - a vendor well known for "lock in". So no hidden agendas there at all, it's all about "security" of course.

It's also old news that since Windows 10, OEMs have been given the "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" to facilitate "lock in/out" at their own discretion... those OEMs want the "windows logo" badge after all and it means others do MS' dirty work.

https://arstechnica.com/information-...out-a-reality/

The intentions are clear, thus far of limited success on x86, but still they are there, as history shows. I can't imagine that they can be successful, as such a move would attract a lot of the wrong kind of attention. But then there is Windows 10S. With all of this MS is not doing anything hugely different to what google are doing with Android and ChromeOS devices or what Apple have been doing for years. The main problem here is the perception that they are doing it to the "open" x86 platform which they, quite ironically, helped to establish over the last few decades.

It has spent decades trying to subvert and now lock down the platform that it opened, it has been hampered by anti-trust legislation along the way and is now much more wary of direct action, preferring to act via proxy. Especially that any such action will pit it against the other large corporations funding Linux.
 
  


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