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Old 02-12-2013, 08:52 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
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.
You have too much faith in the market's capacity to make intelligent decisions.

You know as well as I do that most people don't know about "secure boot" and nor do they care.

The dumb majority will buy it... And where will that leave us in 10 years' time?

As for me, I'm telling anyone and everyone to avoid Windows 8 at any cost.

So don't buy anything that comes with Windows 8 pre-installed.

Last edited by rkelsen; 02-12-2013 at 08:55 PM.
Old 02-12-2013, 10:48 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
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.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:31 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
Yes. Should be able to.

For someone from the US, you certainly seem to be complacent in losing your freedom.

It's not against Microsoft alone. It's against anyone and anything that supports "secure boot".

If we don't fight it now, we may not have a choice in the near future.

It seems too many here in the USA keep forgetting why this was said:

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety,
deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin

That may not have been meant for software and computer hardware, but it holds true in this situation just the same.
Old 02-13-2013, 08:02 AM   #49
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The problem isn't about uefi, but about who controls it. It is also about the future of general purpose computing. One must always look at these things, not simply as a singular event, but as a trend, as something moving in a certain direction.
Do we want our pcs and laptops to end up like the smartphones - with the software locked in?
Isn't it now a criminal act in the USA to replace or change the software in a smartphone?
The faith in the market is na´ve. The market will only cater to a minority at a price, and this higher price will be dampen demand.
The reason why monopolies and cartels are in principle forbidden in a free market is because they distort and destroy the free market. Indeed, that is the intention of a cartel. Microsoft should have been broken up, like AT&T, because of its dominating position, but it used its huge political influence to protect itself.
Old 02-13-2013, 08:50 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by harryhaller
Microsoft should have been broken up, like AT&T, because of its dominating position, but it used its huge political influence to protect itself.
I believe that statement. Microsoft is as a hidden ( or not so hidden ) monoply. The mojority of the worlds pc's are preloaded with M$, blindsiding anyone that doesn't know or care about anything other than being like everyone else and having a functional computer. People need to have choices at all time. M$ has and will continue to be the market leader as so we let it. The majority will always choose it because thats pretty much the only thing offered. What can be done about this? Apple is almost the only other option and that's even more proprietarized and expensive. The free software community needs to make a plan on how to shift the gears more in its favor and hit M$ and Apple with a checkmate!

This is the bigger issue. The major players are already laps ahead in the race. Why can't we make a plan to level the playing field and catch up to or even surpass those who have already overthrown the *nix community. Something can be done its just a matter of implementing it and spreading it like wildfire to the community for further developement and higher politcal gain.

I type this while hacking away at my iphone 4. Go figure!
Old 02-13-2013, 09:24 AM   #51
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Apparently most of you have not followed the markets lately. Microsoft has been drafting partners to applaud the new Windows 8 in hopes of getting more market share. People are not purchasing the new equipment as they once did when a release of software is made. Look at Microsoft's' marketing and the results. No where near the expected sales. Tablet entry is a poor piece of hardware with a clumsy OS. People can read the writing on the wall. As to the desktop position, no where near the expect sales. Poor interface! Does not mean we cannot choose some of the hardware and install a Gnu/Linux with knowledge about 'Secure Boot' & 'UEFI'/'EFI'. Be aware of the hardware and design!

Please read the referenced material linked before: Secure boot or UEFI Home; Maybe inform yourself by visiting;
Learning Center The following are resources from past events and technical sessions.
Introduction to UEFI on Dell Business Client Platforms
When the platform is targeted to boot only in UEFI mode, the firmware can skip initialization of the devices that take direct part in the boot process. Instead these devices get initialized inside the OS. What previously required up to 10 seconds to do inside the firmware can now be done in as little as two seconds.
Download the whitepaper here.

UEFI Today: Bootstrapping the Continuum The Intel Technology Journal, Volume 15, Issue 1 issue is completely focused on UEFI and the impact the technology has had on platform engineering. The content architects for this edition are Vincent Zimmer and Michael Rothman. From its roots in 1997 to support Intel« Itanium« based servers and the first published Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) specification around 2000, Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) has now eclipsed legacy BIOS across all computing platforms from high performance servers to mobile devices to deeply embedded devices. The success of UEFI would not have been possible without industry support of the open source implementation and industry-guided platform firmware specification. UEFI as an open standard specification ensured that it received broad support and investment from across the industry to evolve as required to support technology changes in our industry, for example boot time requirements and an ever-increasing focus on security.
Please read the above reference then you may understand your idea/ideal about Microsoft 'Secure boot' are not true. Knowledge should enlighten you! None of the involved companies would support 'UEFI' if everything is locked. Inform yourself!
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:29 AM   #52
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Thanks, onebuck! The refs given clarify to this reader what has become a misunderstood and contentious issue.
To users, it seems a unilateral executive decision they are being coerced into accepting, like it or not. MS is easiest to blame for its imperiousness and arrogance. Like many pols of late, I hope corporations likewise begin to see that the perceptions and feelings of the general populace need conideration as well, not just those of their "upper echelon" peers.
Well done. I guess it took a Slacker to synthesize this and put it in one place for the benefit of all Linux users!
Old 02-13-2013, 10:41 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by volkerdi View Post
Yes. This is just information for the people who want to brick their Samsung laptops now.
That's the coolest post on this thread! I got a chuckle out of that!
Old 02-13-2013, 01:45 PM   #54
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I thought Windows Vista and Windows 7 were horrid Os's, but if Windows 8 doesn't force people to drop Windows in droves there is no hope of finding intelligent life on this planet.
Old 02-13-2013, 08:09 PM   #55
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On Windows 8, the worser it gets the harder people try to use it.

Look at Gnome 3. .... my appologies.

Old 02-13-2013, 10:57 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
We should be fighting "secure boot" because it is thinly veiled fascism.
... Kenny?
Old 02-15-2013, 02:54 PM   #57
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The problem is neither UEFI, nor Secure Boot. Both are, in their own ways, good ideas. The problem lies soley in the implementation and the fact that MS seems to be "wagging the dog". Any OS maker, organization or individual should be able to install their own certificates WITHOUT needing to rely on Microsoft's good graces to have things work as intended.

Certainly there are work-arounds, and no MS doesn't control the situation as much as some people think. It is however a slightly slippery slope and I disagree with allowing MS, or any single entity, the ability to manipulate a situation where I potentially have to rely on their magnanimity to use my hardware as I see fit. It hasn't come to that, yet, and what needs to be done is ensure it can't.

MS is also not the entire problem. UEFI and even Secure Boot specifications allow for not only disabling SB, but the use of certificates other than MS certs. Some of the blame has to lie with the hardware and firmware manufacturers for their narrow and limited implementations. Sadly I don't see too many complaining to them, which is where a lot of said complaints should be directed.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:09 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by onebuck View Post

Whenever you wish to certify Win/8 the means to disable secure boot must be allowed for the certification process.

I am not giving up any freedoms nor complacent by choosing to allow free enterprise and markets to work. Where there are needs there will be suppliers for the populace.

'Anti-whatever' is getting old to me and to bias the situation with FUD just creates more biased FUD. Get the facts: Secure boot or UEFI Home

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!
The problem with
choosing to allow free enterprise and markets to work
is that they no longer work in many areas of our lives.
Microsoft has essentially 100% monopoly on brand name computers (not counting Macs as they are a monopoly of their own) so all those brand name computers will have to have secure boot.
Basically you have a duopoly, Microsoft and Apple, and you can't walk into Best Buy and buy a computer preloaded with Slackware.

But more importantly free enterprise and markets don't work in other areas. Just look how many cell phone provider choices you have in your area, one or two, maybe three.
Internet providers? Couple? Maybe three or four?
How many providers for you gas and electricity?
And worse of all the FCC and CRTC (our Canadian FCC) are allowing Cable and Phone companies to also be a content owners, so not only you don't get a choice who you get your Internet connection from, but they now can dictate your data caps and what content goes where.
And it'll only get worse if people keep tolerating this.
So yeah, I have to go with Rkelsen and Astrogeek on this one.
And I hate seeing politics discussion here (our sacred Slackware forum) but I suppose sometime it's necessary if it affects Slackware functionality so much.
Old 02-26-2013, 05:18 PM   #59
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Linus' opinion:
Old 02-28-2013, 04:41 AM   #60
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I was getting sick of having to press Esc at the right time of the boot sequence of my laptop in order to bring up the UEFI boot menu, so after a very brief search I found something called "refind":

It is a "boot manager" which can be configured to run any boot loader on your machine. It is working well for me, so I thought I'd share it here.
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