EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.25.12

Ubuntu Acknowledges UEFI Mistake by Taking FSF Advice

Posted in FSF, Ubuntu at 12:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono the Trojan
Source: “Mono, the Trojan” (reused with permission)

Summary: Canonical decides to keep GRUB and stand up closer to the FSF

C

anonical had a bout of arrogance recently. Its founder Mark Shuttleworth labelled people who disagree on a technical and ethical matter “trolls”. This is not a new tactic from Ubuntu’s corporate backer; Mono and UEFI — not just Amazon — led to it. The so-called ‘peanut gallery’ just happens to be people capable of thought and not an Apple-esque herd mentality. So when we criticised Ubuntu’s approach to UEFI we were just not blindly accepting what Ubuntu eventually came to reject because “Ubuntu to Use Signed GRUB2 Bootloader for Secure Boot”, says the Ubuntu herd (OMGUbuntu folks).

Here are some related reports:

  • “Ubuntu Linux changes its plans for Windows 8 Secure Boot

    Microsoft’s “Secure Boot” plans for Windows 8 have already caused no end of controversy in the Linux community, and certainly one of the more divisive announcements in recent months was Canonical’s decision to drop the GRUB 2 bootloader as part of its solution for Ubuntu Linux.

  • Ubuntu 12.10 Tries For Last Minute GRUB 2.00

    Going back to Ubuntu 9.10, GRUB2 was used as the default boot-loader, albeit a pre-release of the long-awaited GRUB update. In late June of this year, GRUB 2.00 was officially released after many years in development. Meanwhile, in the Ubuntu 12.10 “Quantal” repository up to now is GRUB2 v1.99-22ubuntu2 — one of the earlier development snapshots.

UEFI is being tackled in multiple ways now, depending on who takes action. Red Hat’s staff sites mention this too. MJG speaks of bootkits and concludes: “So this isn’t really a story about a surprising vulnerability. It’s a story about someone taking the logical step of implementing a bootkit on top of UEFI, which is what everyone should have been expecting all along. Computers that are configured to run arbitrary code will run arbitrary code, and if that arbitrary code happens to modify your kernel so your credit card details are automatically posted to pastebin, well, that’s a plausible outcome.”

Vista 8 already causes issues for GNU/Linux users. Here is a new example: “Yesterday, Megatotoro and I helped a colleague who wanted to dual boot her recently bought desktop PC. She wanted us to install Mageia 2 and we were confident because it is a process that we have done several times already.

“However, when we hit the key to get into the BIOS… Surprise! We were greeted by UEFI instead.”

UEFI further complicated dual-booting, yet nobody filed an antitrust complaint. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes to explain the role the FSF is playing: “Windows 8 PCs will come with Microsoft’s UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) Secure Boot. This “feature” will make it much harder to boot Linux or other operating systems. Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, is going to take a new approach to address this problem.

“Canonical and the FSF have talked their disagreement out and, continues Melamut, “the FSF has stated clearly that Grub 2 with Secure Boot does not pose a risk of key disclosure in such circumstances. We have also confirmed that view with our OEM partners, and have introduced variations to the Ubuntu Certification program and QA scripts for pre-installs to ensure that security and user choice are maintained on Ubuntu machines. Therefore, we have decided that Grub 2 is the best choice for a bootloader, and will use only Grub m,2 in Ubuntu 12.10 and 12.04.2 by default.”

“In a statement, John Sullivan, Executive Director of the FSF, added, “We are pleased with Canonical’s decision to stick with Grub 2. We know that the challenges raised when trying to support true user security without harming user freedom—Secure Boot vs. Restricted Boot—are new for everyone distributing free software. This is the situation for which GPLv3 was written, and after helpful conversations with Canonical, we are confident the license does its job well, ensuring users can modify their systems without putting distributors in untenable positions.””

Debian followed the FSF’s footsteps right from the start. Canonical needed some pressure. It’s not “trolling” against Canonical. The FSF believes that UEFI should be illegal.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Panda Bear said,

    September 25, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Gravatar

    Just sharing the FREE ebook titled as “Microsoft Windows 8 RTM Titanic “An User’s Perspective” by Dejah Thoris (PDF 8MB)

    https://bayfiles.com/file/mjQd/ln0q5v/Windows_8_RTM_Titanic.pdf

    Please share the free ebook and link to everyone! The book is public domain and NOT copyrighted as claimed the author inside the book.

What Else is New


  1. After Infecting Unity -- Successfully -- Microsoft's Partner Xamarin Wants to Infect Unreal Engine With .NET

    Xamarin continues to spread dependence on Microsoft to more gaming frameworks, not just platforms such as GNU/Linux, Android, and even permanent-state devices



  2. Taking Microsoft Windows Off the Grid for Damage to Businesses, the Internet, and Banking Systems

    Microsoft's insecure-by-design software is causing massive damages ([cref 27802 possibly trillions] of [cref 13992 dollars in damages to date]) and yet the corporate press does not ask the right questions, let alone suggest a ban on Microsoft software



  3. City of Berlin Does Not Abandon Free Software, It's Only Tax Authorities

    A Softpedia report that says the City of Berlin is moving to Microsoft Office is flawed and may be based on a poor translation



  4. Nadella a Liar in Chief at Microsoft, Pretending That His Anti-Competitive Practices Are Unfortunately Imposed on Microsoft

    The nastiness of Microsoft knows no bounds as even its assault on GNU/Linux and dirty tricks against Free software adoption are characterised as the fault of 'pirates'



  5. Reuters Writes About the Demise of Software Patents, But Focuses on 'Trolls' and Quotes Lawyers

    How the corporate media chooses to cover the invalidity of many software patents and the effect of that



  6. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  7. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  8. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  9. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  10. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  11. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  12. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  13. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  14. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  15. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  16. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  17. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  18. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  19. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  20. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  21. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  22. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  23. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  24. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  25. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  26. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  27. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  28. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  29. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  30. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts