Can’t boot, not approved by Microsoft
Summary: More people find out that PCs they buy ahead of Xmas refuse to boot Linux, and Microsoft is at fault
Microsoft’s Vista 8 is a confusing mess that motivates many people to explore GNU- and Linux-based operating systems. Microsoft knows this. It does not give Linux keys to machines it ruined by blackmailing OEMs and meanwhile we lose potential converts to software freedom:
The Linux Foundation’s promised workaround that will allow Linux to boot on Windows 8 PCs has yet to clear Microsoft’s code certification process, although the exact reason for the hold-up remains unclear.
As The Reg reported previously, the Secure Boot feature of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) found on modern Windows 8 PCs will only allow an OS to boot if its code has been digitally signed with a key obtained from Microsoft.
That’s a problem for many Linux distributions, because some lack the resources to purchase a Microsoft key, while others simply refuse to.
One report says: “Linux fans wondering why they still don’t have a friendly UEFI Secure Boot option for Windows 8 PCs won’t get a solution in hand this week, but they’ll at least get an explanation. The Linux Foundation’s primary backer for the alternative OS efforts, Parallels’ server CTO James Bottomley, has revealed that Microsoft’s requirements for signed, Secure Boot-ready code are tough if developers aren’t entirely onboard its train of thought. The Redmond crew demands a paper contract signature (remember those?), agreements on work beyond the relevant software and a packaging process that complicates attempts to use open-source tools. Bottomley has already overcome most of these challenges, although he’s still waiting for a Linux Foundation-specific key that should theoretically clear a major hurdle.”
Bottomley worked on some Microsoft projects when Novell paid him, so his response is too gentle. In the mean time expect more stories like this one:
There is a section of this forum about UEFI problems. An admin will probably move your post there. Steve Riley has done a lot with UEFI but if you box doesn’t have an switch in UEFI to disable secure boot then I am afraid that you’ve been screwed.
IMO, preventing the installation of Linux is the entire purpose of UEFI.
Will Hill says: “There are more reports of UEFI boot problems.”
We saw that coming right from the start. Partnering with Microsoft was dumb. Antitrust complaints ought to have been filed. █