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

01.31.13

Microsoft’s Anticompetitive Attack on GNU/Linux Booting is Bricking Laptops

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Time to sue Microsoft?

UEFI

Summary: New lows for Microsoft’s low blow against Linux

Now starts the sabotage stage. Microsoft should be seriously nailed for this obstruction of fair competition, but instead we see spin while cowardly Canonical and Red Hat play along (it is not clear if Red Hat really intended for this now that Dr. Garrett no longer works there). See this seminal report:

Booting Linux using UEFI just once on various Samsung laptops is enough to permanently stop them working. Several reports have been posted on the Ubuntu bug tracker, but the problem is likely to also be present in other Linux distributions, as it appears to be caused by a kernel driver for Samsung laptops. Kernel developers are currently discussing a change which would disable the driver when booting via UEFI.
Ubuntu developers were informed of the problem by one user last year, after he had tried to UEFI boot Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.04.1 on a Samsung 530U3C live from a USB flash drive. He had prepared the drive with Ubuntu’s Startup Disk Creator, which sets everything up for booting via BIOS or EFI. Ubuntu froze shortly after loading the kernel and the user then powered down by holding down the power button. Thereafter the laptop refused to boot and the firmware would not even show basic startup information. Samsung repaired the laptop, which was under warranty, by replacing the motherboard. When the same thing occurred with the repaired machine, the user alerted the Ubuntu development team.

This has spread to more news sites [1, 2], one of which says:

Ever since Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS arrived, many Linux users have been asking which distribution they can download and install that will just work out of the box on their new certified Windows 8 machines. That’s been a difficult question to answer, thanks to the whole UEFI Secure Boot BIOS implementation found in Windows 8 machines, which prompted last year’s post “Will Windows 8 Lock Linux Out of PCs?”

The Linux Foundation and others have been slow about delivering solutions to the problem, but some Linux distributions have appeared that provide a reliable workaround. Now, though, there are reports that Samsung machines–which are popular among Windows 8 users–can be completely bricked if you attempt to boot just a single time via UEFI into Linux.

Garrett tells his story where there is focus on recent work that legitimised UEFI. How proud is he now? To quote the SCALE Web site, “We had a chance to sit down with Matthew Garrett, SCALE 11x keynote speaker, to discuss his upcoming keynote “The Secure Boot Journey” as well as a host of other topics including the future directions of Linux.”

UEFI was widely opposed by many while Garrett helped make it seem legitimate. As Will Hill puts it: “Don’t let anyone tell you Restricted Boot is something people are getting around.”

There is another new nightmare story:

Setting up multi-boot on UEFI-based systems has turned out to be quite an ordeal. Here is what I have learned so far.

Linux backers should file complaints against Microsoft, not explore workarounds.

“I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.”

Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée

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. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 1, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Gravatar

    One of the places to complain to would be the Better Business Bureau, whose job it is to alert customers to unscrupulous businesses. That iff the BBB does its job. In the past it has had a tendency to brush off complaints against M$ and whitewash the company.

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/4/2014: More GNU/Linux Gains, Syria Updates

    Links for the day



  2. Links 21/4/2014: New Games for GNU/Linux, Some NatSec Politics

    Links for the day



  3. Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

    What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why



  4. Links 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

    Links for the day



  5. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day



  6. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  7. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  8. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  9. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  10. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  11. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  12. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  13. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  14. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  15. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  16. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  17. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  18. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  20. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  21. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  22. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  23. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  24. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  25. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  26. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  27. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  28. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  29. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  30. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    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