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07.26.13

Boycott UEFI

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Patents at 1:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UEFI logo with monopoly

Summary: UEFI restricted boot continues to prevent people from exploring GNU/Linux and UEFI Forum has done nothing to stop this abuse

It is has been a while since we last wrote about UEFI. This does not mean that it is any less of a headache, it’s just that this vector of abuse has now met complacency and acceptance. Microsoft got its way. No matter how many insidious things Microsoft does, there will always be amnesia that leads to apathy some time down the road. A couple of months ago I spoke to UEFI Forum, advising them to do something about restricted boot as it was giving UEFI as a whole a bad name. I have not heard or seen any progress from them since then, so it’s safe to assume they quietly accept antitrust abuses (facilitated by UEFI).

Over at ZDNet, another rant about UEFI is posted by a community blogger (not staff), stating that a new release of GNU/Linux (which I quite like) just won’t run because of what Microsoft did:

Linux Mint 15 KDE hands-on: A stumble on UEFI Boot

[...]

I find this really baffling, because the main release installed on UEFI boot systems with no problems — and, in fact, it’s even more baffling now because, while the Xfce distribution also had serious UEFI boot problems, they were not at all the same as those the KDE versions has.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding something here, but it would seem to me that once the main distribution had UEFI boot working, all the other spins need to do is keep their fingers out of that bit. Obviously it’s not that simple.

Anyway, as I said, the symptom this time is different from the Mint Xfce distribution. This time the Live Media itself will UEFI boot just fine, but when I tried to install it, it died near the end, after informing me that the grub2-efi package failed to install, and the lack of grub could make the system unbootable (duh).

There was unfortunately no further information or details available, so I have no idea why it failed to install. Then, to add insult to injury, the installer itself crashed. Sigh.

I got around this problem by enabling Legacy Boot Support on both of my UEFI systems, and it then installed properly on both.

Kubuntu’s key developer also complained about UEFI earlier this year. This is why Debian (antecedent of both), for example, needs to step up the fight [1, 2].

UEFI is a patent trap and a monopoly trap that should be purged from computers. There are solid alternatives to UEFI, but companies like Intel and Microsoft don’t want the public to explore or have access to those.

For the time being it is easy to avoid UEFI and we should speak with our mouths and wallets by letting UEFI Forum know how we feel, then refuse to buy anything they’ve touched. The company behind UEFI is a criminal company anyway. It is a redundant company in the age of Android, ChromeOS, and GNU/Linux, which does not necessitate x86.

Boycott UEFI. They deserve no sympathy. They’re complicit in evil agenda.

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