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Debian Follows the FSF's -- Not Red Hat's -- Footsteps Regarding UEFI

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Summary: An update on what Debian is planning to do regarding non-free boot sequences

THE coverage regarding UEFI has been started because Microsoft decided to attack computing freedom at the moment a computer boots. Red Hat stepped up with a piece of software which is seen as controversial. "For those looking to experiment with UEFI support on Linux, one of the alternatives to GRUB2 and efilinux is Gummiboot," writes Michael Larabel. "The Gummiboot UEFI boot manager is an up and coming choice that's under active development for playing with EFI images.



"Gummiboot is a FreeDesktop.org project that's mentioned on this Wiki page. "gummiboot is a simple UEFI boot manager which executes configured EFI images. The default entry is selected by a configured pattern (glob) or an on-screen menu. gummiboot operates on the EFI System Partition (ESP) only. Configuration file fragments, kernels, initrds, other EFI images need to reside on the ESP. Linux kernels need to be built with CONFIG_EFI_STUB to be able to be directly executed as an EFI image.""

“If you've been keeping track of Matthew Garrett's blog posts, talks, and other information concerning SecureBoot on Linux, you didn't miss out on much from this Debian talk.”
      --Michael Larabel
Compare that with Debian's approach. To quote Larabel again, "Debian developers today at DebConf 12, aside from talking about the future Debian codename, discussed what to do about UEFI booting for Debian Linux.

"UEFI is a hot discussion topic right now with Microsoft Windows 8 approaching that mandates UEFI SecureBoot support, uncertainty about how different OEMs will implement SecureBoot, different Linux distributions taking distinctly different approaches to supporting the controversial technology, and all around this just being another headache for Linux developers and distribution vendors.

"While the room was full of Debian developers in Managua, Nicaragua, nothing really new came out of the discussion. If you've been keeping track of Matthew Garrett's blog posts, talks, and other information concerning SecureBoot on Linux, you didn't miss out on much from this Debian talk."

The FSF's approach was supported by Debian and we shall see what it results in. UEFI on hardware might never take off; Microsoft doesn't command the market like it used to, especially not on ARM.

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