06.19.12

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Red Hat Fails to Convince That UEFI is Tolerable, Uses ‘Security’ as Talking Point

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Red Hat at 2:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat chooses Microsoft talking points

Torvalds on security
Source: MemeGenerator

Summary: Blog postings and articles about UEFI do not concur with Red Hat’s submissive (to Microsoft) position on the matter

WITH UEFI [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]., Microsoft has begun another divide and conquer quest, starting with Fedora. Red Hat sided with Microsoft, leaving many others out in the dry. In some sense it’s reminiscent of what Novell did, but it’s nowhere as severe.

Carla Schroder has been among those who criticised Red Hat for it, questioning security (Torvalds does not think it will improve security either), and she continues to do so at Linux.com. She writes:

Microsoft requires UEFI “secure” boot for Windows 8 certified hardware. More security is good, right? Even if it locks out Linux?

Microsoft is requiring Windows 8-certified hardware to ship with UEFI Secure Boot enabled. This prevents installing any other operating systems, or running any live Linux media. There are ways to get around Secure Boot– but why should we, once again, have to jump through Microsoft hoops just to use our own hardware the way we want to?

How does one improve security (for Linux) by making Linux dependent on permission from the abusive Microsoft? Red Hat staff tries to explain, ignoring the main point which is Microsoft’s behaviour (anti-social tendencies).

Sam Varghese, who previously sided with the likes of Carla and us, has another go at the subject, tackling Red Hat’s spin by citing Samba:

Three Samba geeks did what Red Hat is scared to do

Nearly five years ago, three senior developers from the Samba project showed the rest of the FOSS community what could be achieved by resistance which was based on integrity.

[...]

But what of Red Hat? It is the biggest GNU/Linux company, bar none. Yet all it can do is bend over and play ball with a convicted monopolist. And it also justifies that action by trotting out one of its best and brightest, Matthew Garrett, to justify the whole thing.

As I’ve written before, this whole secure boot business is just the latest ruse by Redmond to try and lock GNU/Linux out of the market. It is the last throw of the dice by a company that has failed miserably to gain traction in the music, mobile, tablet and search markets. It can hear the fat lady approaching.

The company’s CEO, one Steve Ballmer, has bet the organisation’s future on one technology – Windows 8. If it turns out to be anything other than super-successful, there will be some vacant land available for occupation in Redmond in a few years’ time.

And in this clime, all those huge companies which earn their profits from Linux, have nothing to say. IBM, Intel, HP, Facebook, Google, Oracle, Red Hat, Novell, Canonical, Samsung, HTC, and LG collectively have – as ‘Allo ‘Allo actor, the late Carmen Silvera, often described her stage husband, Rene, as having – “the courage of a chicken. A little chicken.” Secure boot? A double-helping for me, please, sir.

Nothing that Red Hat has said so far is compelling enough to justify the agreement with Microsoft, but it’s probably too late to retract. Red Hat is not a bad company, but like all companies, its consideration are different from the public’s; keeping its feet to fire is means of ensuring that public interests are more often served. UEFI is a private interest, it’s a matter of exclusivity.

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