Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce Secure boot: Linux Foundation, vendors offer solutions

Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

Microsoft's proposal for a secure boot process in Windows 8 has alarmed GNU/Linux vendors and the body that caters to kernel development to the extent that they have drafted documents to specify how such a process can be used without hindering the use of other operating systems.


Both papers, one from the Linux Foundation, and the second a joint effort from Red Hat, Canonical and Parallels, were released on October 28.

But, as the Linux Foundation paper (PDF) points out, GNU/Linux and other open operating systems can only take advantage of secure boot if it is implemented properly in the hardware. Control rests with the hardware vendor who, in turn, will be under pressure from Microsoft.

The Windows 8 secure boot process was made public in September when a developer preview of the operating system was released.

Windows 8 uses specifications from the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface -that defines a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware - namely the secure boot protocol, to ensure exclusive booting rights on hardware.

The fact that this process could, theoretically, be used to lock out other operating systems was initially noticed and commented on by Linux kernel developer Matthew Garrett; Microsoft reacted to this with its own comments but did not alleviate any of the concerns he had raised.

There was concern voiced, among others, by Australian GNU/Linux users, some of whom complained to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission; their complaints earned them form letters in response, letters that excited some tech outlets which saw in them reason for hope when there was none.

FREE CLOUD BACKUPS MANAGEMENT WEBINAR

Are your technicians spending too much time just managing your clients cloud backups?

Backups are an important part of any IT business but they should not consume more than their fair share of time and money.

Discover how to reduce the amount of time & money spent managing your Cloud Backups during this Free Webinar.

REGISTER FOR FREE WEBINAR!

FREE NETWORKING SERVICES CASE STUDY

As one of the world’s largest social networking services, Facebook handles a lot of user information, and requires input from an astounding range of stakeholders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — from both inside and outside the business.

Discover how Facebook was helped to connect remote employees, vendors, consultants, and partners to applications and web services quickly and reliably - without risking sensitive data.

GET CASE STUDY!

GET THE IT BUDGET YOU WANT

Explore your Network Treasure Trove to get the IT Budget you want

With Australian businesses projected to spend over $78.7 Billion why does it feel like you can never get the budget you need?.

In most cases your budget will get approved because the proposals are not only technically correct, but also provide good, credible evidence on how the spend aligns with key business objectives.

Did you know that your Network Monitoring tool can help you build a comprehensive business case without an MBA?

HERE ARE 8 TIPS TO GET THE IT BUDGET YOU WANT.

CLICK HERE!

Sam Varghese

website statistics

A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Connect

 

 

 

 

Join the iTWire Community and be part of the latest news, invites to exclusive events, whitepapers and educational materials and oppertunities.
Why do I want to receive this daily update?
  • The latest features from iTWire
  • Free whitepaper downloads
  • Industry opportunities