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.

Get all your tech news delivered to your mail box five days a week
iTWire UPDATE - it's FREE!


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.

PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST BANDWIDTH BANDITS!

Don't let traffic bottlenecks slow your network or business-critical apps to a grinding halt. With SolarWinds Bandwidth Analyzer Pack (BAP) you can gain unified network availability, performance, bandwidth, and traffic monitoring together in a single pane of glass.

With SolarWinds BAP, you'll be able to:

• Detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance issues

• Track response time, availability, and uptime of routers, switches, and other SNMP-enabled devices

• Monitor and analyze network bandwidth performance and traffic patterns.

• Identify bandwidth hogs and see which applications are using the most bandwidth

• Graphically display performance metrics in real time via dynamic interactive maps

Download FREE 30 Day Trial!

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD!

ITWIRE SERIES - IS YOUR BACKUP STRATEGY COSTING YOU CLIENTS?

Where are your clients backing up to right now?

Is your DR strategy as advanced as the rest of your service portfolio?

What areas of your business could be improved if you outsourced your backups to a trusted source?

Read the industry whitepaper and discover where to turn to for managed backup

FIND OUT MORE!

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