Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce Does openSUSE 12.2 support secure boot?

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.

One of the questions surrounding openSUSE 12.2, which was released mid-week, is whether it already supports secure boot, the Microsoft initiative that will be an integral part of Windows 8 when that operating system is released on October 26.

There are reports that the DVD download of openSUSE - which is all of nearly 4.2 gig - does support secure boot and can boot up on hardware that is certified for Windows 8. Other reports say that the two live CDs, KDE and GNOME, cannot boot up on such hardware.

There is no clear indication in the literature supplied that secure boot is supported. "GRUB2 is the default bootloader laying the foundation for booting from LVM and btrfs partitions as well as support for UEFI Secure Boot," is what it says.

Whether that means it is just laying the foundation for supporting secure boot, or already does so, is open to interpretation. Comment has been sought from SUSE.

But the release itself is worthy of some comment - especially since a lot of so-called reviews are already floating on the net, written by people who haven't even installed one version.

The release was put off from July and the obvious reason for that is the preparation for secure boot. Nothing else could have got in the way. For Novell, openSUSE is the testing ground, before changes go into the enterprise distributions, SLED and SLES.

Computers which are loaded with Windows 8 by OEMs will need to have a sticker certifying that they have a secure boot process enabled.

Such computers will have a replacement for the BIOS (basic input output system) called UEFI (United Extensible Firmware Interface).

In UEFI, it is possible to use cryptographic keys to check the operating system that is trying to boot on that machine.

The system firmware, in this case UEFI, can contain one or more signed keys and any executable that is not signed by these keys cannot boot on said system. Another set of keys - called Pkek - allows for communication between the operating system and the firmware.

An operating system with matching Pkek keys can add more keys to a whitelist - or a blacklist. In the latter case, any executable which has a key that is on the blacklist will not boot.

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