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.

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


SUSE has come up with what is described as the best way of coping with secure boot. It starts with a shim, that is signed either by a SUSE key-exchange-key or a Microsoft key. This then loads the GRUB2 bootloader, after ascertaining that it can be trusted.

The shim will also allow the loading of keys that are specific to the machine in question, keys which can override the default SUSE key.

Once GRUB2 is loaded, it will communicate with the shim in order to verify the kernel that it is booting. The shim will check with the machine-specific keys and authorise the kernel being loaded.

openSUSE has a dual purpose; it offers an eminently usable desktop and also serves as a test-bed for the enterprise distribution. SUSE's priorities are different from those of Red Hat - which also has its own test-bed, the Fedora distribution. SUSE aims for both server and desktop, unlike Red Hat which has no interest in the desktop.

openSUSE 12.2 can be downloaded as a GNOME live CD, a KDE live CD, or a DVD that includes everything including the kitchen sink. One can also do a network install or download one of the derivatives built on openSUSE. True to the SUSE tradition, the installation is thorough rather than cursory.

One can choose btrfs as the default filesystem - though it is interesting to note that when does this, a /boot partition is created and this is formatted as ext4. An indication, perhaps, that in the minds of the openSUSE developers, btrfs is less stable than ext4.

In truth, btrfs is a little "stickier" than ext4; the system does not seem as responsive. This is not based on any benchmarks, just my own observation after using btrfs as default for a KDE installation and ext4 as default for an installation from the GNOME live CD.

Both KDE and GNOME are polished, and quite a bit different from the default. KDE surprisingly has no PDF reader loaded as part of the default install. A command-line tool for installation, zypper, seems to work pretty well in this release. But the Apper update tool, formerly known as KPackageKit, is buggy and loops when one tries to update using it.

That apart, one can find little fault in the the release. It is slick, neat and very polished indeed. One can try out other desktop environments like XFCE and LXDE, (by downloading the DVD).

ITWIRE SERIES - REVENUE-CRITICAL APPS UNDERPERFORMING?

Avoid War Room Scenarios and improve handling of critical application problems:

• Track all transactions, end-to-end, all the time and know what your users experience 24/7

• View code level details with context and repair problems quickly

• Fix problems in minutes before they wreak havoc

• Optimize your most important applications, Java, .NET, PHP, C/C++ and many more

Start your free trial today!

CLICK FOR FREE TRIAL!

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