Secure Boot and your choice for Linux

Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu together with Red Hat, have weighed into the controversy surrounding the so called Secure Boot setup that requires OEMs to lock down your BIOS allowing only “approved” software to boot from it. This is of course being pushed by Microsoft.

The two companies today issued a white paper that seeks to educate Linux users about what the Secure Boot is and what it means for them. The paper also makes recommendations as to how to implement the Secure Boot to achieve its original goal of prevent security breaches while maintaining user freedom at the same time.

Any new Windows 8 PC will have Secure Boot switched “ON” when it leaves the shop and will be able to boot Microsoft approved software only. However, you will most likely find that your new PC has no option for you to add your own list of approved software. So to install Linux (or any other operating system), you will need to turn Secure Boot “OFF”…This is why we recommend that systems manufacturers include a mechanism for configuring your own list of approved software. This will allow you to run Windows 8 and Linux at the same time in your PC with Secure Boot “ON”. This should also include you being able to try new software from a USB stick or DVD.

This goes without say about the real motive behind why Microsoft is actively pushing for the Secure Boot. With a lot of people happily conceding ownership of their devices to the very manufacturers they bought the device from, a lot of education needs to be undertaken by Free Software companies to create awareness about the danger of this move.

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