Linux distros on Windows 8 are GO!
The Linux Foundation is happy to announce that its Secure Boot System allows most PCs with pre-installed Windows 8 to boot Linux. It gets around the UEFI key requirement to permit the open-source kernel to get started. Surprisingly, the work was done with Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) help.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers celebrate clearing a major roadblock.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Joab Jackson says it allows "Linux distributions to be installed on Windows 8 computers":
The Linux Foundation Secure Boot System solves a fundamental problem...by providing a way...to run on new hardware controlled by UEFI firmware, also known as "secure boot." ... UEFI is an industry initiative...to require a trusted key before booting...provid[ing] a foundation for a chain of trust that would connect all the way up to the software.
[But a] Linux distribution will not run...without keys. ... The Linux Foundation bootloader provides a hash code...and support infrastructure to boot a generic Linux kernel. MORE
Neil McAllister clarifies:
...while it's not necessarily the easiest way to boot Linux...it should now work with any bootloader and any distribution. ...software that is licensed under the GPLv3...is explicitly incompatible with Microsoft's signing scheme. ... Linux kernel hackers wasted no time attacking the problem. ... With the official release of the Linux Foundation's method...there are now two working techniques for booting Linux on UEFI.
The new method...is slightly more complicated...but it does a better job of supporting the full Secure Boot OS loading API. ... [It's] based on cryptographic hashes...which means that every time the kernel or bootloader for a specific machine is updated, the user must manually add the new hash...to the list of permitted binaries [which] requires being physically present at the machine. MORE
And Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols sees through a glass, clearly:
...we'll see a new, unified Linux bootloader for all Intel-based Windows 8 PCs. Neither method, nor the forthcoming unified one, will work on any ARM-powered Windows RT tablet or laptop.
Still, within the next few months, booting and installing Linux on Intel-based Windows 8 PCs will once more be a matter as simple as putting a Linux CD or USB stick in a PC and re-booting the system. MORE
James Bottomley feels release:
The files are here. ... I’ve also put together a mini-USB image that is bootable.
Let me know how this goes because I’m very interested to gather feedback about what works and what doesn’t work. In particular, there’s a worry that the security protocol override might not work on some platforms. MORE
Meanwhile, Fabian A. Scherschel fills in the blanks:
Over the past two months, Bottomley, a member of the Linux Foundation's Technical Advisory Board, has thoroughly restructured the Secure Boot bootloader. ... Details of the bootloader's revised operation can be found in...a presentation Bottomley recently gave. MORE