We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

UEFI secure boot fix released for Linux

After just a few months of development, users finally have an official way to run Linux on machines using Windows 8's UEFI secure boot framework.

Developer and Linux Foundation director James Bottomley announced in a blog post that he has created a preliminary version of a workaround that should allow the use of Linux on newer hardware.

[ MORE OPEN SOURCE: LibreOffice 4.0 speaks content management ]

Essentially, UEFI - or unified extensible firmware interface - is an updated version of the BIOS, which allows an operating system to access a computer's hardware. One of the many changes made by UEFI is the aforementioned secure boot system, which requires the use of a digitally signed key before software can function on a secure boot-equipped computer. The idea is to make it much more difficult to distribute potentially unsafe software.

However, the implementation of UEFI has provoked angry criticism from many in the open-source world - the Free Software Foundation accused Microsoft of attempting to lock out the competition by requiring secure boot on many OEM computers, effectively preventing Linux from being installed. Some popular Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, purchased keys from Microsoft in order to keep their products available on as many devices as possible, but a Linux-wide solution is only now available thanks to Bottomley's efforts.

The workaround uses a "pre-bootloader" along with its own Microsoft key to allow Linux installs on secure boot devices without simply breaking the security system. Previously, this was the only way to put Linux on such computers. While the technique is still being developed - Bottomley wrote that community feedback is needed - it's still a major step toward bringing Linux to Windows 8 PCs.

Email Jon Gold at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.


IDG UK Sites

5 reasons not to wait for the Apple Watch: Why you shouldn't buy the iWatch

IDG UK Sites

Why local multiplayer gaming is rapidly vanishing: we look at the demise of split-screen and LAN...

IDG UK Sites

How Emotional Debt is damaging digital design

IDG UK Sites

How to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8: including how to install iOS 8 if you don't have room