Ubuntu reveals their plans to run on Microsoft’s Secure Boot system

By on June 25, 2012
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Canonical has published it’s own set of Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) requirements for PC makers

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There has been a lot of discussion in the Linux community as to how Microsoft will allow Linux distributions to run on a Windows 8 x86-based PC with Microsoft’s Secure Boot system. Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora had revealed their plans last month. Now, Neowin reports, Canonical (the makers of Ubuntu) has come out  with their own plans on how Ubuntu Linux can dual boot on a system running Windows 8.

Steve Langasek, a team leader at Ubuntu detailed, “… we’ve generated an Ubuntu signing key for use with UEFI. The private half of this key will be stored securely on our Launchpad infrastructure, which will be responsible for signing boot loader images and distributing them in the Ubuntu archive.”

Canonical will not offer a signing service for Ubuntu Linux, unlike Red Hat (another company making Linux operating systems). It was revealed by Red Hat last month that “Microsoft will provide keys for Windows and Red Hat will provide keys for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora. Similarly other distributions can participate at a nominal cost of $99 USD – allowing them to register their own keys for distribution to system firmware vendors.” This solution has received the support Linux’s creator, Linus Torvalds.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, does not share the same view. He stated, “We’ve been working to provide an alternative to the Microsoft key, so that the entire free software ecosystem is not dependent on Microsoft’s goodwill for access to modern PC hardware.” In his post, he criticizes the Secure Boot idea by saying, “Secure Boot retains flaws in its design that will ultimately mandate that Microsoft’s key is on every PC (because of core UEFI driver signing). That, and the inability of Secure Boot to support multiple signatures on critical elements means that options are limited but we continue to seek a better result.”


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