1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

UEFI Secure Boot Still A Big Problem For Linux

Free Software

Published on 17 January 2012 09:12 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
33 Comments

Matthew Garrett has provided some insight regarding some of the problems still outstanding for Linux to handle UEFI Secure Boot.

Matthew Garrett, the Red Hat developer commonly working on power management and UEFI/BIOS matters for Linux, has a new blog post related to UEFI Secure Boot. This latest posting is simply entitled Why UEFI secure boot is difficult for Linux.

The post covers that the code for Linux to handle UEFI Secure Boot is practically done, but there's many other issues outstanding related to the handling of custom secure boot mode, out-of-tree kernel drivers, licensing, key distribution, and other matters. Microsoft has said that for x86/x86_64 systems it should be possible to disable UEFI Secure Boot, but recently it's come to light that ARM-based Windows 8 systems will not be permitted to disable this Microsoft-inspired feature.

Garrett also points out that using Secure Boot under Linux would effectively kill out-of-tree kernel drivers like the AMD Catalyst and NVIDIA graphics drivers. "Signed Linux kernels must refuse to load any unsigned kernel modules. Virtualbox on Linux? Dead. Nvidia binary driver on Linux? Dead. All out of tree kernel modules? Utterly, utterly dead. Building an updated driver locally? Not going to happen."

Matthew summarizes the current situation as, "We can write the code required to support secure boot on Linux in a minimal amount of time - in fact, most of it's now done. But significant practical problems remain, and so far we have no workable solutions for any of them."

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
  2. Sumo's Omni Gets Reloaded
  3. AMD A10-7800 & A6-7400K APUs Run Great On Linux
  4. Radeon Gallium3D Is Running Increasingly Well Against AMD's Catalyst Driver
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Intel's Latest Linux Graphics Code Competes Against OS X 10.9
  2. Intel Sandy Bridge Gets A Surprise Boost From Linux 3.17
  3. Open-Source Radeon Graphics Have Some Improvements On Linux 3.17
  4. CPUFreq Scaling Tests With AMD's Kaveri On Linux 3.16
Latest Linux News
  1. Steam Now Supports VA-API For In-Home Game Streaming
  2. GNOME 3.14 Beta Released
  3. Mesa 10.3 Branched & RC1 Released, Mesa 10.4 On Master
  4. Intel Sandy Bridge Gains On Linux 3.17 Extend Beyond Graphics
  5. LinuxCon: What's Going On With Fedora.Next
  6. Canonical Joined The Khronos Group To Help Mir/Wayland Drivers
  7. EFL 1.11 Is A Big Milestone For Enlightenment Users
  8. DirectFB Updates GTK3 Support, Working Towards DirectFB 1.8
  9. Userptr Support Set For AMD Radeon GPUs In Linux 3.18
  10. NVIDIA Releases CUDA 6.5 As A Huge Update
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT
  2. American Citizens running AMOK for food stamps
  3. What Linux Distribution Should Be Benchmarked The Most?
  4. Microsoft vs. Campaign
  5. Btrfs Gets Talked Up, Googler Encourages You To Try Btrfs
  6. OSS radeon driver for A10-7850K (Kaveri)
  7. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  8. AMD Offers Mantle For OpenGL-Next, Pushes Mantle To Workstations