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 On Linux Is Like A Pathogen

Free Software

Published on 06 April 2012 01:13 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
39 Comments

Red Hat's Matthew Garrett talked this week again about the troubles in supporting UEFI under Linux.

With Linux support for PCI Express ASPM having been corrected to address the notorious Linux kernel power regression of last year, Matthew Garrett's latest topic and focus of work has been on UEFI for Linux.

Matthew's commonly talking about the UEFI problems with Linux, especially when it comes to the Secure Boot functionality. Some past examples (and some reading for reference) include UEFI Secure Boot Still A Big Problem For Linux, Going Over The Good & Bad For UEFI On Linux, and Myths About Secure Boot: Security, Microsoft, Etc.

Matthew Garrett's talk this time about UEFI on Linux wasn't as negative, but went over how UEFI is a BSD-licensed PC BIOS replacement, is required for Microsoft Windows 8 certification, and has support for some useful features like handling disk drives greater than 2.2TB in size and IPv6 support. There's also some benefits like being able to boot at the native graphics mode, potential for a seamless boot experience, and offers persistent variable storage.

The negative items about UEFI on Linux that Garrett expressed include UEFI receiving little testing on consumer hardware, several significant bugs, the specification is quite complex at 2214 pages in length, kernel workarounds are needed for ensuring compatibility, and SecureBoot itself is a bitch for Linux. The significant UEFI bugs also have the potential of crippling hardware.

The key concerns with UEFI SecureBoot on Linux come down to being the Linux kernel needing to be heavily locked-down, no support for unsigned kernel modules (especially binary / out-of-tree modules), and no direct hardware access from user-space. Besides the obvious issues with UEFI SecureBoot on Linux, there's also license concerns about it with the GPLv3, lots of code to write, and getting anything wrong is a serious problem.

UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen
UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen
UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen
UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen
UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen
UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen
UEFI On Linux Is Like A Pathogen

Matthew Garrett this week at the summit also classified Linux as a pathogen (Phoronix Poll) in terms of adoption. Dong Wei of Hewlett-Packard also did a session on UEFI for Linux, but his presentation was much more optimistic towards this BIOS replacement, Dong's slides are here.

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. AMD's RadeonSI Driver Sped Up A Lot This Summer
  2. Intel's Latest Linux Graphics Code Competes Against OS X 10.9
  3. Intel Sandy Bridge Gets A Surprise Boost From Linux 3.17
  4. Open-Source Radeon Graphics Have Some Improvements On Linux 3.17
Latest Linux News
  1. The Widely-Criticized New Commercial Linux Distro Is Now On Kickstarter
  2. CUDA 6.5 Is Doing Great For Blender
  3. Wayland & Weston 1.6 Alpha Released
  4. Nouveau Gets Improved Re-Clocking Handling For Select GPUs
  5. A New First-Person Mystery Game Might Be Coming To Linux
  6. Patch By Patch, LLVM Clang Gets Better At Building The Linux Kernel
  7. VC4 Gallium3D Driver Now Handles X With GLAMOR
  8. Opera 25 Development Release For Linux
  9. Steam Now Supports VA-API For In-Home Game Streaming
  10. GNOME 3.14 Beta Released
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. OSS radeon driver for A10-7850K (Kaveri)
  2. Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT
  3. Btrfs Gets Talked Up, Googler Encourages You To Try Btrfs
  4. American Citizens running AMOK for food stamps
  5. What Linux Distribution Should Be Benchmarked The Most?
  6. Company I work for is looking to contribute to Open Source projects... but wrongly?
  7. Microsoft vs. Campaign
  8. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers