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Linux Foundation Struggles With Microsoft UEFI Signing

Linux Kernel

Published on 20 November 2012 10:10 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
48 Comments

James Bottomley has written about the problems being faced by the Linux Foundation in having a Microsoft-approved validly-signed UEFI pre-bootloader.

There's many hurdles to jump from Microsoft and Verisign/Symantec for obtaining a valid signing key. There's third-party open-source tools for handling much of the signing process, but in the end Windows is still needed due to a Silverlight-based file uploader for the UEFI binary. The Mono-based Moonlight doesn't work with the Silverlight uploader. After uploading the cabinet file for signing, there's a seven-stage process.

Unfortunately, it's with this seven-stage process on Microsoft's end is where the Linux Foundation binary is stuck. "I’m still not sure what the actual problem is, but if you look at the Subject of the signing key, there’s nothing in the signing key to indicate the Linux Foundation, therefore I suspect the problem is that the binary is signed with a generic Microsoft key instead of a specific (and revocable) key tied to the Linux Foundation."

Bottomley ends with, "We’re still waiting for Microsoft to give the Linux Foundation a validly signed pre-bootloader. When that happens, it will get uploaded to the Linux Foundation website for all to use." The full status can be read on his blog.

For those not familiar with the Linux Foundation's UEFI/SecureBoot plans, they're outlined 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 .
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