Has Secure Boot for Linux Finally Arrived?

tuxFrom the ‘Thank You Microsoft for *allowing* Linux on Windows 8 hardware?!’ files:


Few topics have been as controversial in the Linux community this year as the Secure Boot/UEFI issue.

The Tl;dr version is that Secure Boot is enabled by default on all new Windows 8 certified hardware. That Secure Boot mechanism by default is ‘secured’ to boot Windows and not other operating systems.

One option that has been available since the beginning is to simply disable Secure Boot on the BIOS of the hardware itself – thought that’s not an ideal solution for many. Matt Garrett, engineer at Red Hat has been working (and talking) about a solution for over a year now. It’s a solution that Garrett had originally hoped would be ready for Fedora 18 (currently in beta).

That solution is now finally available. (Garrett however is no longer working at Red Hat as of the end of day on November 30th.)

The Linux Foundation has its own idea for Secure Boot that has yet to be formally released.

Though Garrett’s Secure Boot shim is now available, I suspect that it will still take some time and effort until the solution (or one of its alternatives) is fully baked into a mainstream Linux distribution. With Fedora 18 now set for general availability in early January, I suspect that it *could* be the first.

But right now as is it stands, if you’ve got *brand* new Windows 8 hardware, getting Linux to run isn’t going to be easy.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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