The FSF against hardware lockdown

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BlackRider
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The FSF against hardware lockdown

Post#1 by BlackRider » 18 Oct 2011, 08:39

The FSF (Free Software Foundation) has started a campaign to fight the threat that Secure Boot represents for the free software community.

Roughtly speaking, Secure Boot is a mechanism that vendors (Acer, Hp...) use to ensure that their machines boot only authorized systems. A more detailed explanation can be found here: http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boo ... icted-boot

Microsoft has declared that any vendor who wants to take part in the Windows Logo marketing program must implement Secure Boot enabled by default. Free software associations have classified this as a threat because it could, under some hypothetical circumstances, prevent users from installing something different than Windows in their machines.

Even when I think this threat is remote, and that most of the movement of the media is more due to paranoia than to serious facts, maybe Porteus users would like to sign for the campaign. It still is another chance to show the weight the free software community has.

You can sign here: http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boo ... /statement

The claims of the FSF are not to disable Secure Boot, but to implement it so it is not Jailware

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Re: The FSF against hardware lockdown

Post#2 by brokenman » 18 Oct 2011, 12:02

This is ludicrous. Stupid. It is the same way MS started out ... trying to create a monopoly by addressing vendors. I am sure however ... it will turn out to be ... not so secure boot.
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Re: The FSF against hardware lockdown

Post#3 by Tonio » 21 Oct 2011, 00:25

Can the new secure boot scheme prevent us from booting into porteus? via cd?

via usb?

Or does it only prevent booting into another installed system?

I have been made aware of this :( But am not really sure about many things, I see a petition via FSF and a link provided at Distrowatch, I doubt that it can prevent anything, but still we need to keep an eye on it ! This "secure boot" feature is for NEW computers only by specialized dealers and if we build our own machines, this should not affect us; right?

Thanks for the heads up guys!

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Re: The FSF against hardware lockdown

Post#4 by BlackRider » 21 Oct 2011, 08:36

Can the new secure boot scheme prevent us from booting into porteus? via cd?
I am not sure about cd booting.
via usb?
I think USB booting would be impossible under a Secure Bot scenario in which this feature cannot be disabled.
I have been made aware of this :( But am not really sure about many things, I see a petition via FSF and a link provided at Distrowatch, I doubt that it can prevent anything, but still we need to keep an eye on it ! This "secure boot" feature is for NEW computers only by specialized dealers and if we build our own machines, this should not affect us; right?
I don't think that Secure Boot is a real threat right now. However, the manifesto of the FSF seems very reasonable to me. Signing costs no effort, and could help to show the OEMs that GNU/Linux users are watching their moves.

Building your own computer, flashing the motherboard and other workarounds are acceptable for advanced users, but most users would not do this kind of things. In addition, you cannot build your own laptop so easily (well, dealers won't sell you the parts unless you ask for 5000 or more. Straight form China).

Anyway, I am more interested about the opinion of Porteus developers about UEFI and support for pure UEFI booting mode (no BIOS emulation). I have to open a thread about this.

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