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[–] tribblepuncher [S] 1 points 10 points (+11|-1) ago  (edited ago)

Actually it does.

The next version of UEFI has "upgrades" to secure boot that mean that it no longer needs to be possible to disable in order to comply with the standard. In fact, tablet makers are explicitly forbidden from having it possible to turn off Secure Boot.

It is not unrealistic that this will affect you when you have to cough up a ton of extra cash for system firmware that ensures you have an off switch so you can boot a kernel that isn't signed by Microsoft, and it's not out of the realm of possibility that new hardware without firmware that's been disabled for "security" just won't be readily available at some point.

Unfortunately it seems like I'm the only one that ever brings up that fun little side effect of all this. Hopefully it won't come to bite us all in the ass, but I'm not optimistic.

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[–] T8nker 1 points 2 points (+3|-1) ago 

I've gotten rid of MS completely, I don't run a dual system.

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[–] tribblepuncher [S] 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Whether or not you have dispensed with Microsoft is entirely irrelevant to this. What matters is whether or not the hardware vendors have.

AFAIK the only ones that have done so have a high markup for it (e.g. specialist computer makers who cater to the Linux crowd, especially OSS devotees) and are relatively small, don't make PC hardware, make very specialized hardware, or are out of business. As this involves the motherboard for the most part, that narrows down any existing choices by that much.

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[–] pepepepepe 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

The larger Linux distros like Ubuntu and Fedora are still officially supported in SecureBoot. Still not acceptable in the slightest but at least it's not hopeless.

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[–] 0x4F 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

So it's back to typewriters then. :\

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[–] tribblepuncher [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Not necessarily. There are still alternatives. If you're desperate for a Linux fix, there are things such as Raspberry Pi that you could use.

However, IMO things are going to get worse before they get better.

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[–] PM_ME_YOUR_ESSENCE 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

There will always be vendors who are willing to compete with the Dell's of the world, and offer a system that will allow booting to Linux.

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[–] Fragnostus 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Funny thing, Dell actually sells computers that ship with Linux. It's one of the only big vendors that does. I've never bought one of theirs, but I assume these computers are probably not locked to Windows ;-)

Pretty much all the other vendors are small.

Ministry of Freedom sounds pretty interesting if you require security: Libreboot + Trisquel http://minifree.org/

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[–] tribblepuncher [S] 1 points -1 points (+0|-1) ago  (edited ago)

It is my hope that this is the case. However, there are still a number of concerns. Here are some that are off the top of my head.

First and foremost is a progressive move to make it harder and harder to remove Secure Boot. For instance, on tablets, as stated, the next version of UEFI explicitly forbids the ability to disable secure boot, which pretty well locks you in in a lot of ways; you may be able to get a few Linux kernels to work, but that's still pretty darn restrictive. This means that Linux-capable hardware will get harder to come by.

This leads to a second point, wherein we end up in a world with highly segregated hardware. This could well end up with a premium price to be paid to be able to boot Linux on your machine, and towards a situation not unlike video game development wherein you had to buy very expensive equipment to run the software on it. This is not an appealing outcome.

A third thing that concerns me is the people who might be able to otherwise explore their computers. Linux investigation often comes from whatever equipment you have, not because you went to purchase a new computer, especially if you are, as I was, young and with no income. This will lead to it being harder to attain technical literacy. While it is somewhat offset by virtualization that is now available (which wasn't available 20 years ago), virtual machines are not a perfect solution by any means.

So it's not quite a death strike I'm anticipating, but more or a progressive corrosion that saps away Linux's potential market and applicability - or that of any non-Windows OS, for that matter.