Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Why UEFI secure boot is difficult for Linux

Filed under
Linux

I wrote about the technical details of supporting the UEFI secure boot specification with Linux. Despite me pretty clearly saying that this was ignoring issues of licensing and key distribution and the like, people are now using it to claim that Linux could support secure boot with minimal effort. In a sense, they're right. The technical implementation details are fairly straightforward. But they're not the difficult bit.

Secure boot requires that all code that can touch hardware be trusted

Right now, if you can run unstrusted code before the OS then you can subvert the OS. Secure boot gives you a mechanism for making sure you only run trusted code, which protects against that. So your UEFI drivers have to be signed, your bootloader has to be signed, and your bootloader must only load a signed kernel. If you've only booted trusted code then you know that your OS is safe. But, unlike trusted boot, secure boot provides no way for you to know that only trusted code was executed. That has to be ensured by OS policy.

Rest here




More in Tux Machines

QNX 7 Can Be Fitted With A Qt5 Desktop

  • QNX 7 Can Be Fitted With A Qt5 Desktop
    While QNX remains targeted as an operating system for mobile/embedded solutions, a BlackBerry developer in his spare time has fitted QNX 7 with a Qt5 desktop. QNX 6 and prior had a desktop option, but was removed in QNX 7, which was released this past March. QNX 7.0 also brought support for 64-bit (and maintaining 32-bit) Intel x86 and ARM platforms along with C++14 support. For those wanting to experiment with QNX 7, a BlackBerry kernel developer has been working on making this operating system more desktop friendly.
  • Building a BlackBerry QNX 7 Desktop
    Having Qt allowed me to port one of my favourite applications, SpeedCrunch. It was a simple matter of running ‘qmake’ followed by ‘make’. Next, I ported the QTermWidget library so that I could have terminal windows.

Kernel Space/Linux

  • Kernel explained
  • [Older] [Video] Audio on Linux: The End of a Golden Age?
  • State of Sway April 2017
    Development on Sway continues. I thought we would have slowed down a lot more by now, but every release still comes with new features - Sway 0.12 added redshift support and binary space partitioning layouts. Sway 0.13.0 is coming soon and includes, among other things, nvidia proprietary driver support. We already have some interesting features slated for Sway 0.14.0, too! Today Sway has 21,446 lines of C (and 4,261 lines of header files) written by 81 authors across 2,263 commits. These were written through 653 pull requests and 529 issues. Sway packages are available today in the official repos of pretty much every distribution except for Debian derivatives, and a PPA is available for those guys.

Supporting Burning Platforms

  • Surface revenue does a U-boat, and dives

    Revenue generated by Microsoft's Surface hardware during the March quarter was down 26% from the same period the year before, the company said yesterday as it briefed Wall Street.

    For the quarter, Surface produced $831 million, some $285 million less than the March quarter of 2016, for the largest year-over-year dollar decline ever.

  • Acer said to me: "do not use our products with Linux. Find another manufacturer"
    Last year, I bought an Acer notebook and it came with Windows 10. As I didn't want spyware neither bloatware, I got Linux installed and asked for a refund of the OEM license. After a little of talking, they were wanting to charge me US$100 (to remove the license, which I already had wiped, as I got FDE Linux installed) to refund US$70 of the OEM license. This year, wondering to buy a new Acer notebook, I asked them again if they would refund me the OEM license without all the hassle (as they did pay me the US$70, without me having to pay the US$100).

today's howtos