Canonical Talks About Ubuntu and Secure Boot

Written by John Ponio    Friday, 22 June 2012 16:18

Canonical Logo

With the advent of Windows 8, the Linux community has been scrambling to figure out how it's going to work on future hardware. With Windows 8 will come a requirement for a "Secure Boot" key that the the operating system gives the BIOS via UEFI in order to boot. It's called "secure" because it will make the whole boot process more securely, making malware unable to take over the boot process. The Linux community has been scrambling because they need to find some way to boot their OS's on hardware that (so it's looking like) will only support booting with keys from Microsoft. Recently Fedora has announced that they will be paying Microsoft for use of Microsoft's keys. About a week after that, Canonical has announced how Ubuntu will take care of booting with Secure Boot.

Basically, Canonical is looking into a couple different methods. One is going through Microsoft and working with them in order to get keys, the other is getting hardware vendors to use a key that Canonical made as well as Microsoft's key in their hardware. If they go through Microsoft, they'll probably end up paying like Fedora. If they go directly to vendors with their own key, they have a chance that some companies' hardware might not work with Ubuntu. These are the problems Fedora faced, so it will be interesting to see how Canonical handles it. The talks with everyone are still going on, so there's no word yet on what exactly will happen. Canonical is dedicated to making sure Ubuntu will continue to "just work" on future hardware, so don't get too worried. 

For different articles on the subject check out this one, this one, and this one. For a better description of the problem Secure Boot presents for Linux, read this