Rich Freeman on 17 Oct 2016 12:46:20 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Linux Laptop

On Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 3:26 PM, Greg Helledy <> wrote:
> I am hoping that somewhere there will continue to be laptops made that allow
> secure boot to be turned off.  It would be an opportunity for a no-name
> manufacturer to capture a significant (for them) amount of sales, by being
> the only brand you can still install linux on.  Even if that means they
> can't buy OEM Windows licenses or sell their machines as "certified for
> Windows X".

Well, MS does not require that secure boot be impossible to disable,
so having this feature does not in any way eliminate the ability to
certify the machine.  I'd think that manufacturers would want to keep
the feature simply because some people care about it.

However, as long as MS continues to sign alternate bootloaders it
actually is a relative non-issue.  I believe MS is willing to sign
them as long as they require user interaction when changing what OS is
booted.  They just don't want these shims to be able to be installed
to silently allow a MITM with arbitrary code.  And, as a PC owner, I
don't particularly want my PC running arbitrary new code without
telling me about it anyway.

> Or is secure boot so controlled by the handful of BIOS manufacturers that
> even a small PC maker won't be able to circumvent it?  I'm obviously
> ignorant of the PC manufacturing market.

Whoever makes the motherboard can make the firmware do whatever they
want it to do.  They usually buy the firmware from a 3rd party and
this sort of thing can be configured before it is flashed.  I don't
really know of any "small PC makers" that make motherboards though.
There are a million mom and pops that throw common components in a
case, but they wouldn't have any control over the firmware other than
what they get by choosing a motherboard.

I can't see standalone motherboards ever not allowing you to choose
your own OS.  Who even buys them but the sort of people who care about
such things?

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