Monday, November 26, 2012

secure boot stench

Jesse Smith writes about his experiences with Microsoft's Windows 8 UEFI Secure Boot mess in the Questions and Answers section of this week's DistroWatch Weekly.

Troubling situation for Linux users. As Smith writes:

In short, to get to the point where we can attempt to boot an alternative operating system we need to know our way through six steps:

- Boot machine while pressing F10
- Find Secure Boot in the menu tree, ignore warnings
- Disable Secure Boot feature
- Enable legacy boot options
- Enable specific legacy devices, such as USB devices
- Save and reboot while holding down F9

To the more technically minded, this might not seem so bad, but keep in mind these steps are performed without documentation, with no hints and with big warning pop-ups letting the user know what a bad idea disabling Secure Boot is. This is not something the average user is going to know how to do, nor will they likely want to follow through if they read the on-screen messages...

What a pain.

Well, I'm set for awhile, with my main desktop pc and two notebooks (my spare computers). Hopefully, Linux folks will find easy ways for users to get around this Secure Boot crap. But Microsoft has completely lost me as a potential customer. In any case, over the past several years any Windows computer I've bought new, the first thing I've done is to wipe out Windows and install Linux. But with this situation, I won't even bother to buy a new Windows computer again.

There are plenty of options. I can still get my hands on pre-Windows 8 machines -- used, refurbished, whatever. Perhaps better yet, I'd like to get a Linux computer -- I've done so in the past with great results, and there are good Linux vendors out there.

A third option is to build-my-own. I'll probably get around to trying that one day; a friend of mine tells me it isn't too difficult.

Screw Microsoft.

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