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Old 26. Sep 2011, 04:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default UEFI protocol impact on Linux

I have noticed that my PC manufacturer has offered a firmware upgrade for my PC that will provide UEFI protocol to the Motherboard. I looked at my manufacturer's forum and users with W7 are going back to a previous version of the firmware as PC specific value-add apps are not working properly with UEFI (e.g. fingerprint application access and backup/recovery are just two of them). I have W7 installed on this laptop but I only use Linux Puppy from a flashdrive, so I am not sure whether I should implement this firmware upgrade or not. There is no guidance from the manufacturer as to what to do. They seem to be very windows centric, so Linux is off their radar. They preload windows and recommend it as the way to go (marketing agreement, no doubt).

I have also noticed that my PC manufacturer has opened a forum on W8 beta. There are users who are using this beta. The big marketing promo is 'secure boot' which uses the UEFI protocol (rootkit security). I understand that W7 will not be implementing 'secure boot' even if your PC has the capability of supporting it.

I guess this protocol is also adding some problems to dual boot Linux systems. I have a dual boot laptop that has Ubuntu Linux 11.4 and XP on it (but the manufacturer has not provided a firmware upgrade for that laptop). I am not expecting this to happen as my laptop is 12 yrs old. I think it is safe.

I sure hope there is some freeware on the horizon that will equal 'secure boot' as it would be nice to have a 'secure boot' equivalent out there that would combat rootkits and run on PCs that can use it (hate the idea that MS-8 would be the only OS to benefit from this protocol).

I understand that this protocol was submitted by Intel, not Microsoft, so MS is not the owner and did not develop it. Australia is taking MS to court over this. Too bad Intel doesn't have the balls to step up to the plate.
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Old 26. Sep 2011, 10:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Linux has been able to use EFI at boot time since early 2000, using the elilo EFI boot loader or, more recently, EFI versions of GRUB
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Old 27. Sep 2011, 07:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by J_L View Post
Tnx J-L I took a look at the link you provided. However further research indicates that some PCs are having problems with dual boot. It appears to be manufacturer based. I understand that it may be possible to turn UEFI off on some systems if problems exist under windows. The BIOS needs to be opened to locate the 'off switch' My PC manufacturer does not provide this option at this time. I have chosen not to install the firmware upgrade on my W7 PC. I boot Linux off a flash drive so there is no need for me to go there at this time. If W7 were to ever offer 'secure boot' in the future then I would install the upgrade. I do not expect there to be any problems with Linux on this PC after having read the link you provided.

What I am still unclear on .... is there any software from any OS that is written to this protocol that is available ===> other than secure boot? Anything from Linux?

Fascinating to find out that UEFI is also an OS (of sorts). I do not have the skills to understand this one ... maybe someone here can enlighten me on this one.
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Old 02. Oct 2011, 10:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think this will be sorted out soon without too many problems. We geeks won't have issues, as we can choose hardware as we like. And average users won't care. The only problem might be locked down laptops.
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Old 05. Oct 2011, 07:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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UEFI protocol is not developed by Intel anymore. It's a organization

And emmjay you're right Windows 7 has no blocked implementation of UEFI spec. but Windows 8 make use of this. UEFI was designed to avoid intrusions on early layers. But this is implemented on motherboard firmware. All software can be installed on such systems if got a certification. This is a good idea. Microsoft is not involved on UEFI develop but is looking for the implementation of this spec on all of mayor manufacturers. I can't tell you if it's for a commercial reason or with security purposes. But one think is a fact UEFI will be implemented on all systems in a near future.
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