Will Windows 8 block users from dual-booting Linux? Microsoft won't say
Some are concerned that Microsoft's coming Windows 8 secure-boot technologies and policies could result in users being unable to dual-boot Linux alongside Windows 8. Microsoft officials aren't commenting on whether the worries are unfounded or grounded.
Here's what Microsoft has said, re: its secure boot plans for Windows 8. These tidbits are from the previously mentioned Build session on UEFI:
All firmware and software in the boot process must be signed by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA)
Required for Windows 8 client
Does not require a Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
Reduces the likelihood of bootkits, rootkits and ransomware
Another slide from the same talk:
(click on slide to enlarge)
Garrett's interpretation of Microsoft's shared information on the topic:
"Microsoft requires that machines conforming to the Windows 8 logo program and running a client version of Windows 8 ship with secure boot enabled. The two alternatives here are for Windows to be signed with a Microsoft key and for the public part of that key to be included with all systems, or alternatively for each OEM to include their own key and sign the pre-installed versions of Windows. The second approach would make it impossible to run boxed copies of Windows on Windows logo hardware, and also impossible to install new versions of Windows unless your OEM provided a new signed copy. The former seems more likely.
"A system that ships with only OEM and Microsoft keys will not boot a generic copy of Linux."
I can't resist a rant here: The Windows team's decision not to comment on this report is an example of the new communication strategy that Microsoft seems to be instituting with Windows 8: Clarification on any Windows 8 topic -- not only features and policies that are still unannounced, but also those that already have been disclosed publicly -- apparently will not be provided by anyone from Microsoft in an official capacity. The result: An increasing amount of misinformation about Windows 8 is circulating, and Microsoft is doing little or nothing to correct it.
I understand Microsoft's increased desire for secrecy around its Windows plans, something company officials began pushing post-Vista. (I haven't always agreed with the goal, especially when it results in FUD for customers attempting to make rational buying decisions or OEM/ISV partners attempting to build products that work with Windows.) But allowing wrong information to go unchecked in the name of wanting to control the message and the way it is delivered seems like bad business to me....
Back on topic: Does anyone out there have any more to share (in an official capacity or not) about whether you think the new Windows 8 secure boot technologies and policies will block users from dual-booting Linux? Ars Technica's take: "Ultimately, the Windows 8 changes aren’t likely to wipe out Linux dual-boot scenarios, but they could restrict the types of hardware that will allow them." Other opinions?