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Why Linux On Microsoft Surface Is a Tough Challenge

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the 5-feet-high-and-risin' dept.

DRM 561

hypnosec writes "With Linux enthusiasts and distro publishers eagerly waiting for a solution to Microsoft's UEFI SecureBoot, there are those who have already looked at the viability of Linux on Microsoft Surface tablet. Matthew Garrett, a.k.a. UEFI-guru, has revealed that those who are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping to find run Linux on Microsoft's tablet are on an uphill walk and it doesn't seem to be an easy one. So why is this? The answer is in the manner in which Microsoft has restricted the Surface from loading non-signed software / binaries by implementing UEFI SecureBoot. Microsoft has loaded on the ARM based tablet its private key instead of the 'Microsoft Windows UEFI Driver Publisher' key, which is needed to sign non-Microsoft software like Linux distributions or loaders. So, no publisher key = no signed non-Microsoft binary = no Linux."

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Wait for Surface 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428829)

They need to add mouse buttons, for starters.

Another reason not to buy Surface (5, Insightful)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about 2 years ago | (#42428847)

As if you needed another reason.

Re:Another reason not to buy Surface (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#42429117)

As if you needed another reason.

Exactly. Solution? Don't buy a Surface if you want to run Linux / Android on it.

It's so deliciously simple.

I don't like Win8 either.

Guess what? I haven't bought it.

Another thing I haven't bought:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cadillac_CTS_front.JPG [wikipedia.org]

It's an ugly car... I don't want one.

Solution (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428849)

Don't buy a surface?

Re:Solution (0)

craigminah (1885846) | about 2 years ago | (#42428893)

The Surface Pro will have an Intel i5 w/ HD4000. If it's priced competitively, it'll be pretty hard to resist.

Re:Solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428917)

Pricing starts at $900 for a 64 GB version. It's priced at MacBook air levels given the hardware.

Re:Solution (1, Funny)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42429155)

yeah, but the MBA sucks and the Surface is awesome

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428933)

No, no its not.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428941)

But it's still a goddamned tablet.

Re:Solution (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428969)

The above paragraph indicates they are talking about the Surface (ARM version). Not the pro.

Re:Solution (3, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42429007)

About as hard to resist as all the other Windows tablets [cnet.com] that have gone before it in the last 15 years.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429107)

If its priced VERY competitively and there is very good evidence of excellent Cygwin support I'll consider one.

Re:Solution (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428919)

Eventually all hardware will be like this. What will be your solution then? Don't buy a computer?

The trend is clear. Not so long ago, ALL hardware was yours after you bought it. Now, only a fraction is, and the ones that are not, are in the process of being locked down. In 10 years, 15 tops, you won't be able to buy an unlocked device, not a desktop, not a mobile. There will be some way to run Linux still, such as your vendor buying a key, but it's all going to be at someone else's permission.

Have fun with that world.

I WILL have fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428965)

I just think it will be fun on some Chinese-made, Chinese-designed Loongson-2017. Intel systems will be locked down to help their co-monopolist M$. So FUCK Intel !

http://www.lemote.com/en/products/Notebook/2010/0310/112.html

Re:I WILL have fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429101)

That thing is crap, though. Look at the specs.

The Food Of A Wolf As Compared To A Dog (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429139)

..is also crap. But, the Wolf does not have the nice leash around the neck. Think about it.

Re:The Food Of A Wolf As Compared To A Dog (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429239)

Oh, I agree. But the way things are going, that crap is all we're going to be left with, and I don't find that a very nice world to consider.

Re:Solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429009)

When I started using computers 20 years ago, I was amazed and couldn't wait to see what sorts of things computers would be used for next. Now when I imagine what computers will be like in another 20 years, I cringe.

In 20 years, there will still be general-purpose computers, but they'll be extremely expensive. We will be very lucky if the invasive DRM crap stays out of the CPUs, at least, but most likely even the CPU in 20 years will be unusable outside of a locked-down system. As more functionality is incorporated into CPUs all the time, how long do you think it'll be before it swallows TPM and perhaps its own pre-boot ROM? They'll be in everything, and good luck finding a decent and cheap CPU which works for you.

Re:Solution (3, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 2 years ago | (#42428921)

"Don't buy a surface?"

AC, or not, mod up please. Simplest solution possible.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428975)

"Don't buy a surface?"

AC, or not, mod up please. Simplest solution possible.

BS. There may be many good reasons not to buy a surface tablet, but people still buy millions of apple devices which are locked down to a greater extent from the end user.

Re:Solution (1)

bbelt16ag (744938) | about 2 years ago | (#42428993)

not us, not here not ever. may it my android and linux be pulled from my cold dead hands.

Re:Solution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429063)

And stop trying to put an OS that the device wasn't designed to use, or else do all the R&D in your own without complaining.

Re:Solution (3, Funny)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#42429245)

That's the entire point. It's not that the device isn't designed to run GNU/Linux/Android, it's specifically designed not to. You want to see a geek actually do something? Tell them they can't do it.

Well then ... (5, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | about 2 years ago | (#42428851)

no publisher key = no signed non-Microsoft binary = no Linux = NO SALE!

Honestly, I have no real interest in the Microsoft Surface anyway. I played with one at the store for a little while, and walked away thinking, "Pretty looking, but ultimately adds no value for me." Obviously though, others feel differently.

Still, if you're someone actually interested in a Surface but NOT to run Windows on it? The fact Microsoft has it this locked down should tell you to move along and not vote for this product with your wallet. It's great to see people enabling hardware to do new things it wasn't intended to do originally.... but where do we draw the line?

Re:Well then ... (3, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 years ago | (#42428873)

The line is where it's always been: you buy the product, it's yours, you can do whatever you like with it. It's unreasonable for a manufacturer to try to take those rights away from you.

Here Is The UEFI Unlock Key (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428973)

http://www.lemote.com/en/products/Notebook/2010/0310/112.html

Re:Well then ... (3, Insightful)

Andrewkov (140579) | about 2 years ago | (#42428979)

Yet millions and millions of locked cell phones are sold every year.

Re:Well then ... (3, Insightful)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 2 years ago | (#42429029)

And rooted/unlocked pretty soon.

Re:Well then ... (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#42429205)

That's not a defense. It doesn't make it acceptable, it just means that the vast majority of people are completely unaware of what they're pulling.

Which explains much of the governments and corporations in the world today, they act and exploit the ignorance of people on a daily basis.

Re:Well then ... (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about 2 years ago | (#42429097)

The line is where it's always been: you buy the product, it's yours, you can do whatever you like with it. It's unreasonable for a manufacturer to try to take those rights away from you.

If the product was sold to you in this state without trying to hide it then they haven't "taken" anything away from you.

Re:Well then ... (3, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 years ago | (#42429223)

If it's a gratuitous addition specifically to prevent you from doing something that you otherwise could, then they have. For example, if you buy a book and find out the pages have been glued together, that's unreasonable. If you buy a computer and you find out it could run third party software, but the loading system has been disabled, that's unreasonable.

Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429265)

Nope.
It's THEIR software, you're just LICENSING IT.
It's THEIR equipment, you're just LEASING IT.
It's THEIR data, you wouldn't stand a chance in court.
It's THEIR land. The mega-corporations will outpower and outlive every man, woman, child and country.

Truth is tough, but corporations will destroy this planet, rape everyone and everything in it. How do I know?
They already did so in so-called "third world countries". Now it's our turn, and there's nothing we can do about it because the money system rewards all pro-profit behaviour. It's just a tough cookie to swallow when it happens to ourselves.

Captcha: mortem

Re:Well then ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428935)

no publisher key = no signed non-Microsoft binary = no Linux = NO SALE!

Sure, but the number of people who think like that is minuscule. It won't significantly impact their sales, which means there will be no market pressure not to do this, which means more and more hardware will be sold like this, which means eventually it's going to be hard to buy a device which is yours after you buy it.

So, Better (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429005)

..go for something like this:

http://www.lemote.com/en/products/Notebook/2010/0310/112.html

an show the middle finger to the American Crapitalists.

Now, let your "China eats poppies alive" shit roll in. I'll counter with support of tyrannies such as the House of Saud-Wahabistan and with American-sponsored torture.

Re:So, Better (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429075)

Small problem: that is a piece of shit. 1024x600 is not a usable resolution in that form factor. The CPU is crap, and it only has 1G RAM.

Sorry, non-starter.

So that's how the world will be. Good hardware that's locked down, or suck-ass cheap Chinese crap that's not. What a choice.

Slightly Better (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429261)

http://www.tekmote.nl/epages/61504599.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/61504599/Products/CFL-008

Re:So, Better (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429079)

Is the opium more potent if the flower's still alive?

Re:So, Better (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429179)

Sorry for the typo, I was referring to little dogs being eaten alive.

..or Android (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42429235)

It won't significantly impact their sales

Judging by there current sales you would think they need every sale to count. Perhaps a third party OEM will do hardware right.

Good! (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#42428859)

I hope the surface tanks. Linux users are probably more likely to want keyboards than windows users.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428977)

If their success with phones and music players is anything to go by, it probably will.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428991)

What kind of hardware did M$ ever make that did not tank? Even if it was not locked up, I would not want a piece of hardware that is probably out of the market in 6 months.

Re:Good! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428999)

Their input devices have always been very good.

Re:Good! (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 2 years ago | (#42429045)

Not too shabby but not good either. I used a MS keyboard for some time but then ran into a Dell clicky which got me on the Model M/Unicomp bandwagon pretty soon.

The Suface If Not Seling Well (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42429227)

I hope the surface tanks. Linux users are probably more likely to want keyboards than windows users.

....but that is not the point. Linux users that do *keyboard intensive tasks* want keyboards...whether they want undersized candy coloured keyboards is dubious, or them attached to an undersized tablet is a another matter, but implying that the average user uses the keyboard more that any other OS is simply a little strange X pre-dates Windows :). Those that do you can see on here flaming each other about which one is best...although I believe in that knife fight the IBM Model M wins.

uefi guru? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428865)

More like uefi douche...
I have met him and like most kernel devs/maintainers he is a jackass

But when Microsoft do it... (2, Insightful)

EdZ (755139) | about 2 years ago | (#42428895)

So in the same camp as every iPad made, and the majority of Android tablets, then?

Which tablets? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428963)

I can think of only a few major brand Android tablets that have locked bootloaders, and all of these have been defeated:

* Nook Tablet
* Nook HD
* Nook HD+
* Kindle HD 7"
* Kindle HD 8.9"

All use u-boot [www.denx.de] an open-sourced bootloader, and all had implementation flaws. (Actually, the flaws WERE their implementation in the first place. Let's say both had "available fixes".)

Other tablets such as the Nexus 7 and 10 have locked bootloaders too, but they are unlockable via fastboot and the command "fastboot oem unlock".

Re:Which tablets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429001)

You just listed the top selling Android tablets. OP is still right.

Surely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429021)

M$ have added some clusterfuck such as a "Trusted Platform Computing Module", which is hardwired to the CPU or something similar. Expect to use the soldering iron !

Ah well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428899)

just another lesson learned from Apple.

When Did Apple Lock their computers (4, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42429161)

just another lesson learned from Apple.

I'm tired of Apple being used to justify shitty behaviour from Microsoft. In this case its no even true.

Primary reason (4, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | about 2 years ago | (#42428903)

SecureBoot was never about security If it was, Microsoft would put at least some token effort towards blacklisting drivers with ring 0 holes. The point since day one was to hinder the spread of non-commercial alternatives.

Re:Primary reason (3, Insightful)

YukariHirai (2674609) | about 2 years ago | (#42429061)

The point since day one was to hinder the spread of non-commercial alternatives.

More accurately, to hinder non-Microsoft alternatives on their hardware... it's not like Microsoft would tell Apple "sure, we'll let you put iOS on the Surface" even if Apple had any interest in doing that. It just so happens that the only software that people try to put on Microsoft-branded hardware are non-commercial projects.

Re:Primary reason (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about 2 years ago | (#42429081)

Agreed. Given how long it's taking to get the UEFI code from Microsoft, it's not surprising. Shame that hardware vendors are bending over backwards to Microsoft's wishes, not that they have much of a choice.

Maybe... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428909)

if we ask Microsoft nicely they'll sign our boot loader. To be serious however it would be in their best interest. They would get increased sales from those who might not otherwise purchase their tablet. Will they see it that way? Hell no! They have their sights set on Apple and think they can have success doing the same walled garden crap that has me moving away from my iPhone. I sure as hell won't be buying a iPad. Perhaps someone will just have to add a slick keyboard to a Droid tablet and we can multiboot Linux and Android.

Unbelievable. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428925)

Stop. Just stop.

It's a Microsoft device. It was designed to run Win RT. This is quite clearly marked on the box and the device itself.

There are a thousand other things wrong with Linux right now and nobody seems interested in fixing them (yes, I'm doing my part, but I only have so much free time to spend fixing random issues and maintaining my own packages). No, instead, we're going to dump all our time and effort into making a device that was NEVER DESIGNED TO RUN LINUX, well, run Linux.

Sooner or later you just have to say enough is enough. This is almost as stupid as buying an iPad or iPhone and attempting to run Android on it. Just because you're buying "hardware" doesn't mean you're getting the privilege of installing whatever the hell you want on the device. Mobile equipment like this is marketed and sold as an end-to-end solution, you're not buying hardware- you're buying software tied to hardware. Making the mistake of thinking that the hardware is there for you to do whatever you wish with is silly. If you want a tablet to run Linux on, buy a tablet that runs Linux.

Trying to shoehorn the 'tux onto the ARM Surface is stupid. No shit Microsoft has locked the thing up, they're subsidizing the damned hardware by assuming that you'll run Windows on it and buy applications through the Windows App Store.

This is almost as dumb as buying a set of kitchen utensils then wondering why you can't build a shed with them. If you wanted to buy a shed, why didn't you invest in a set of proper tools? What on earth made you think a few forks, spoons, and knives were going to let you do the same thing?

Re:Unbelievable. (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 2 years ago | (#42428971)

The two most rational posts in this thread so far are from ACs and no mod points for either.

What gives?

Re:Unbelievable. (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#42429057)

Rational posts from ACs are really rare. Two in one discussion is even rarer.

You Are Such A Cute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428989)

..$hill. Has Mr Ballmer already fed you today ?

Re:Unbelievable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429019)

Fair points AC, however I think the issue is of interest because people are wondering if this is the future of personal computing; will the surface pro be similarly locked down? Will other Window 8 devices start going the same way? That makes it worth studying how the Surface RT is locked down, andow that locdown might be circumvented.

Re:Unbelievable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429127)

Surface pro is an x86 device any by Microsoft's own guidelines is required to have an option to disable secure boot.

Re:Unbelievable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429173)

It will if you don't make a pro-active effort to support the hardware you want.

Every effort spent on chasing after distractions prevents that. Ouya is a better idea than most people realize.

It isn't that it was never designed to run linux (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#42429025)

The problem is that it was designed to never run linux.

Re:It isn't that it was never designed to run linu (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429129)

Excellent point.

Then maybe we can still use it to build a shed...

Re:Unbelievable. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429133)

Dude come on... I run Linux on my microwave, fridge, and I am hacking the toaster right now. If it has a CPU, it must run Linux. That's what some people do. It is the challenge of exploring strange new worlds. It is about being clever. It is about ripping the DVD or BluRay, finding the next bitcoin, or jailbreaking your tablet. Running Linux on your PlayStation after Sony took it away. It's about FREEDOM!!!!!!!! So yes, instead of fixing your bug an army will assemble to hack Linux onto the next thing with a CPU.

My views of ownership may differ from yours (5, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42429151)

Just because you're buying "hardware" doesn't mean you're getting the privilege of installing whatever the hell you want on the device.

See ignoring the massive flag waving response. I have this belief that if I buy something I can do what the hell I want with it. When did I start hiring/licensing my computer!! Can Microsoft really not effective compete with Linux the OS you claim in not ready (It is has been for years) I believe the Android variant is set to eclipse Windows Next Year.

Specious logic (5, Interesting)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 2 years ago | (#42429185)

There are a thousand other things wrong with Linux right now and nobody seems interested in fixing them (yes, I'm doing my part, but I only have so much free time to spend fixing random issues and maintaining my own packages). No, instead, we're going to dump all our time and effort into making a device that was NEVER DESIGNED TO RUN LINUX, well, run Linux.

Until relatively recently, no device was *ever* designed to run linux. If the Linux community accepted that approach, Linux wouldn't run on anything.

I think it's important, and sends a message to big companies, that Linux run on everything. It tells them, you will not avoid us. You cannot lock your shit down. No matter what you do, we'll be there.

If I was more clever, I'd do a rendition of a Police song to accentuate the point.

Re:Unbelievable. (0, Flamebait)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#42429191)

Stop. Just stop.

Yeah you stupid Linux nerds, stop trying to use your hardware as you see fit and start doing as the vendor tells you.

There are a thousand other things wrong with Linux right now and nobody seems interested in fixing them

Nonsense.

yes, I'm doing my part

Says the AC.

we're going to dump all our time and effort into making a device that was NEVER DESIGNED TO RUN LINUX, well, run Linux.

Again, what's with this "all or nothing" nonsense? Why does making an OS run on a device that was designed to lock the user out run Linux mean that other efforts must stop?

they're subsidizing the damned hardware by assuming that you'll run Windows on it and buy applications through the Windows App Store.

There's zero proof of that. Not to mention that there are other Windows RT devices out there similarly locked down.

This is almost as dumb as buying a set of kitchen utensils then wondering why you can't build a shed with them.

Err, no. Bad analogy.

If you wanted to buy a shed, why didn't you invest in a set of proper tools?

More like "I bought a saw, but it only cuts Microsoft Wood, and a hammer but it only drives Microsoft Nails." But it still doesn't work.

Re:Unbelievable. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429253)

This is almost as dumb as buying a set of kitchen utensils then wondering why you can't build a shed with them. If you wanted to buy a shed, why didn't you invest in a set of proper tools? What on earth made you think a few forks, spoons, and knives were going to let you do the same thing?

By proper set of tools you mean, an electronic device capable of performing boolean algebra i.e. the ARM Cortex-A9 connected to various other devices which themselves shouldn't have any problem interfacing with the linux kernel? There's no legitimate reason I can see that this configuration of components should be constrained to proprietary software (at least from the perspective of a consumer).

Tied sale, supposedly illegal in the U.S. (2)

davecb (6526) | about 2 years ago | (#42429263)

Chevrolet car, that can only use Chevrolet gas.

Following Along (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428945)

Guess Microsoft is kind of following along the steps of Apple on this one..

...Not so much (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42429105)

Guess Microsoft is kind of following along the steps of Apple on this one..

...No Microsoft is forging the way ahead on Monopolistic abuse. You can still install Linux on Apple computers (just not upgrade any components). The fact that they are adopting in part Apples business model at the expense of its OEM partners is just hilarious, as Apples profit margins are set to slump :).

Re:Following Along (0)

pbjones (315127) | about 2 years ago | (#42429121)

is there some universal law somewhere that says that any electronic gadget maker needs to bow to the Linux gods and enable any gadget to run Linux? Wasn't part of Linux the adventure of getting Linsux to run on anything? Kodak cameras, early iPods, etc? What?, So every manufacturer has to build Linux compatible devices? Get your hand out of you pants. There are so many gadgets coming out of the same chinese factories that make Apple and MS stuff that it should not be too hard to find an linux box for you, or do you just need to whine about something?

Re:Following Along (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429169)

I know you're trolling, but for the record: the problem isn't that they haven't "enabled it to run Linux". Nobody here cares whether they did that. The problem is that they have done considerable engineering work to lock it down to PREVENT it from running Linux, or anything ELSE of the user's choice.

It's the difference between not doing something, and actively blocking that thing from happening.

Now go back in your cave, troll.

Expected (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42428961)

Had Microsoft tried to sell a PC that was similarly locked-down in the late 1990s, I expect they would've gotten sued by the government. However, mobile phones (and game consoles) have traditionally been locked-down, and no regulatory agency seems to mind.

Now the line is blurring between the two, with the tablet borrowing from both laptops and mobile phones. I assume soon either it'll be OK for any device to be locked down, or all devices will have to be "openable".

I wonder how that's gonna turn out...

Re:Expected (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429017)

Moreover the "Wintel" PC is dying. In 2013, more devices on the net will be phone/tablet than desktop/laptop. Not that more are sold, but more in absolute numbers will be online. That is only predicted to accelerate going forward until the Wintel PC is effectively dead. You can't argue with the economy of scale, just like Sun 68020 workstations couldn't stop the dominance of the Wintel PC.

http://edition.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_c4#/video/business/2012/12/26/pkg-lake-is-the-pc-dead.cnn

Eventually, there WILL BE no other choice.

Microsoft still a monopoly (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42429073)

Except mobile phones are not locked down, famously even Apple has a DMCA exception to jailbreaking. Sony famously dropped its Linux from the PS3 because it couldn't get tax benefits for being a computer.

The reality is Microsoft (still a monopoly on the desktop) is turning a computer into an electronics device, and the should be stopped...and it won't be.

Its so obvious how that going to turn out, Android is going to overtake Windows, as my phone becomes more open than my computer. My next GNU\Linux computer will be a touchscreen chromebook!?

Re:Microsoft still a monopoly (2, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#42429157)

mobile phones are not locked down

Most are.

even Apple has a DMCA exception to jailbreaking

There may be a DMCA exemption for jailbreaking, but it only applies to cell phones and Apple can still fight you. Thus the lack of a jailbreak for iOS 6.

Microsoft (still a monopoly on the desktop) is turning a computer into an electronics device

I think you mean "Apple and Microsoft are turning the computer into a game-console type appliance."

Re:Expected (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#42429159)

I assume soon either it'll be OK for any device to be locked down, or all devices will have to be "openable".

I wonder how that's gonna turn out...

Depends on how many MS/Apple/Sony etc executives and politicians that we test for flammability and high-velocity impact resistance.

Strat

Why would you want to? (4, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#42429011)

Before surface, MS WIndows ran on commodity hardware. If you needed a cheap *nix box you could go down to the store, but a MS Windows machine, through away the MS license, and load your favorite *nix.

If you want a *nix that runs on MS Surface caliber hardware and aren't worrying about licensing, get an iPad. You can fill it up with important apps for under $100.

If you want a cheap *nix pad, get an android. It still has licensing issues, but is the commodity hardware that was the MS Windows machine.

The reality is that OSS is going to be a few years behind MS, which is a couple years behind Apple. Look at the office app. Openoffice.org was possible only because the office application is now legacy and MS did little to keep the product unique. While the GUI was available in high end Unix machines since it was available for Apple, commodity machines did not have graphic coprocessors that made GUIs efficient until the early 90's.

So it is an advancement that we had a functional *nix tablet, in the form of android, before we had a functional MS tablet, in terms of surface. So I am not sure why we would want to make MS Surface anything other than a marginal device by standardizing it as a *nix device. I mean, one thing about windows is it was the standard for writing memos and the like, so if you could get the MS Windows applications running in *nix, then you would not have to have a MS license. But what Apps does MS Surface have? I mean MS is so desperate that they are buying banner ads on /. begging developers to write apps.

Just let the MS Surface die a graceful death. Don't glorify it by even suggesting it should run and *nix.

Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429083)

Of course everybody is scared that all future hardware will have this UEFI crapola.

RMS is right; you need to take drastic measures:

http://www.lemote.com/en/products/Notebook/2010/0310/112.html

Fuck those American Monopolists !

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429189)

You've posted this link about 7 or 8 times in this thread. Please stop. It's a piece of shit, and nowhere near comparable with the better hardware on the market. In fact, it's not comparable to even middle of the road hardware. Crap like that thing does NOT make it alright for every decent piece of hardware to eventually be locked down against its owner.

Re:Why would you want to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429091)

I mean MS is so desperate that they are buying banner ads on /. begging developers to write apps.

Ms is hardly desperate for developes. The windows store started with 9,000 apps, and has grown 300% since launch. With 36k apps now, the store is growing at a rate of about 500 per day and accelerating. They'll hit 100k by spring. Add to that the 120k apps on the windows phone side and the windows ecosystem is the fastest growing of android or iOS.

Go to the OEMs and make a deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429013)

I can't understand the train of logic here.

The Linux community in general doesn't like Microsoft. Why try to install Linux on a piece of Microsoft hardware. I can only think of two reasons, one that the hardware is worthy or two (which makes more sense) there's the goal to find something to bitch about.

Wouldn't it make more sense to focus companies like Dell, HP or even Acer and give them everything needed to help them support Linux on direct sale of hardware?

Wouldn't it make more sense to spend the energy on some 3D APIs to bring them up to gaming spec and make an actual desktop alternative to Windows.

So much wasted energy complaining instead of doing brings Linux down as a whole. Look inwards and fix the obvious... make a better desktop, get OEMs to make, support and promote it on their machines and then it's not Linux on a Windows PC, it's just Linux - problem solved.

What does UEFI really accomplish? (1)

hackus (159037) | about 2 years ago | (#42429033)

Does it make your machine any more secure?

Very dubious, because I think I can prove historically security is not a hardware issue, it is a human issue. I am not pulling this out of my arse either, I can site a huge list of failed hardware security solutions, which DO NOT WORK.

So what has it accomplished so far?

That is easy, unless you get essentially permission from Microsoft, you can't use GNU software.

I won't buy a UEFI motherboard. Period.

If motherboard manufacturers are STUPID ENOUGH to install UEFI industry wide, well then looks like all of those machines in my basement will run my databases and websites.

Lets see how long they can go without profits before putting the BIOS back in the motherboard and restore the customers ability to run whatever I damn well please on the hardware I buy.

Microsoft can suck it. So can any manufacturer that makes Microsoft UEFI motherboards.

Because as I see it, UEFI=Microsoft hardware.

-Hack

Re:What does UEFI really accomplish? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429099)

Every new motherboard will be UEFI. Your old hardware will die eventually. You won't be able to avoid it forever.

Re:What does UEFI really accomplish? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429131)

I'll find something else to do which doesn't involve computers. No need to wear the shackles just because everyone else chooses to.

Re:What does UEFI really accomplish? (3, Insightful)

hibiki_r (649814) | about 2 years ago | (#42429215)

Hardware that can run any OS will still be available, if just to fill the server market. There are tons of companies out there running on linux servers, and they have no interest in switching to either windows or being forced into very big hardware. As long as they exist and keep buying, you'll be able to run linux on the desktop, no matter what Microsoft wants.

Re:What does UEFI really accomplish? (4, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#42429149)

Whether Secure Boot makes your system more secure is still up in the air.

What does UEFI do? It lets us move past many of the ancient holdovers from 30 years ago that imposed silly limits on PCs, like 2TB limits on the boot drive, the MBR and associated partitioning scheme (GPT is much cleaner.) It also removes all the 16-bit, 1MB memory window limitations at boot time, moving the processors directly into 64-bit on startup and never leaving. All the archaic stuff moved into a compatibility module that can be turned on and off as you see fit.

I won't buy a UEFI motherboard. Period.

Best of luck to you, I hope you enjoy MIPS. Every x86 board vendor has moved to UEFI.

Re:What does UEFI really accomplish? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429203)

What does UEFI do? It lets us move past many of the ancient holdovers from 30 years ago that imposed silly limits on PCs, like 2TB limits on the boot drive, the MBR and associated partitioning scheme (GPT is much cleaner.)

GPT does not require UEFI.

RMS's computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429051)

http://www.lemote.com/en/products/Notebook/2010/0310/112.html

Now, tell me why it is better to have a huge screen, a superfast processor, a big disk and a leash firmly attached to your balls, to be operated by Ballmer personally !

Jailbreak surely? (2)

rueger (210566) | about 2 years ago | (#42429059)

I'm assuming that the same folks that root iPhones and Android phones, and seemingly every other bit of hardware on the planet will defeat this pretty fast as well. So yeah, let's buy up all of those cheap MicroSoft tablets and install Cyanogenmod!

Re:Jailbreak surely? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#42429219)

I'm assuming that the same folks that root iPhones and Android phones, and seemingly every other bit of hardware on the planet will defeat this pretty fast as well.

Surely they can do it faster than the others, since its Microsoft and they dont know how to do security, right?

Why bother? (3, Insightful)

fufufang (2603203) | about 2 years ago | (#42429071)

Why would you even bother to put Linux on Microsoft hardware? You have chosen hardware that's crippled by design, you have chosen to get yourself shafted. There are plenty other Linux friendly hardware out there...

Re:Why bother? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#42429217)

"Because it's there" -- people put this stuff on watches and calculators and jabbering children's toys.

Now why do it for actual home use as opposed to buying hardware designed for it or generic computer hardware, I don't know.

6 months (1)

pswPhD (1528411) | about 2 years ago | (#42429085)

I reckon it will take some bright spark 6 months to figure out a way round this. It will probably involve taking the thing apart, but someone, sooner or later, will figure it out. If you try to lock down a device, some people will just see that as a challenge.

After all, the ipad/ iphone, PS3, Xbox and the wii have all been hacked. it was just a matter of time.

So stop trying (2)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 2 years ago | (#42429093)

Microsoft has made clear they don't want Linux on Surface. Nothing is that unique about the Surface hardware. So stop trying and concentrate on Linux on any number of more popular and more open tablets.

Ha! (3, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | about 2 years ago | (#42429233)

Back when UEFI came out people were saying how things weren't so bad. Now MS has done exactly what 'tinfoil hat wearing alarmists' said they would.

Next time, "things will be alright"-folk, dont tell us we didn't tole you!

Linux on Microsoft Surface... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42429243)

It's like puking on a pile of shit.

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