Torvalds doesn't want Windows 8 secure boot keys in Linux kernel

There are now two separate ways for a Linux-based operating system to be installed and booted on a Windows 8-based PC. One comes from the Linux Foundation and the other comes from Linux programmer Matthew Garrett. Both are in the early stages of development. However. the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, has now expressed his opinions on a proposal that would add Microsoft-signed binary keys to a Linux kernel, and they are not very nice.

ZDNet.com reports that Red Hat software engineer David Howells recently asked Torvalds in a message board exchange on the Linux Kernel Mailing List for such a move so that Linux could boot on a Windows 8 PC that had binary-only drivers that are used by AMD and NVIDIA graphics chipsets.

Torvalds shot that suggestion down, calling it "f******* moronic". In another message board post he added:

If Red Hat wants to deep-throat Microsoft, that's *your* issue. That has nothing what-so-ever to do with the kernel I maintain. It's trivial for you guys to have a signing machine that parses the PE binary, verifies the signatures, and signs the resulting keys with your own key. You already wrote the code, for chissake, it's in that f****** pull request.

All in all, the battle for a smooth path for Linux users to have a dual boot system for a Windows 8 PC continues its slow pace and while there are preliminary solutions in place, it may be some time before they are fully implemented.

Source: ZDNet.com | Image via Linus Torvalds

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archonis said,

That's a nice bed time story there, too bad reality is different now.

Linux is not the same Linux it used to be. Since it merged with Android, it's become a mutant monstrosity full of security and privacy flaws.

What, the hell are you talking about? As far as I was aware, many of the contributions the Android merge provided (or will provide) improved security (where applicable). There's no issue of privacy either. Google haven't "injected" some super-secret spy device into the kernel that uploads your syscalls to their servers.

Have you got any sources for these "security and privacy flaws" in the Linux kernel?

I always find it funny how the opinion of people who actually work in high tech industries is so different than message boards like this filled with teenage fan boys. Hmm.... I wonder why that may be. I know this has always been a Windows based site but a number of you have grown incredibly hostile to anything that doesn't have a Microsoft logo on it. Kinda sad and pathetic really. I'm constantly amused at how much some of you really think all of this matters in life.

AJerman said,
I always find it funny how the opinion of people who actually work in high tech industries is so different than message boards like this filled with teenage fan boys. Hmm.... I wonder why that may be. I know this has always been a Windows based site but a number of you have grown incredibly hostile to anything that doesn't have a Microsoft logo on it. Kinda sad and pathetic really. I'm constantly amused at how much some of you really think all of this matters in life.

So now we should all listen to people who work in high tech industries and let out own opinions to die? No thanks.

As much as I'd like to use Linux I am not going to anymore. I'm done with the arrogance of some developers who think they are the king of the worlds. Linus is one of them, look at the way he speaks, what the hell..anyone who would be in his positions wouldn't do that, not a single person.

It's all fine when Linux users flame Windows users but when it's the other way around it's fanboys? Get off your high horse and start thinking like a normal human being for Christ sake.

Majesticmerc said,

What, the hell are you talking about? As far as I was aware, many of the contributions the Android merge provided (or will provide) improved security (where applicable). There's no issue of privacy either. Google haven't "injected" some super-secret spy device into the kernel that uploads your syscalls to their servers.

Have you got any sources for these "security and privacy flaws" in the Linux kernel?


He's just trolling. Android runs ONTOP of the kernel. And is technically kernel independent due to it running in a virtual machine. Hence not counted to be a Linux distro by most of the Linux world. Same as the PS3 OS isn't counted as a Linux distro, while it uses the Linux kernel.
AJerman said,
I always find it funny how the opinion of people who actually work in high tech industries is so different than message boards like this filled with teenage fan boys. Hmm.... I wonder why that may be. I know this has always been a Windows based site but a number of you have grown incredibly hostile to anything that doesn't have a Microsoft logo on it. Kinda sad and pathetic really. I'm constantly amused at how much some of you really think all of this matters in life.

For me personally the issue is that most hatred for Microsoft shown here and everywhere in the world is unjustified. Hence I often pick sides with MS in these 'flamewars'. And I think this is similar for quite some people here. And I somehow think this secureboot thing would've been added if it wasn't Microsoft that came with it. MS isn't the horrible monster people have claimed and still claim for the past 2 decades. They actually do allot of good and unlike other companies are not only in it for the profits. (of course profits are still most important). Often have offered to help Linux but got rejected.
And this useless hatred between the MS 'world' and Linux 'world' has been slowing down progress unnecessary for both sides, and my personal thought is that it's hurting Linux hell of al lot more then it is hurting MS.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

As much as I'd like to use Linux I am not going to anymore. I'm done with the arrogance of some developers who think they are the king of the worlds. Linus is one of them, look at the way he speaks, what the hell..anyone who would be in his positions wouldn't do that, not a single person.

It's all fine when Linux users flame Windows users but when it's the other way around it's fanboys? Get off your high horse and start thinking like a normal human being for Christ sake.

Why does the arrogance of developers decide whether you should use a tool they've developed? I bet Microsoft developers are just as arrogant, yet this happens all behind closed doors whereas open source is through public accessible mail lists etc. If people like Linus didn't exist then I bet computing would be locked down, very expensive, no where near as researched as it is now.

And to be honest, most of the Linux users who flame Windows have used both platforms to some depth whereas when its round the other way, I see a lot of Windows users either never tried Linux or installed it once then changed something to break it.

Linus went on to call Steve Ballmer a 'Doody Head' before throwing a 20 minute temper tantrum which was only stopped by another dev giving him his bottle and reading him a story about chipmunks.

The comments here are ludicrous. Linus Torvalds is a breath of fresh air compared to the self-important statements which Neowin constantly reports about from Steve "the world's greatest executive" Ballmer and Bill "the world's most giving man" Gates.

Great job moderating this news post moderators! I cannot see any flame baiting material, oh, oh wait a moment.... *scrolls up to pages of flame bait*... Nevermind.

I agree with Linus here (why would the keys need to be in the kernel? AFAIK it doesn't make much sense), but did he have to say that RedHat wanted to "deep-throat Microsoft"? That makes it sound like the whole thing is based off of his distaste for Microsoft.

Ugh.... some people seriously need to grow up.

Firstly those of you complaining about the language used in this email clearly have short memories or knew nothing of the Windows 2000 source code leak. The source files were littered with tons of profanity like "use this class so it doesn't f*** up the piece of s*** compiler". yes, it seems unprofessional but most coders do it.

Secondly, the level of ignorance displayed by Neowin's Microsoft shills is absolutely insane. It seems so many of you are eager to bash Linux, yet if it weren't for the kernel the costs of so many consumer devices like routers would rise because companies would either have to employ coders to create inhouse software or license software from other manufacturers. The Linux kernel has been incredibly kind to the tech community over the years and it's a shame that some of you are so eager to hate simply because of misguided product loyalty. The fact that we don't see the Linux kernel as much as NT doesn't mean it doesn't have a very strong influence in all of our technological lives. It's there in so many of our devices.

These days Neowin seems to be turning into one great big Microsoft advert. It was a great tech community once.

Javik said,
Ugh.... some people seriously need to grow up.

Firstly those of you complaining about the language used in this email clearly have short memories or knew nothing of the Windows 2000 source code leak. The source files were littered with tons of profanity like "use this class so it doesn't f*** up the piece of s*** compiler". yes, it seems unprofessional but most coders do it.

Secondly, the level of ignorance displayed by Neowin's Microsoft shills is absolutely insane. It seems so many of you are eager to bash Linux, yet if it weren't for the kernel the costs of so many consumer devices like routers would rise because companies would either have to employ coders to create inhouse software or license software from other manufacturers. The Linux kernel has been incredibly kind to the tech community over the years and it's a shame that some of you are so eager to hate simply because of misguided product loyalty. The fact that we don't see the Linux kernel as much as NT doesn't mean it doesn't have a very strong influence in all of our technological lives. It's there in so many of our devices.

These days Neowin seems to be turning into one great big Microsoft advert. It was a great tech community once.

They could easily use bsd which I believe a lot of them currently are. Which router uses Linux kernel?

What I really want to say is the software is free he has no right to criticize what someone else does with it so if redhat wants to put other things in the kernel he can't stop them. He can only go on being disrespectful. I don't care how smart or powerful you are If u can't respect others then you can go suck yourself

Warning: The following is a rant more than anything.

[rant]
Not to get too technical on anyone but anyone referring to Secure Boot as a BIOS functions is wrong. Secure Boot is a UEFI Extension and will never see itself on Legacy BIOS implementations.

BIOS = Basic Input/Output System
UEFI = Unified Extensible Firmware Interface

They are 2 independent things. UEFI can emulate legacy BIOS functions but it causes it to go through itself more slowly. Every motherboard will either have BIOS or UEFI but never both. Many current motherboards have UEFI and more and more OEM systems are coming with UEFI equipped on them already. As an example my Alienware laptop is fully UEFI and many of the Dell or HP desktop computers at work are UEFI.
[/rant]

EDIT: I sorta agree with Torvalds that the secure boot functions do not belong in the kernel (which I think he was trying to point out). It should be at the boot loader levels which is what I thought they were going to do.

This article is pretty bad, it doesn't explain anything. Of course I agree with Linus, there is no way these should end up in the kernel for the exact reasons his said. As for the members here who are so against Linux/Linus for whatever reason, do you have any interest in computing or the future of it? There has never been a better time for that "I dont want to live on this planet any longer" meme after reading some of the comments here.

I haven't dual booted in a long time, always found it to be too consuming to do (if I need the other OS I have to restart and wait to get into that OS, then if I need to go back I need to restart, etc), but couldn't you just like disable UEFI Secure Boot in the bios then install as normal? I just ran into this trying to clean install Windows 8 (install media wasn't set up for secure boot).

sdreamer said,
I haven't dual booted in a long time, always found it to be too consuming to do (if I need the other OS I have to restart and wait to get into that OS, then if I need to go back I need to restart, etc), but couldn't you just like disable UEFI Secure Boot in the bios then install as normal? I just ran into this trying to clean install Windows 8 (install media wasn't set up for secure boot).

yes, you can just disable Secure Boot in the BIOS/UEFI settings and none of this affects you. unfortunately, many common users don't know how to do that, and a percentage of Linux users feel Microsoft only implemented Secure Boot as a requirement to kill Linux on desktops

The title of the article should be: "Torvalds doesn't want a F*ng Windows 8 secure boot keys in Linux kernel"

Well, it is *HIS* Kernel, so he can do whatever he feels like it with it. Pretty much like MSFT and their Start Menu :-p

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