A few days ago, the Linux Foundation announced its first version of a way to boot Linux on a PC that has Windows 8 installed. Now there's word that the Linux Foundation efforts could merge with another previously released solution for running Linux on a PC with Windows 8 inside.
ZDNet.com reports that the second method was actually released by Linux programmer Matthew Garrett on November 30th, about a month after the launch of Windows 8. Garrett uses his own "Shim" method to boot Linux with a PC that has an UEFI secure boot system.
Both Garrett's method and the solution that was released by the Linux Foundation have their pluses and minuses. Garrett states:
One of the primary functional differences between Shim and the LF loader is that the LF loader is based around cryptographic hashes rather than signing keys. This means that the user has to explicitly add a hash to the list of permitted binaries whenever a distribution updates their bootloader or kernel. Doing that involves being physically present at the machine, so it's kind of a pain.
However, both Garrett and the Linux Foundation are apparently working on a way to merge both methods with Garrett saying that the final product will integrate " ... the LF loader's UI and security code into Shim with the aim of producing one loader that'll satisfy the full set of use cases." While this will work for Windows 8 PCs, it will not work on tablets that are running Windows RT.