Monday, September 26, 2011

Linux users: stop whining about UEFI Secure booting!

Sorry for the provocative title, but I think Linux and other FOSS Operating System should really stop whining about the UEFI secure booting.
I see no difference between someone who buys a laptop made by Apple and a someone who buys a Laptop with Windows OS. As the saying goes: "If you sleep with dogs, you wake up with flees". For a very long time the Linux Community ignored the WINTEL monopoly and did very little to support free hardware manufacturers. Many people would invest tons of time in hacking and patching Linux and drivers where they where manufacturers ignored deliberately or unintentionally Linux.
I don't buy hardware very often. And so most people who use Linux don't need to. But when I do buy hardware or asked to recommend hardware, I never do buy anything with Windows, or NVIDIA, or ATI.
I won't even answer friends or family question in the style "can you recommend this WinLaptop or that WinLaptop?". Sounds extreme, I know. But in fact, my strategy works. I have successfully bought my own Laptop from a small company that sells Clevo laptops with out windows. And more than 5 friends of mine who saw "Linux Just Works" out of the box, decided to buy these laptops too. I think it shows that there is a Market for people who are not interested in Windows. Even if it is small, it is growing.
But besides looking for a Laptop which does not come with Windows. You can specifically buy Hardware from manufacturers that do support Linux. Nowadays the ARM architecture is  rising, and provides computational power which is enough for most home users. In fact, the beagleboard provided more computational power than my 6 years old Laptop which still works. Not only that, the architecture is completely open, so I know, no UEFI Secure boot will shit on my head from the manufacturer.
There are a few more hardware manufacturers which make nice and OPEN hardware. To mention a few:
gumstix, opencircuits, hawkboard, pandaboard, igep and even more.
And there is even a whole Laptop/Tablet based on beagle board. 
You might mock the  "lousy" or humble hardware offering in this free field. But in fact it is enough for text processing and multimedia. It is enough for me, and I know, my next laptop, will be based on ARM, because I give a #!$% about UEFI, and I don't care what Microsoft does. Instead of fighting it directly, I will give my money to companies which promote my computational freedom.
I hope this post will encourage at least one extra person to re-consider his next WINTEL/AMD/NVIDIA buying.


Shai said...

Pixie, you're getting at it from the wrong direction. "Straight" Linux users are not affected at all by this. It only gets in the way of conversions. That is, the way it is designed now, Windows 8 will not boot without "secure UEFI", and Linux won't boot with it. The results:

1) You will no longer be able to just hand out a LiveCD and say "try it!". A Windows-8-Logo-certified PC won't boot a LiveCD without mocking with the BIOS, and then won't boot Windows until you restore the BIOS settings.

2) It will be a lot harder to dual-boot, which is a critical phase in the path of most converts.

You should google "BeOS" -- the story of the commercial OS who was better than Windows, but was killed through denying dual-boot.

linuxpixie said...

I tend to doubt it. First of all, Linux could always find tricks like Plop.
Second, there is still virtual machines for Windows. And finally, BeOS, was commercial, and there was no ARM.
Third, I could easily see the BRIC countries strongly start installing Linux in Schools on Beagle board based computers. It will be the final BLOW to Wintel.
And finally, one Linux will stop trying to go mainstream through the door, it will be discovered. No body asks for dual booting his Android with WinCE, and yet Android devices are sold in millions.

温智皓 said...

Does this can pair and audio to two Bluetooth speaker at the same time ??