Linux Foundation floats Secure Boot workaround

Attempting to arrive at a solution to a complicated issue, the Linux Foundation has introduced a possible way that smaller Linux distributions can be run on machines using technology.

Linux Foundation technical advisory board member James Bottomley has posted a description of software that the foundation has developed to allow small and homegrown Linux distributions to run on new computers that have UEFI, also know as "secure boot" technology, installed.

"It is a good initiative, one that addresses the different use cases" of how people use Linux, said Gerald Pfeifer, director of product management for SUSE, which offers the commercial-grade SUSE Linux distribution.

SUSE, however, has no plans to use the foundation's approach for its own enterprise Linux distributions, and instead will use another approach that takes full advantage of UEFI's capability of securing machines. Red Hat, which did not immediately comment on the issue, appears to be following a similar approach, judging from blog entries from company engineers. Canonical did not offer an immediate comment.

How Linux should work with UEFI has been a hot topic in the Linux community .

The controversy centers around how to implement UEFI, an industry initiative to secure computers against malware by designing the computer's firmware to require a trusted key before booting. UEFI would provide a foundation for a chain of trust that would connect all the way up to the software layer, which could thwart attempts to install illicit, and harmful, software on computers.