Online Petition Requesting to Allow Linux Installation on Windows 8 Devices

Back in September, some concerns emerged about UEFI secure boot requirement for Windows 8 and its possible consequences on Linux and other open source operating systems: it may be impossible to install such systems on computers or devices shipped with Windows 8, either by replacing Windows 8 or in a dual boot installation as the bootloader (UEFI) would prevent such installation for security reasons.

Microsoft has already replied to those concerns and stated that:

At the end of the day, the customer is in control of their PC. … We work with our OEM ecosystem to provide customers with this flexibility. The security that UEFI has to offer with secure boot means that most customers will have their systems protected against boot loader attacks. For the enthusiast who wants to run older operating systems, the option is there to allow you to make that decision.

So there should be an option to disable/enable “Attempt Secure Boot” as shown below (UEFI “BIOS” in Samsung PC):

Disable UEFI Secure Boot in BIOSThe problem with that option is that if you disable it you’ll be able to install and run Linux, but I suppose Windows 8 won’t start and if you enable it, you’ll be able to run Windows 8, but Linux won’t start. So for dual boot, each time you’d have to go to the UEFI settings to change this setting. If I’m right that would really be a pain in the a**. Please tell me I’m wrong.

However, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) still got involved recently and started a petition entitled “Stand up for your freedom to install free software!” that states the following:

We, the undersigned, urge all computer makers implementing UEFI’s so-called “Secure Boot” to do it in a way that allows free software operating systems to be installed. To respect user freedom and truly protect user security, manufacturers must either allow computer owners to disable the boot restrictions, or provide a sure-fire way for them to install and run a free software operating system of their choice. We commit that we will neither purchase nor recommend computers that strip users of this critical freedom, and we will actively urge people in our communities to avoid such jailed systems.

Signing this petition sends a message to manufacturers to allow “advanced” users to disable “secure boot” in the BIOS and calls for a boycott of products that do not allow this option.

I signed. Will you ?

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