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Demystifying UEFI, the Overdue BIOS Replacement

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the first-how-do-you-pronounce-your-name dept.

Intel 379

An anonymous reader writes "After more than 30 years of unerring and yet surprising supremacy, BIOS is taking its final bows. Taking its place is UEFI, a specification that begun its life as the Intel Boot Initiative way back in 1998 when BIOS's antiquated limitations were hampering systems built with Intel's Itanium processors. UEFI, as the article explains, is a complete re-imagining of a computer boot environment, and as such it has almost no similarities to the PC BIOS that it replaces."

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Slashdot (0, Troll)

North Korea (2457866) | about 3 years ago | (#37479496)

Seriously, it's almost brilliant how different Slashdot articles contradict themselves. Just yesterday we talked about how bad thing it is that Microsoft employees UEFI [slashdot.org] , and now were saying it's long overdue.

Re:Slashdot (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37479526)

It's not UEFI as bad as much as the possibility that Microsoft will require OEMs to use the secure boot feature of UEFI to lock out the owner of a PC from installing a competing operating system as a condition of shipping the PC with Windows 8.

Re:Slashdot (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#37479612)

What is the probability that vendors won't exploit the lock-in capabilities with UEFI? I bet close to 0%.

Good luck trying to convince people that vendor lock-in is a bad thing, though. Seems like most just want a fucking iPad so they can play Angry Birds...

Re:Slashdot (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 3 years ago | (#37479978)

(Dos) BIOS aint done 'till (Lotus) Linux won't run.

Re:Slashdot (2, Funny)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 3 years ago | (#37480006)

If only we could start a contest where Millions of iPad and iPad2 owners play angry birds while crossing busy intersections.
Surviving player with the highest score (Angry brids score + number of feet walked) wins an iPad3.

I would pay to watch it.

Re:Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480076)

Yeah damn those people buying devices which fill their needs. How dare they.

Re:Slashdot (4, Interesting)

jdkc4d (659944) | about 3 years ago | (#37479678)

I'm not so much worried about MSFT requiring OEMs to use the secure boot feature to lock out the owner, but instead I am worried that the oem's will drop UEFI on the hard disk in a hidden partition, instead of storing it on the motherboard in a non-volitaile state. Wiping your hard disk when installing a new OS, or re-imaging a computer could have disastrous effects.

Re:Slashdot (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#37479952)

Wiping your hard disk when installing a new OS, or re-imaging a computer could have disastrous effects.

Better buy that Extended Service Plan! Best Buy has professionals that can reinstall your OS for you! What, you want to do it yourself? What are you, some sort of hax0r?!!?

Re:Slashdot (3, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 3 years ago | (#37479704)

I am sure this will happen with several vendors. And then watch the resurgence of the whitebox. Also, a huge new swath of BIOS hacking forums. Not to mention eBay auctions for "Unlocked Dell Deminsion!"

Re:Slashdot (1)

webheaded (997188) | about 3 years ago | (#37479818)

I'm finding a lot of people here have a hard time with reading comprehension lately. Maybe I'm getting older and crankier about bullshit...I don't know, but I get tired of the half assed discussion I see from people sometimes. Read the fucking article. COMPREHEND WHAT IT SAYS. Apples and oranges are different things though they are both fruit.

Matthew Garrett explains secure boot implications (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37479870)

I read the articles attached to this Slashdot story [slashdot.org] , and my impression was that Microsoft could use UEFI secure booting to make it much harder for PC owners to install Linux alongside or in place of Windows. Red Hat develoer Matthew Garrett explains [dreamwidth.org] : "Microsoft requires that machines conforming to the Windows 8 logo program and running a client version of Windows 8 ship with secure boot enabled. [...] A system that ships with only OEM and Microsoft keys will not boot a generic copy of Linux."

Re:Matthew Garrett explains secure boot implicatio (0)

Wolfraider (1065360) | about 3 years ago | (#37479972)

What are the chances that the secure boot is a simple switch that we can change? Enable secure boot to support whatever keys are in the system or disable to support anything else? I would actually be surprised if UEFI didn't support this.

Re:Matthew Garrett explains secure boot implicatio (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37480186)

What are the chances that the secure boot is a simple switch that we can change?

Slim. Otherwise, trojan horse programs that claim to "make Windows faster" would ask the user to turn off secure boot and restart so that they can "do their job" (actually install malware).

Re:Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37479848)

...to use the secure boot feature of UEFI to lock out the owner of a PC from installing a competing operating system as a condition of shipping the PC with Windows 8.

OK, that might be a side effect. However, MS gains nothing from it as you've stated it. At that point, they've already sold their license. If you replace it with something else they don't really care (those 1% of users on desktop Linux aren't really scaring them). However, you've really twisted it. They are doing it not to lock out other operating systems. They are doing it to lock out boot kits / root kits. It is just a side effect that it would prevent other operating systems who don't have the correct security systems in place to sign their boot loaders from installing.

Re:Slashdot (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37479904)

It is just a side effect that it would prevent other operating systems who don't have the correct security systems in place to sign their boot loaders from installing.

Such as any homemade operating system [osdev.org] or any other operating system whose user base is too small to convince a major OEM to sign its key.

Re:Slashdot (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 3 years ago | (#37480122)

They are doing it not to lock out other operating systems. They are doing it to lock out boot kits / root kits. It is just a side effect ...

They are not doing it to remove 1st and 4th amendment protections from the people. They are doing it to protect us from the terrorists. It is just a side effect ...

Lols

Re:Slashdot (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 3 years ago | (#37480460)

That's only short term thinking, if a large portion of people buy systems with windows preinstalled, and then wipe it to install something else sooner or later OEMs will catch on to this and start providing systems either blank or with whatever people are replacing windows with... At which point, MS stop making any money.

Also MS want to sell you other products, which generally only run on their OS... If you've wiped it and installed something else you won't be sending any more money their way.

They absolutely want to prevent users installing any other OS, security is and always has been of very little concern to MS. Ensuring continued sales is the overriding goal, and MS only bothered paying any attention whatsoever to security when their lack of it started driving users to other systems.

Remember the crappier a system is, the more money they can make selling you extras to fix it, as well as expensive consultancy etc. A system which is reliable doesn't need fixing, nor upgrading and is therefore bad for business.

Re:Slashdot (3, Insightful)

Creepy (93888) | about 3 years ago | (#37479918)

Right - and Apple's MacOS X always has required EFI or UEFI and not BIOS on Intel processors (and even have their own proprietary partition map rather than MBR or GPT), so it's not like the tech itself is the problem, it's the vendor lockout possibility that Microsoft may use that is the problem. Even then it doesn't stop you from running Linux in a virtual machine, but the fact that you can't install Linux as the primary boot or set up a dual boot system on Windows preloaded PCs is what people are complaining about.

While Linux supports UEFI, I have never known anyone to install with it, but I know of at least one person that could - me. From what I remember, Windows 64 bit (Vista or 7 I think - I don't think XP 64 bit supported it) needs to be installed with UEFI/GPT partitioning or BIOS/MBR partitioning and it defaults to the latter, but it can be changed. I thought that maybe setting it up with UEFI I could make it dual boot MacOS X on non-mac hardware but I never got that working (I did manage to get it working in a VM on my laptop, however - on my desktop I believe my hardware got invalidated for not supporting Vx instructions, whereas on my laptop I have hardware essentially identical to a machine Apple ships). As far as Apple's legal requirements go, I own a real mac too, and I think their EULA is on shaky ground because copyright law allows me to back up licensed software on any hardware I want.

Re:Slashdot (1)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#37480416)

I ran Ubuntu on my MBP for a while. Since EFI isn't that widely used on Linux, it makes for a fun time if you need to configure anything..

It just convinced me to buy a Dell for my next machine, since Dell were actually selling machines preloaded with Ubuntu, with good old BIOS, so I could be sure that the hardware was supported.

Re:Slashdot (5, Informative)

Quantum_Infinity (2038086) | about 3 years ago | (#37479550)

There's nothing wrong with Slashdot "articles" contradicting themselves, because they are not articles written by Slashdot staff. They are stories submitted by users and there's nothing wrong in contradiction arising out of two stories (which are basically opinions based on some facts) submitted by two different people.

Re:Slashdot (1)

Tsingi (870990) | about 3 years ago | (#37479598)

There's nothing wrong with Slashdot "articles" contradicting themselves, because they are not articles written by Slashdot staff. They are stories submitted by users and there's nothing wrong in contradiction arising out of two stories (which are basically opinions based on some facts) submitted by two different people.

Whoa!

You mean we don't all agree on everything?

I'm in danger of forming an opini... Nope, it went away.

Re:Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480276)

I'm in danger of forming an opini... Nope, it went away.

ONE OF US ONE OF US

Gimme a Break; I'm Only One Guy! (0)

tapspace (2368622) | about 3 years ago | (#37479570)

...because slashdot is only one person. I. AM. SLASHDOT!

Re:Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37479576)

You must be new here.... MS bashing is always a slashdot thing...

Re:Slashdot (5, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#37479592)

You seem to be missing the difference between UEFI and UEFI systems defaulting to only running signed boot loaders (possibly without a way for the end user to change the setting, though if I had to guess that won't be happening in anything but some tablets from companies like say Sony). As to EUFI being a complete re-imagining, not really. It's more of a proprietary implementation of the ideas from Sun's OpenBoot.

Re:Slashdot (4, Informative)

l_bratch (865693) | about 3 years ago | (#37479596)

It seems that EFI may not be the brilliant thing that it is supposed to be. Somebody doing a lot of work involving it blogs here - http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/ [dreamwidth.org] - and there are lots of depressing things to read there. To quote from the page:

> It's an awful thing and I've lost far too much of my life to it. It complicates the process of booting for no real benefit to the OS. The only real advantage we've seen so far is that we can configure boot devices in a vaguely vendor-neutral manner without having to care about BIOS drive numbers. Woo.

Re:Slashdot (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37479654)

Since that quote is wrong, I don't think I;ll bother with the link.

Re:Slashdot (1)

l_bratch (865693) | about 3 years ago | (#37479672)

How is the quote wrong? I didn't write it, so I don't make any claims to its correctness, but the entire blog appears to be written by a person knowledgeable in the field.

Re:Slashdot (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 years ago | (#37480168)

Try to boot to a partition greater than 2TB on Bios.
Try using a mouse in BIOS (Hint, if you're using a mouse, you are not in BIOS)

Additionally, EFI doesn't have to do sanity checks on the HW every boot like BIOS, doesn't require reboot when changing RAM like BIOS. It is superior to BIOS in almost all ways because it has more features and can boot much faster.

The benefit is beyond the OS, it goes to whole system management. But the average Joe won't care about most of these things because they don't ever go to BIOS.

Re:Slashdot (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37479638)

They are just that, article about what is going in in the industry. There isn't a 'Side' to be pushed.

And no, it's not lost on me that someone with the UID of 'North Korea' thinks that a news site should only push one side of a discussion.

That said, the issues wasn't Win 8 using UEFI, there in a position to abuse UEFI by buying the OEMs.

Re:Slashdot (2)

visualight (468005) | about 3 years ago | (#37480166)

There isn't a 'Side' to be pushed.

But there is a side to be pushed. The side that says that UEFI is a good idea at all. It isn't.

It's an awful thing and I've lost far too much of my life to it. It complicates the process of booting for no real benefit to the OS. The only real advantage we've seen so far is that we can configure boot devices in a vaguely vendor-neutral manner without having to care about BIOS drive numbers. Woo.

That quote is spot on. UEFI is a giant stack of unnecessary abstraction that doesn't "fix" anything. Everyone who has to work with it at any scale despises it.

Didn't Demystify Much (3, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | about 3 years ago | (#37479516)

Article was a little too light on technical details for me. This article read like something you might find in an “intro to computers” textbook. Vague somewhat-technical description of what it does and a few somewhat unclearly described differences.

Not necessarily a bad article, just wasn't what I was hoping for :(

Re:Didn't Demystify Much (1)

tapspace (2368622) | about 3 years ago | (#37479590)

It's like software. And an operating system. Kinda. And it has the Internet! And a GUI. It's gonna be totally sweet.

But in seriousness, it's a pretty light little article.

Re:Didn't Demystify Much (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 3 years ago | (#37479646)

And it replaces the bios and indeed runs ontop of the bios! That part seemed especially confusing and vague.

Re:runs on top (4, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 3 years ago | (#37480012)

So it's the Ourobios?

Re:runs on top (1)

SgtXaos (157101) | about 3 years ago | (#37480204)

So it's the Ourobios?

Wishing I had mod points for you.....

Re:Didn't Demystify Much (1)

HexaByte (817350) | about 3 years ago | (#37479874)

While light on some details, the article does indicate that "It sits on top of BIOS", which means you should be able to get into the BIOS to change things. It also sits either in NAND memory or a hard drive partition, (Compaq servers, anyone?) and so can be physically replaced to put Linux in as an OS instead of WinDoze8.

Looks like all the paranoia is wasted again!

Re:Didn't Demystify Much (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37480138)

the article does indicate that "It sits on top of BIOS", which means you should be able to get into the BIOS to change things.

But will bootloader signing certificates be one of the things that the BIOS setup allows the user to change?

It also sits either in NAND memory or a hard drive partition, (Compaq servers, anyone?) and so can be physically replaced to put Linux in as an OS instead of WinDoze8.

Good luck convincing mainstream PC manufacturers to give up the key needed to sign your own bootloader, even if you have the "service tag" (Dell's term for a hardware serial number, as opposed to the Windows product key).

Re:Didn't Demystify Much (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 3 years ago | (#37479950)

That's what Slashdot is, too.

Re:Didn't Demystify Much (2)

slyrat (1143997) | about 3 years ago | (#37480092)

Article was a little too light on technical details for me. This article read like something you might find in an “intro to computers” textbook. Vague somewhat-technical description of what it does and a few somewhat unclearly described differences.

Not necessarily a bad article, just wasn't what I was hoping for :(

Well there is always wikipedia to the rescue: UEFI on Wiki [wikipedia.org]

Re:Didn't Demystify Much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480162)

Hm? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37479520)

It's called U-boot. This is just a way to lock out open source.

Re:Hm? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 3 years ago | (#37479730)

It's called U-boot. This is just an attempt to lock out open source.

Fixed that for you. Just like Androids, sever vendors will remain unlocked, or give out the keys to owners. There will be hacking forums. And a lot of pissed off users when the next OS comes along, and won't run. It will be fun!

Sever, several, or server? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37480112)

Just like Androids, sever vendors will remain unlocked, or give out the keys to owners.

By "sever" did you mean "cut off"? I don't think you did. So you meant either "several", which is OK, or "server", which excludes people who want to buy laptops. Which?

Re:Hm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37479908)

U Boot: What do you expect from a product named after Nazi submarines?

Sounds more canadian to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480144)

BLAME CANADA!

For Once (0)

jkflying (2190798) | about 3 years ago | (#37479524)

An unbiased, mature look at a piece of new technology.

May I ask... (4, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 3 years ago | (#37479534)

What the point was of this article? There is no meat at all in there. I expected a complete deep technical overview of UEFI, not something you can summarize as "It's a little operating system providing services to the actual operating system".

Re:May I ask... (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 3 years ago | (#37479562)

My thought exactly.

A good article for an intro to computers course, but I was hoping for some "how it actually works" details.

Re:May I ask... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480052)

What the point was of this article?

Likely to provide clickbait for a friend of Timothy.

Re:May I ask... (1)

tgd (2822) | about 3 years ago | (#37480248)

The point is to get the "zomg, Microsoft is blocking Linux with Windows 8!!!" shitstorm going again, because it got everyone in a tizzy a day or two ago, and tizzies generate clicks and clicks generate ad impressions.

Stop allowing system access to BIOS (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37479548)

The return of boot-sector virii. This time in your BIOS. I can hear it, just over the horizon. They're coming.

Re:Stop allowing system access to BIOS (3, Insightful)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | about 3 years ago | (#37479580)

The plural is viruses. Also, the boot sector is on your disk. There have been attacks that hit the firmware/bios for a long time. Someone doesn't remember CIH/Chernobyl.

UEFI = DRM in the firmware (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37479558)

Is that what we need, DRM in the firmware?

Re:UEFI = DRM in the firmware (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37479656)

It's not what we as PC users need. It is what game companies want so they can bring Madden 2012 back to the PC with DRM coming from the hardware.

Plus, shouldn't the public get used to locked down hardware on the desktop anyway?

Re:UEFI = DRM in the firmware (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 3 years ago | (#37479692)

Seems to work so well for the iPhone, several Androids, and every other thing it has been tried on. Not really worried, but I will monitor my future purchases a little closer.

Re:UEFI = DRM in the firmware (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 3 years ago | (#37479914)

It is a simple matter of money. Take a look at how much money there is in online gaming, and how much money is being spent on trying to stop people from cheating or running unauthorized copies of the game. Now imagine if users did not actually control their computers -- suddenly, you could enforce the rules of the game for far less.

You could substitute just about any class of software for "games" at this point -- a lot of money is being spent on license enforcement, and vendors would prefer if they could trust that the OS has not been hacked by its user. The "security" that they are referring to is not security for the end users, it is security for the various parties who are trying to stop those users from doing certain unapproved things.

I don't know... (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#37479578)

What is wrong with the BIOS anyway? Why does the boot process need to be all flashy? It seems like adding complexity there will just end up causing problems...

Maybe I'm just a relic...a lot of people don't even know how to get into their BIOS anymore, let alone what the POST and such is afterwards.

Re:I don't know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37479626)

BIOS is old and has a lot of legacy cruft and I agree should be replaced.

But as usual, given the chance to replace something that's been around for a while, it looks like designers went overboard and have as you said, created a lot of areas for problems to crop up.

Re:I don't know... (1)

John Courtland (585609) | about 3 years ago | (#37479648)

It's simply the 30-year-long second-system syndrome.

Re:I don't know... (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 3 years ago | (#37479640)

What is wrong with the BIOS anyway?

It allows you to boot Linux.

Re:I don't know... (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#37479708)

It allows you to boot Linux.

The cynical, realistic part of me thinks this is the real answer.

Re:I don't know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480064)

What's wrong with Coreboot [coreboot.org] anyway?

Oh, right.

Re:I don't know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37479686)

I have to agree with this.

BIOS offers me exactly what I need to accomplish a task. I have never been found wanting.

Re:I don't know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37479710)

They just wnat you to buy a super special edition of Norton antivirus to "protect" you from rootkits that infect the UEFI. Especially because UEFI allows for easy communication between it and the OS. Also, UEFI has network capabilities, and we will see this feature in boards, especially ones that boast you can update the firmware via the internet WITHOUT an OS.

This has the potential for having motherboards be permanently infected with malware.

Re:I don't know... (5, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | about 3 years ago | (#37479724)

BIOS has a LOT of limitations. >2TB hard drives, network boot, disk controllers, GPU's, IPMI, ... everything has to subvert the BIOS in some way which makes it mightily slow. My iMac boots with Lion in 7 seconds. My Linux machine takes 15 seconds just getting to Grub, my servers take up to 45 seconds to get to the boot loader.

BIOS is ALWAYS hooked into 8086 mode (real mode) so at boot time you are limited by it's calls (such as 13h for disks) and that's hard and expensive to emulate on a non-x86 system (such as most Intel/AMD processors).

Re:I don't know... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480068)

BIOS has a LOT of limitations. >2TB hard drives, network boot, disk controllers, GPU's, IPMI, ... everything has to subvert the BIOS in some way which makes it mightily slow. My iMac boots with Lion in 7 seconds. My Linux machine takes 15 seconds just getting to Grub, my servers take up to 45 seconds to get to the boot loader.

BIOS is ALWAYS hooked into 8086 mode (real mode) so at boot time you are limited by it's calls (such as 13h for disks) and that's hard and expensive to emulate on a non-x86 system (such as most Intel/AMD processors).

Close BIOS limits the boot device =2TB, secondary devices has no limit what so ever

Re:I don't know... (2, Interesting)

walshy007 (906710) | about 3 years ago | (#37480130)

All of the things you mentioned above are _positive_ things, in that you would have to be crazy to use the bios for anything other than loading the os and getting the hell out.

An interesting read [kerneltrap.org] if anyone cares for it.

All that is being done by making the boot process more complex is letting people add more bugs to firmware, do not want.

Re:I don't know... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37480300)

" My iMac boots with Lion in 7 seconds. My Linux machine takes 15 seconds just getting to Grub, my servers take up to 45 seconds to get to the boot loader."

Talk abut comparing apples to orange and Three's.

I mean, really.

Re:I don't know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480360)

You can boot even 400TB drive using GRUB2 and GPT on PC/BIOS machine. Just dont use Microsoft crap.

Re:I don't know... (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about 3 years ago | (#37480406)

The article states that UEFI can (and will) be built on top of BIOS, so won't it inherit all the bloat and limitations of BIOS anyway?

Re:I don't know... (2)

neokushan (932374) | about 3 years ago | (#37479926)

The main issue for me is that BIOS is just SLOW. For something that's stored in flash memory on the motherboard and is maybe a MB or two in size (if even that), it takes far too long to load up. Throw in RAID or AHCI and it doubles the boot time. BIOS is the main reason why your machine takes 30s longer to start up than it should.
Now I'm not saying UEFI is perfect, it does seem to be a little over the top, but never the less if it allows me to have that instant-on computer that Intel has been promising us for the last decade or two, I'm all for it.

There are limits to how fast an HDD spins up (2)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37480070)

The main issue for me is that BIOS is just SLOW.

There are limits to how fast any BIOS or BIOS replacement can proceed to reading and executing the bootloader. How long does it take to write to every page of RAM and read back from it? How long does it take for a hard drive to spin up?

if it allows me to have that instant-on computer that Intel has been promising us for the last decade or two

The only instant-on computers are computers with the operating system in solid-state memory. This can be an SSD. Or it can be RAM, which means the computer has been put to sleep and the hard drive spins up while the user is entering his password.

Re:There are limits to how fast an HDD spins up (1)

neokushan (932374) | about 3 years ago | (#37480192)

Soooo....you're saying that UEFI isn't any faster than BIOS?

Re:I don't know... (1)

stackOVFL (1791898) | about 3 years ago | (#37480342)

I'm not sure I get it. TFA seemed to imply that this layer would sit on top of the BIOS or at least could. Or will this UEFI be one size fits all MB's in existence. I always thought the boot time was due to initing the MB HW (like the AHCI / SCSI controllers and so forth). Surly those chips wont change and still need to be configured. I don't see how replacing one flash SW with another more complex SW can speed that up. What do I have wrong here?

Re:I don't know... (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 3 years ago | (#37480016)

Well, for local boot the BIOS could just have been updated to load any X number of sectors at any 64 bit offset into memory, solving both the chainloading problems and 2TB boot disk limit. Then just let the OS do its thing and detect all the rest.

It gets a bit more complicated if you want to say load the configuration from the network, there's netboot but with more GUI, more options, maybe verify some digital signatures and whatnot. Then your network has to be working, you maybe need some GUI screens with mouse to configure it and all that before there is an "OS" to speak of. That goes for the rest of the BIOS options too, they're not necessary but nice.

I still think most people won't know about the BIOS/UEFI. I haven't heard of any problems booting Linux from UEFI boards, can't just Linux ignore everything and start over? Just that if you do happen to have to go there, then it looks more like something made this century. The BIOS really is an old relic the way it looks.

Re:I don't know... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 3 years ago | (#37480212)

They could still just update BIOS. I suspect this is just a method to enforce vendor lock-in and DMCA/DRM bullshit.

The BIOS really is an old relic the way it looks.

Honestly, why the hell does it matter? Who cares how it looks? It gets the job done for the most part, which is what matters.

Adding complexity to the boot process is just going to add potential for problems. Good for Geek Squad, bad for consumers.

Hackintosh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37479630)

With any luck, it'll be close enough to Apple's EFI implementation that Hackintoshing will be a simpler process. Not that it is terribly difficult now, geniuses like nawcom and netkas have made amazing advances in simplifying the process. But hey, the closer I can get to a vanilla install, the better.

How to pronounce UEFI (0)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 3 years ago | (#37479652)

loUw-lEvel Friggin lockout

Never run programs unknown to SmartScreen (2)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37479728)

From a screenshot in the ExtremeTech article: "Never run downloaded programs that are unknown to SmartScreen". So how does a software developer make a program "known to SmartScreen" for the first time other than by selling it on the Windows Store?

From the same article:

if you try to boot while an infected USB memory stick is plugged in, Windows 8 will warn you and refuse to load.

So how do I tell Windows that a USB mass storage device containing an Ubuntu install image is not "an infected USB memory stick"?

Microsoft wants you to hibernate Windows 8 rather than shut it down

So will we finally have the ability to come out of hibernate without that one peripheral not responding?

Reset restores Windows 8 to its base, just-like-new state. Refresh is similar, but it preserves all of your documents.

So now "reformat and reinstall" is becoming institutionalized.

The article links to an article about the Windows Store [extremetech.com] . It claims that "the process for getting an app certified and listed in the Windows Store will be as painless as possible." Does this include applications developed by high school students who aren't 18 yet? Or college students who don't want to spend $99 per year? It also mentions "content compliance checks", and if "content compliance checks" are anything like the ones that Microsoft uses for Xbox Live Indie Games [pineight.com] , this could shut out entire genres of applications. It says "you won't be able to download a Metro app from Download.com", but wouldn't one just be able to load an app into Visual Studio Express and run it that way?

Some should make a softcore porn game for metro (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#37480488)

Some should make a soft core porn game for metro and make it very clear that it is a adult game and if it gets banned sue under 1ST amendment rights and antitrust laws.

UEFI is good. (3, Informative)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 3 years ago | (#37479748)

Secure boot is bad. What is mysterious about that? If you want to understand more, related to booting Linux, read these. UEFI secure booting [dreamwidth.org] x86 EFI boot stub [lwn.net]

Re:UEFI is good. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37480326)

Secure boot is good. What is mysterious about that?

"Re-imagining" (5, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 3 years ago | (#37479784)

Fuck everybody who uses that word. It belongs in the marketing buzzword incinerator with "thought-shower", "synergy", "pro-active", and anything "in the cloud".

Re:"Re-imagining" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37479996)

I think I love you...

Re:"Re-imagining" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480158)

Irregardless, I guestimate that those words have their purposes. But that's a-whole-nother story.

Re:"Re-imagining" (2)

MadKeithV (102058) | about 3 years ago | (#37480202)

Re-imagining means: "I imagine it will work this time", after it didn't work the first time you imagined it either.

Re:"Re-imagining" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480388)

"thought-shower" WTF??

Fuck you! I have now experienced a new super-bullshit word, which is etched into my mind which will never be erased.

I feel so dirty. Violated.

Re:"Re-imagining" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480450)

But re-imagine that phrase when taking a pro-active look outside the box. With a little synergy, you'll be planting thought-showers in the cloud!

CAPTCHA: Failed

Touche, /., touche.

My question isn't about big corps, but big crime (2)

CodeShark (17400) | about 3 years ago | (#37479826)

Yes, I recognize that MS can abuse UEFI. Given that my work machines are WinXXXXX I don't have a choice about that, and I would assume that at some point there will be mobos that aren't controlled by M$.

My question is ten times simpler: If this thing is flashable memory, etc., doesn't it open the doors to way more cracking by folks I'd really rather avoid, that is, identity thieves et. al? How is going away from silicon going to affect this?

So how do you pronounce it? (2)

spudnic (32107) | about 3 years ago | (#37479932)

YOU-fee?

YOU-fi?

you-EF-ee?

Re:So how do you pronounce it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480072)

Actually, it's pronounced "zork." I know, I know, but the E is silent.

Re:So how do you pronounce it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480132)

f YOU

Re:So how do you pronounce it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480282)

I go with Yuffie [wikia.com] personally.

Re:So how do you pronounce it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480484)

Around here it's you-ee-ef-eye, often slurred together to sound more like yui-ef-eye

I think one of the other teams calls it you-fee, so even internally we havn't decided.

Secure boot is bigger than Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37480032)

My understanding of the documentation of secure boot allows controlling: operating system, firmware and drivers. Now let take a look at this you buy a Asus MB with secure boot activated and containing key for let say windows and Asus drivers / firmware only, good luck adding a gigabyte video card this this setup as your new Asus secure boot Uefi does not contain the gigabyte driver signature. Now let take for instance your new Dell have is video card blow up and you want to replace by an off the shelve one, if it not Dell you’re toast. My computer is 3 years old, do you think I will be able to have a Dell video for it ? Hell no, so it all comes down to new system.

UEFI (2)

munky99999 (781012) | about 3 years ago | (#37480034)

The only reason UEFI is overdue is not because they are slow in development. It's simply the fact that UEFI isn't an open standard. If UEFI was made an open standard every new computer in a month would all have UEFI.

Re:UEFI (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37480474)

The only reason UEFI is overdue is not because they are slow in development. It's simply the fact that UEFI isn't an open standard. If UEFI was made an open standard every new computer in a month would all have UEFI.

Yep. And each implementation would be different.

Online... Really? (1)

Airlight (2467826) | about 3 years ago | (#37480254)

"you can surf the internet from the UEFI interface" Even though it might be highly useful to network this way does anyone see that this could be a major downfall? Aren’t they just taking the most important part of the computer and opening it up to everyone?

UFIA (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | about 3 years ago | (#37480494)

Read UEFI as UFIA. On further review, yep, that's about right.
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