Windows 8 + GNU/Linux : Headache or not?


Actually I don’t intend to blame Windows on behalf of GNU/Linux here. But it seems I have to do the same. It’s all because of the great mess created by the UEFI with Secure Boot feature against other operating systems. Secure Boot is a new UEFI feature that appeared in 2012, with Windows8 preinstalled computers. Before that let me brief what is UEFI in just one sentence. UEFI(Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is a firmware interface that is widespread on recent computers, especially those more recent than 2010. It is intended to replace the traditional BIOS firmware interface that is prevalent on earlier machines. Summarizing the above details, I would like to express my sincere annoyance towards Windows 8 featuring the following two, among several others.

(1) UEFI which substitutes what we have known as the BIOS.
(2) Secure Boot which prevents anything but the installed operating system, in this case Windows 8 from booting.

I recommend readers to take a look at the following link reporting a news regarding the complaint given by a group of GNU/Linux users against Microsoft. Here I mention some guidelines for installing GNU/Linux distros in Windows 8 PreInstalled laptops. Remember that latest GNU Grub versions support the UEFI feature.

* Make sure your distro support the UEFI feature i.e, it contains the latest grub version.
* Find out whether Windows 8 was installed in UEFI/Legacy mode(not-UEFI).
* Distro must be installed in the same mode Windows 8 was installed.
* Partition for the distro must be made within Windows 8 itself.
* Windows 8 must be properly shutdown(avoid hibernation and other shutdowns).
* By pressing a key during start up will give you the settings for enabling/disabling UEFI mode or the Secure Boot feature.
* If your distro cannot be booted, you must disable Secure Boot. Disabling UEFI automatically disables Secure Boot.

I am pretty sure that Microsoft is trying at its maximum to eliminate GNU/Linux as it is wide-spread all over the world. But various distro developers and maintainers are confronting every Windows attack by establishing specific supports. Finally, readers are requested to read the corresponding distro developer’s domain keeping the above mentioned guidelines in mind. Any arguments regarding the post are truly welcome…

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