Is this something we (as consumers of FreeBSD) need to be aware of?]

Daniel Staal DStaal at
Wed Jun 6 20:10:29 UTC 2012

On 2012-06-06 15:05, Jerry wrote:
> On Wed, 06 Jun 2012 12:49:53 -0400
> Daniel Staal articulated:
>>I don't believe at this point FreeBSD has any intent one way or
>>another, really.  It's not an immediate problem for any platform
>>supported by the FreeBSD project, at least for a technically-inclined
>>user who's willing to check out their BIOS.  (Even if they are using
>>the latest hardware, the x86-derived platforms aren't going to 
>> require
>>this code signing yet.)  So it'll probably be a 'wait and see if it's
>>something the FreeBSD community needs a solution for' at this point.
>>But this is just my impression.
> I totally agree with you. Unfortunately that speaks to the sad state 
> of
> affairs that FreeBSD appears to be in. When it comes to supporting 
> the
> latest technologies, it tends to be behind the curve when compared to
> other operating systems. Wireless networking and USB support are only 
> a
> few examples.

That was not my intended message with the above.  :)  FreeBSD supports 
several server-class hardware platforms.  ARM is not currently a 
server-class hardware platform.  (It's a very interesting platform for 
mobile and small devices, but it has not seen any significant use that I 
am aware of in the market that FreeBSD is primarily aimed at.)  Secure 
Boot - if even a part of the platform - can easily be disabled on those 
platforms.  So it is not a current problem, and there is a fair amount 
of bad feeling about the technology, so it may not ever be a problem.

RedHat is facing severe backlash from the community because it 
supported this technology.  A 'wait and see' approach to whether it 
needs to be supported at all - especially as it doesn't appear to need 
support at present - is a reasonable course.

> I don't know of any user personally who purchased a new PC and then
> threw FreeBSD on it. Most users that I have come into contact with 
> use
> 2+ year old units that have been replaced by shiny new Windows units. 
> I
> don't see that changing anytime soon.

*Raises hand*.  I did this with two boxes within the past year.  One 
turned out to be to new for FreeBSD - but Linux didn't have support for 
it yet at that point either.  Now either does.

>>In slight defense of RedHat: They do a lot of worrying about
>>enterprise and government customers, many of whom don't really care
>>what platform they are running on - as long as they can get 'support'
>>and it passes their security/operational tests.  In that environment,
>>I can easily see some middle-manager decreeing that disabling the
>>signed-boot process is verboten, without any understanding of the
>>meaning or the consequences, and enforcing it on the whole
>>company/division, to the point where any non-signed OS would be 
>> thrown
>>out the door.  FreeBSD has probably already been thrown out the door
>>at those types of locations, as there is no 'official' support
>>channel.  (Yes, for my sins, I work at one of these...)
> What sin? You use a product and want it properly supported. You have 
> an
> absolute right to that. Posting a message on a forum and hoping that
> someone can answer it is not the type of support a business would 
> want.

I'm not sure what sin I committed to be consigned to this place, but it 
must have been heinous.

(And in many cases 'official support' appears to be 'post a message 
about it on our forum, so we can ignore you more efficiently'.)

Daniel T. Staal

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