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Linux Top 3: Linux 3.8, Ubuntu for Tablets and Torvalds NSFW Secure Boot

  • February 25, 2013
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

Linus Torvalds has never been one to shy away from using direct language.

1) Torvalds vs Garrett on Secure Boot

Discussion on Secure Boot is often a heated topic and it's one that has recently exploded on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML).

It all started when developer David Howells asked Linus Torvalds for a GIT pull on signed PE binaries. Howells explained that the patchset provides a facility by which keys can be added dynamically to a kernel that is running in secure-boot mode.

"To permit a key to be loaded under such a condition, we require that the new key be signed by a key that we already have (and trust) - where keys that we "already have" could include those embedded in the kernel, those in the UEFI database and those in cryptographic hardware," Howells wrote.

The mechanism that Howell's proposed involved getting a binary signed by Microsoft.

Torvalds responded viciously in a string of comments that clearly display the vitriol that he (still) has towards Microsoft.

"Guys, this is not a dick-sucking contest," Torvalds wrote. "If you want to parse PE binaries, go right ahead. If Red Hat wants to deep-throat Microsoft, that's *your* issue. That has nothing what-so-ever to do with the kernel I maintain."

2) Linux 3.8

Torvalds wasn't just arguing against including signed PE binaries in the kernel this past week. He also pushed out a President's Day kernel as well.

The Linux 3.8 kernel is the first major kernel release of 2013 and is also known as Unicycling Gorilla.

The new kernel is noteworthy in a number of respects. For one, it marks the first Linux kernel ever that does not include support for the Intel 386 chip architecture.

Linux 3.8 also includes EXT4 and Btrfs improvements as well as the new F2FS Flash filesystem.

3) Ubuntu for Tablets

This past week also marked the debut of the latest target platform for Mark Shuttleworth's Linux operating system. Ubuntu for Tablets is a further evolution of the Ubuntu Touch effort which was announced last year, initially targeting smartphones.

"It's exactly the same code that will give you a phone, tablet, TV or PC experience," Shuttleworth said during a press conference . "It is one single platform that adapts itself and presents the optimal experience for each type of device."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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