February 22-24, 2013
Hilton Los Angeles International Airport
Back in mid-2011, Microsoft quietly published a set of hardware certification requirements for Windows 8. Key among them was a small section indicating that Windows 8 certified systems would have to ship with UEFI Secure Boot enabled out of the box. Secure Boot is a cryptographic verification mechanism that prevents systems from booting operating systems unless they're signed with a trusted key. As things stood, there would be no requirement that systems be able to boot anything other than Windows. In a bit over a year, it might suddenly have become impossible to run Linux on commodity hardware. The following 12 months of technical and political discussions gradually led to a much better scenario - one where Linux users could not only be assured that running Linux would still be possible, but one where Secure Boot could even be used to enhance the security of Linux systems. This is the story of how the Linux community successfully negotiated with the entire PC industry and found common ground.