Linux on a Microsoft Surface Tablet Is Nearly Impossible

Expert claims that Microsoft has made it very difficult to run Linux on a Surface

Ever since Microsoft officially released the Surface RT tablet on October 26, Linux experts have tried to find a way to deploy their favorite operating system on the new device.

But the Redmond-based technology giant has managed to make it nearly impossible to deploy Linux on a Surface, Linux firmware developer Matthew Garrett admits.

Basically, it’s all because Microsoft has used the UEFI Secure Boot system to lock down the firmware and restrict it to signed binaries only. The Redmond-based technology giant does provide a service to sign UEFI binaries, so bypassing the restriction may actually be possible in one way or another.

“Unfortunately Microsoft's signing service signs binaries using a different key (the ‘Microsoft Windows UEFI Driver Publisher’ key) to the one used to sign Windows, and the Surface doesn't carry that key. Booting Linux on these devices would involve finding a flaw in the firmware and using that to run arbitrary code,” Garrett writes on his blog.

Of course, it’s all just a matter of time before Linux enthusiasts find a way to deploy their favorite OS on the Surface and find the firmware flaw Garrett was talking about, so we’ll keep you posted.

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