back to article Macs to Linux fans: Stop right there, Penguinista scum, that's not macOS. Go on, git outta here

The knickers of the Linux world have become ever so twisty over the past few days as Penguinistas fell foul of the security hardware in their pricey Apple hardware. Reports are coming in of Linux fans struggling to get their distribution of choice to install on the latest Cupertino cash cows with fingers pointed at the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another reason not to touch Apple's vastly overpriced offerings.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Indeed, either look for something liker one of the Linux friendly lot like Entroware, System76, Purism, etc, or others like Dell that dabble a bit. Or even a cheap HP and wipe the supplied OS.

      Edited to add - search for "HP 255 G6 Laptop 3KX70ES" comes with FreeDOS and can be had for £210 (not very fancy hardware spec through).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "HP 255 G6 Laptop 3KX70ES" comes with FreeDOS"

        Most, if not all, HP business laptops can be ordered with FreeDOS. Only a few preselected FreeDOS models are available in the channel - because they don't sell, but any HP vendor should be able to custom order a computer to your specifications.

        The HP 2xx is the entry level stuff with very plastic-y feel and poor specs all around. I wouldn't bother mainly because of a poor touchpad. It's the 800 series that gets my money (and I require docking).

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          "I wouldn't bother mainly because of a poor touchpad."

          Hmmm, I loathe touchpads and keep them permanently disabled. A dodgy touchpad wouldn't factor into my purchasing decision at all.

          1. onefang Silver badge

            "Hmmm, I loathe touchpads and keep them permanently disabled."

            When I know I'll be using a laptop, I carry a mouse with me. Touchpads loathe me and my long strong fingernails. My home keyboard has deep gouges in some of the keys, a touchpad doesn't stand a chance. For the same reason I've learned to cope with capacitive touch screens, much prefer the older resistive style.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Hmmm, I loathe touchpads and keep them permanently disabled."

              When I know I'll be using a laptop, I carry a mouse with me.

              Well, who wouldn't prefer a proper mouse over touchpad or a pointing stick?

              But whenever you're not seated at a desk, a mouse is a cumbersome device. At the rack aisle or cross connection cabinets, cars, aeroplanes... you're usually condemned to use the laptop at your...lap.

              1. Eltonga
                Happy

                When I know I'll be using a laptop, I carry a mouse with me.

                At the rack aisle or cross connection cabinets, cars, aeroplanes... you're usually condemned to use the laptop at your...lap.

                I know it has fallen out of fashion, but I love to use trackballs, which with the "recent" wireless updates, are generally unobtrusive and always require a lot less real estate than a mouse.

                1. JohnFen Silver badge

                  Re: When I know I'll be using a laptop, I carry a mouse with me.

                  "I love to use trackballs"

                  I agree! Trackballs continue to rule the roost.

                2. aqk
                  Coffee/keyboard

                  Re: When I know I'll be using a laptop, I use a Lenovo..

                  Lenovo inherited IBM's red Thinkpad "G-spot", which is very useful, once you get used to it.

              2. Dave559 Bronze badge

                "Well, who wouldn't prefer a proper mouse over touchpad or a pointing stick?"

                These are Macs we're talking about: Apple's touchpads really are genuinely lovely, and can be stimulated in many ways with as many, or as few, fingers as you desire…

                (Yes, cheap, shitty, craptops do often have cheap, shitty, touchpads, though.)

                1. JohnFen Silver badge

                  Re: "Well, who wouldn't prefer a proper mouse over touchpad or a pointing stick?"

                  "Apple's touchpads really are genuinely lovely"

                  If the inherent problems with touchpads don't bother you, then you're right, Apple's are the best. But if you're like me, if the touchpad is placed below the keyboard then you're going to be touching it all the time when you're typing. For people like me, Apple's touchpads suck just as hard as everyone else's.

              3. JohnFen Silver badge

                "But whenever you're not seated at a desk, a mouse is a cumbersome device."

                Mice aren't the only alternative. There are tiny thumb balls that clip to your laptop, etc., as well. But even if they were, using a mouse when not seated at a desk is still less cumbersome than a touchpad. The problem I have with touchpads is their location under the keyboard -- I'm forever touching the damned things when I'm trying to type. Turning on the functionality to disable the touch pad when typing doesn't actually improve things much, as it means I have to remember to intentionally pause when moving between typing and touching.

                I can't think of a more obnoxious input device than a touchpad. I even prefer the old-school mouse nubs over that.

            2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
              Coffee/keyboard

              RE: onefang

              "Touchpads loathe me and my long strong fingernails. My home keyboard has deep gouges in some of the keys"

              Is your keyboard made of butter, or is that you Wolverine?

              1. James 51 Silver badge

                Re: RE: onefang

                @Tigra 07 There was a lady at my former place of employment who had nails that were several centimetres long. I don't know if they were real or not but virtually the keys on her keyboard had the letters scratched off.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: RE: onefang

                  "virtually the keys on her keyboard had the letters scratched off."

                  That's all very well for any touch typists out there, but how will I find the "any" key if I borrow her keyboard then?

                2. Esme

                  Re: RE: onefang

                  (smile). I used to have strong, centimetre-long nails that I could type with when younger (many many many moons ago). My party trick was to pick up an empty corrugated cardboard box (like the ones listing paper came in) with one hand and suddenly strike the box nails-first with my other hand - they'd go straight through, without injury to my nails. Never did get any hassle from the lads, for some reason..

              2. onefang Silver badge

                Re: RE: onefang

                "Is your keyboard made of butter, or is that you Wolverine?"

                While my quick healing and long strong claws lean more to the Wolverine side, I keep them blunt. It's safer for all that way. And in this current heatwave, a keyboard made of butter would just be a sticky puddle on the floor.

                1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
                  Happy

                  Re: RE: onefang

                  "While my quick healing and long strong claws lean more to the Wolverine side, I keep them blunt. It's safer for all that way. And in this current heatwave, a keyboard made of butter would just be a sticky puddle on the floor."

                  A sticky, delicious puddle...

                  1. Spiz

                    Re: RE: onefang

                    Which child is running through all of these posts and downvoting? This doesn’t even have any content one could be offended by!

                    1. onefang Silver badge
                      Trollface

                      Re: RE: onefang

                      "Which child is running through all of these posts and downvoting? This doesn’t even have any content one could be offended by!"

                      Long fingernails on a man is apparently an offense against nature. I always get at least one downvote when I mention it. On the other hand, no one has ever managed to explain to me why long fingernails on males is an evil sin, while long fingernails on females is an entire industry.

                      Here's a hint to the fashion industry, follow the example of the razor industry from the early 20th century, who made female pubic hair a sign of the devil, to sell twice as many razors. Make long fingernails on males fashionable, and sell twice as many fake nails.

                      I wonder how many downvotes I can get by mentioning long fingernails on men, long toenails, being barefoot, and the Dvorak keyboard? I'm sure I left something out.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: RE: onefang

                        OneFang,

                        You left out Hitler and his friends ;)

                        Godwin's Law kicks in at some point, if you wait long enough !!!

                        1. onefang Silver badge

                          Re: RE: onefang

                          "Godwin's Law kicks in at some point, if you wait long enough !!!"

                          I guess that's the end of the sub thread with my name on it then.

                  2. onefang Silver badge

                    Re: RE: onefang

                    "A sticky, delicious puddle..."

                    Hey, if you want to lick it up off my floor, be my guest. My floor could use a good cleaning.

              3. Paul 33

                Re: RE: onefang

                Can't believe nobody picked up on this but, Wolverine's claws came out from between his knuckles and were not nails.

                Sabretooth on the other hand, his claws were nails.

                </comic geek mode>

                1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
                  Trollface

                  Re: Paul 33

                  How dare you correct me Paul. Where's the El Reg safe space? I feel quite unwell...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          HP is terrified

          that people might order naked PCs to install non-Windows10 OS. Microsoft would definitely not like the idea. This is why they only show few (very) low-specs models associated with the word Linux.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Mushroom

            "secure" boot is *EVIL*

            Just plain *EVIL*. It's designed to LOCK OUT COMPETITION.

            It needs ANTI-TRUST action, PRONTO, if users can NOT unlock it.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

              The consumer can simply buy something else.

              1. Teiwaz Silver badge

                Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

                The consumer can simply buy something else.

                They can, as long as there is something else to actually buy that isn't something else but also exactly the same.

                If in a vast majority of PC buys, the user intends to use what's bundled and not tweak, then that may well become the norm, and from the norm, quickly all that's available as why carry alternate stock or offer custom configs that few ask for.

                It is mostly how we ended up with Windows bundled with every new PC in the first place for the last few decades.

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

                  The consumer can simply buy something else.

                  They can, as long as there is something else to actually buy that isn't something else but also exactly the same.

                  WTF?

                  A laptop that can run linux? There are plenty.

                  I think this is just another whinge trigger. Seriously, I can get by perfectly without needing a Macbook to run linux and I doubt I'll ever need to give it another thought. If I do I'll be sure to get the right help.

                  1. Teiwaz Silver badge

                    Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

                    WTF?

                    A laptop that can run linux? There are plenty.

                    I think this is just another whinge trigger.

                    Yes, today. Well, there was a time when buying a laptop or even a desktop PC there really wasn't as much of a convenient choice.

                    Even today, I hear so called linux afficionados on one hand curse MS and hardware OEMS for not offering them the option while rubbishing known vendors who do supply pre-linuxed machines because economies of scale favour the big players platforms.

                    If the market can be almost locked down once through monopolist shenanigans, or simply economising stock on a 'standard' platform and secure lockdown it can happen again.

                2. JLV Silver badge

                  Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

                  >It is mostly how we ended up with Windows bundled with every new PC in the first place for the last few decades.

                  and with systemd ;-)

              2. Antonius_Prime

                Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

                They're buying it wrong...

            2. Chronos Silver badge

              Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

              Not often I agree with Shouty McShoutface - and this is no exception. If you buy into the Apple ecosystem, you only have yourself to blame when you realise it really isn't your hardware. You may now own the materials it is made from but the fancy shiny it is wrapped in and the firmware remains licensed

              The problem right now is that x86-64 is no more trustworthy with IME and PSP, not to mention the speculative execution flaws. If only there were someone making thin'n'light machines with Coreboot on them...

              Oh, wait...

              1. justAnITGuy

                Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

                "The problem right now is that x86-64 is no more trustworthy with IME and PSP, not to mention the speculative execution flaws. If only there were someone making thin'n'light machines with Coreboot on them...

                Oh, wait..."

                Yeah. Do let us all know how you get on with the TSA when they want to know what you've got on the Purism device/s.

                1. Chronos Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

                  Yeah. Do let us all know how you get on with the TSA when they want to know what you've got on the Purism device/s.

                  I'll moon them from afar. I'm not subject to the laws of The Land of the "Free," nor do I have any immediate, i.e. in this lifetime, plans to visit which is a shame because there are many things about your country I would absolutely love to experience. Your barbaric penal system is not one of them, though.

                  1. Michael Habel Silver badge

                    Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

                    Can't do the time? ... Don't do the crime, and you shouldn't have a thing to fear. Or can you kust murder a Schoolyard full of children, and just walk it off, where you happen to live? If so I sure as Hell do NOT want to ever vist your country either.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

                    Our barbaric penal system is a result of real criminals. Name every heinous, violent crime in your country and we'll match it 20:1. The bright side is that from a pure landmass perspective, we'll also match you 50:1. Don't sweat it. It's not as dangerous or uncivil as all of the chicken littles would have you believe.

                    1. ROC

                      Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

                      The USofA does seem to be far behind with acid attacks from mopeds...

              2. Stevie Silver badge

                Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL* 4 Chronos

                Intersting link there.

                But once again no mention of price without a frustration-inducing hunt.

                1. Rhyd

                  Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL* 4 Chronos

                  Click product, scroll a bit, click Buy button, see price.

                2. Down not across Silver badge

                  Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL* 4 Chronos

                  Intersting link there.

                  But once again no mention of price without a frustration-inducing hunt.

                  Like clicking the "Buy" button to find out the price?

                  More frustrating was trying to find the resolution of either the 13.3" or 15" screen as the specs declined to mention it. Finding some reviews enlightened about the missing specifications, and were not necessarily glowing in terms of hardware itself. I love the idea, but the hardware does not appear to live up to the price tag. Shame.

                3. IsJustabloke Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL* 4 Chronos

                  But once again no mention of price without a frustration-inducing hunt

                  yes, that "SHOP NOW" button was very well hidden in the middle of the page... 4 clicks later and I arrived at abase price of around $1200 us

                  You're welcome.

              3. deadlockvictim Silver badge

                it really isn't your hardware

                Previous Commentard» it really isn't your hardware

                The hardware is yours. There are patents and the like to hinder the theft of intellectual property but it *is* yours. You can throw the laptop off a cliff and Apple's primary concern would be about pollution. They will hope that you buy a new Apple product as well.

                Apple's line stands with usage. If you use it as intended, they will look after you, often very well. Do things that are not intended, like installing other OSs, then they won't support you and support from Apple is often a reason people buy into the Apple ecosystem. Apple see their products as tasteful appliances ("I want it to just work"). It is the Jobsian mindser and this has been standard in Apple now for quite a while. I personally prefer Woz-ian view myself but this mindset hasn't really been present in Apple since the G5 and that was over 10 years' ago.

                1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

                  Re: it really isn't your hardware

                  I disagree.

                  There is a full OS running on a hidden chip inside the processor. I have no access to that OS.

                  There are plenty of secure or "not owned by me" processes, devices, etc running in my device.

                  Apple can decide to lock me out with an update because it does not detect the correct signature in the screen or the battery, etc.

                  Would you say your house is your house if you could not go to the basement or the attic? I wouldn't.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: it really isn't your hardware

                    There is a full OS running on a hidden chip inside the processor. I have no access to that OS.

                    Same as with every Intel chip too. Search Intel ME.

                  2. JDX Gold badge

                    Re: it really isn't your hardware

                    "I disagree.

                    There is a full OS running on a hidden chip inside the processor. I have no access to that OS.

                    There are plenty of secure or "not owned by me" processes, devices, etc running in my device.

                    Apple can decide to lock me out with an update because it does not detect the correct signature in the screen or the battery, etc.

                    Would you say your house is your house if you could not go to the basement or the attic? I wouldn't.

                    You are not legally allowed to do several things in your house, depending where you live. You own your gas plumbing but you have to get someone certified to work on it. You own your house but you can't arbitrarily modify it without permission. You own your garden but you may not build structures in it freely. You own your trees but you might not be legally allowed to fell them or work on them due to preservation orders or ecological requirements. If your attic has asbestos then you might (not sure) legally be forbidden to enter it.

                    More closely related to your argument... do you own a car? In your car there is a full OS running in a locked-down fashion with secure processes and devices. I'm pretty sure hacking into it would invalidate your warranty and insurance which might make your vehicle non road-legal(?)

                    1. JohnFen Silver badge

                      Re: it really isn't your hardware

                      "You are not legally allowed to do several things in your house, depending where you live."

                      True, but you are restricted from doing those things because they pose risks to your neighbor's property. That line of reasoning in no way holds when it comes to your computer.

                2. JohnFen Silver badge

                  Re: it really isn't your hardware

                  "There are patents and the like to hinder the theft of intellectual property but it *is* yours."

                  No, it's not. When you are prevented from engaging in perfectly legal activities with your hardware, it isn't your hardware anymore no matter what the law may technically say about it.

            3. nematoad Silver badge

              Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

              "It is your hardware after all."

              Is it? I think that with this play Apple ventures to disagree.

              We knew that Secure boot could be abused so who is surprised at this turn of events?

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