Linus Torvalds: Linux Kernel cannot be changed to “deep-throat Microsoft”

In a mailing list discussion, Red Hat developer David Howells requested Linus to pull a patchset that allowed for dynamically adding keys to the Kernel that is running in a secure-boot mode. The solution proposed by Howells was a Kernel level workaround to the infamous issue of booting Linux on UEFI enabled Windows 8 systems.

Having a solution to answer the UEFI restrictions is always welcome but Linus wasn’t amazed because the proposed solution looked for changes in the Linux Kernel itself. According to Torvalds the idea was “f*cking moronic.” Matthew Garrett jumped into the conversation with his suggestions saying that as of now there was only one authority that signs PE binaries and that was Microsoft, to which Torvalds replied to in a very explicit manner.

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He replied, “Guys, this is not a dick-sucking contest.”

“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. It’s trivial for you guys to have a signing machine that parses the PE binary, verifies the signatures, and signs the resulting keys with your own key. You already wrote the code, for chrissake, it’s in that f*cking pull request”, he added.

According to Torvalds there is no one stopping anyone from parting PE binaries and signing them. Linus suggested that singing of PE binaries can be implemented in user land and that it can easily be done on a trusted system. The discussion has moved beyond the cursing as of now with followups from Garrett, Greg Kroah-Hartman and Howells.

Whatever turns the discussion takes it is Torvalds who will have the final say as according to the Linux Foundation, “Torvalds remains the ultimate authority on what new code is incorporated into the standard Linux kernel.”