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Any modern Motherboards without UEFI & Secure boot technology built into them?

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m654321

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I think at least some of us,  here on the LL forums, would agree that UEFI (and Secure Boot) is a needless and complicated technology that has been forced on consumers buying modern computers.

At home we have 4 laptops: three older BIOS-only laptops and one more modern gaming laptop that has UEFI & Secure Boot technology - an Asus G750JS. See all setups 1 to 4 in signature).

All the BIOS-only laptops work excellently: they appear very stable & trouble-free.  This is the case with either  a Linux single-boot set-up or with a Linux/Windows dual- or triple-boot  one.  My favourite laptop is a 10 year old Dell Lattitude D630 (see setup4 in sig), which I bought 2 years ago for 70 on Amazon - excellent value for money.

In contrast, our most troublesome machine is an Asus G750JS UEFI laptop, which came preinstalled with Win8.1 - it cost a small fortune at  1200 ... 

What did I get for the money?  Well, a machine that's limited to only running smoothly with a Windows OS single-boot system (either 8.1 or 10; Win7 wont work at all in UEFI and crashes in Legacy) - that's basically it. 

When Windows is dual-booted with Linux on our Asus G750JS (i.e. with those distros having a  UEFI support package), the system will periodically crash, which is extremely frustrating, not to mention the work that's lost.  Even with a Linux single-boot UEFI setup, I can get stability issues. Following such a crash, I'll go to the laptop's boot settings: often I find that the Boot Device List has been mysteriously wiped, i.e. there is nothing listed to boot from !   I also have stability issues when I run in Legacy/CSM on this machine.

From the above experiences, you can understand why I find the use of UEFI / Secure Boot technology in modern Motherboards to be both burdensome and unnecessary.  Are there Motherboard brands (good enough for gaming) that are supplied without this technology?  If there are, I'm quite tempted one day to build my own PC Tower and call it a UEFI-and-Secure-Boot-free-zone - oh what bliss ...! 

Looking forward to reading any of your views, experiences on this, etc ...

Mike
Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 09:32:17 AM by m654321
Linux-user since 2014. 64bit OS installed in Legacy mode on MBR (msdos/ext4) formatted SSDs (except the pi which uses a micro SDHC card):
2017 - Raspberry pi 3B (4cores) ~ Arm710@1.2GHz - LibreElec, used for upgrading our Samsung TV (excellent for the task)  
2012 - Lenovo G580 2689 (2cores; 4threads] ~ i3-3110M - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working smoothly)
2011 - Samsung NP-N145 Plus (1core; 2threads) ~ Intel Atom N455@1.66GHz - Manjaro (tried LL3 series but lagged)
2008 - Asus X71Q (2cores) ~ Intel T3200@2.0GHz - LL4.4/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working beautifully)
2007 - Dell Latitude D630 (2cores) ~ Intel T7100@1.8GHz - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL really zippy!) - my daily driver  :-)
 


 

WytWun

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UEFI is motherboard firmware, just as the traditional BIOS is.

I very much doubt that you will find new any of the cheaper laptops and pre-packaged desktops that come with Windows pre-installed without UEFI only booting as I seem to recall Microsoft demanding its OEMs make these available with Secure Boot enabled for Win10 pre-installs.  Some of the more expensive such machines more intended for use by gamers and developers _may_ still support Legacy (or CSM) boot mode, but I expect that it will soon become impossible to avoid UEFI on new machines in this category unless manufacturers support generic Linux installs.  The only exception I've heard of, though there may be others of course, is Purism which sells laptaps with coreboot firmware specifically for a Linux derivative (they package PureOS).  Dell supports Ubuntu on some models and System76 sells machines with Ubuntu pre-installed, but both of these have EFI+Legacy firmware.

For motherboards and barebones systems sold without drives, as well as server hardware, the firmware seems to be more likely to support both UEFI and Legacy.  I suspect that this will only continue until Microsoft decide that disabling Secure Boot makes a firmware off limits to Windows installs.  Whether coreboot can be more widely installed I haven't yet investigated...

FWIW I have a current model Intel NUC (bottom end model but not the one with Win10 pre-installed!) which has firmware that supports Legacy fallback if the boot drive isn't setup for UEFI.

BTW, was there any firmware update ever released for your problematic Asus laptop  (e.g. to add Win10 support)?  If there was and you haven't done so already, it may be worth trying it.
Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 08:46:40 AM by WytWun
 

 

Ottawagrant

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I'm asking this because I don't know, and it may help. Does anyone know what the bios is set for in Chromebooks? They may soon start showing up used.
 

 

WytWun

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what the bios is set for in Chromebooks?
They seem to use coreboot, though some of them have or can have added a BIOS like component called SeaBIOS - a bit of googling landed here.
 

 

elelme

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This is very interesting as I have two old Chromebooks that I would rather run Linux Lite on!
But this secure-boot they emphasize makes me think I would break them if I tried to turn them
into something useful. Chrome folks talk about CROUTON and dual-booting, but I would rather just boot a real operating system.
 

 

firenice03

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I'm asking this because I don't know, and it may help. Does anyone know what the bios is set for in Chromebooks? They may soon start showing up used.

There is someone here who has managed to convert an HP Chromebook over just recently...
https://www.linuxliteos.com/forums/other-17/touchpad-not-working-on-hp-chromebook/msg34558/?topicseen#msg34558
LL 4.6 UEFI 64 bit ASUS E402W - AMD E2 (Quad) 1.5Ghz  - 4GB - AMD Mullins Radeon R2
LL 4.6 64 bit HP 6005- AMD Phenom II X2 - 8GB - AMD/ATI RS880 (HD4200)
LL 4.4 UEFI 64 bit Test UEFI Kangaroo (Mobile Desktop) - Atom X5-Z8500 1.44Ghz - 2GB - Intel HD Graphics
LL 3.8 32 bit Dell Inspiron Mini - Atom N270 1.6Ghz - 1GB - Intel Mobile 945GSE Express
RETIRED LL 2.8 64 bit Dell Optiplex 160 (Thin) - Atom 230 1.6Ghz - 4GB-SiS 771/671 PCIE VGA
Running Linux Lite since LL2.2
 

 

elelme

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Thanks! I did see that afterwards, and printed it and hope to have time to study it later.
The chromebooks are SSD and have 2 GBs of RAM, so perhaps there is a way. Great!
IF I could just boot a liveusb  of LL from them, I would be happy.  ;D


(And apologies if this hijacked a thread. Have been wanting to ask these questions for a while.)
 

 

bitsnpcs

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I haven't tried this company, there may be others providing the same/similar service but I have not found any yet.
https://minifree.org/product/libreboot-installation-service/

 

 

elelme

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Thanks for that, bitsnpcs. Looks good. Want to get deeper into this, but there is something
called HARVEY, a hurricane, headed towards my area. Maybe after? 
I am sure you understand.
 

 

bitsnpcs

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Yes I understand, I hope you get somewhere safe from the hurricane.
 

 

elelme

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Much appreciated!  Hope to be back soon.
 

 

m654321

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I think single-board computers, e.g. Raspberry Pi, are UEFI / Secure Boot free, though they are a bit low on spec for gaming ...
Linux-user since 2014. 64bit OS installed in Legacy mode on MBR (msdos/ext4) formatted SSDs (except the pi which uses a micro SDHC card):
2017 - Raspberry pi 3B (4cores) ~ Arm710@1.2GHz - LibreElec, used for upgrading our Samsung TV (excellent for the task)  
2012 - Lenovo G580 2689 (2cores; 4threads] ~ i3-3110M - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working smoothly)
2011 - Samsung NP-N145 Plus (1core; 2threads) ~ Intel Atom N455@1.66GHz - Manjaro (tried LL3 series but lagged)
2008 - Asus X71Q (2cores) ~ Intel T3200@2.0GHz - LL4.4/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working beautifully)
2007 - Dell Latitude D630 (2cores) ~ Intel T7100@1.8GHz - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL really zippy!) - my daily driver  :-)
 

 

bitsnpcs

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Do Raspberry Pi clusters make it any better for gaming ?
 

 

m654321

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Do Raspberry Pi clusters make it any better for gaming ?

That's a good point ...
What I have seen with Raspberry Pi3 clusters, if I remember well, is that the RAM is additive, but the max CPU power is not.
So with a 64 x Pi3 cluster,  as shown in 
- max CPU power is still only 1.2 GHz
- total RAM will be 64 x 1GB = 64GB
- graphics quality greatly improved

I may be wrong here, but I think for high-end gaming, peak CPU power needs to be much much higher than 1.2Ghz.  Though the 64 x Pi3 cluster has great parallel processing capacity, I think it would be too slow for any demanding gaming - what do the rest of you think..?
 
Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 02:59:32 AM by m654321
Linux-user since 2014. 64bit OS installed in Legacy mode on MBR (msdos/ext4) formatted SSDs (except the pi which uses a micro SDHC card):
2017 - Raspberry pi 3B (4cores) ~ Arm710@1.2GHz - LibreElec, used for upgrading our Samsung TV (excellent for the task)  
2012 - Lenovo G580 2689 (2cores; 4threads] ~ i3-3110M - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working smoothly)
2011 - Samsung NP-N145 Plus (1core; 2threads) ~ Intel Atom N455@1.66GHz - Manjaro (tried LL3 series but lagged)
2008 - Asus X71Q (2cores) ~ Intel T3200@2.0GHz - LL4.4/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL working beautifully)
2007 - Dell Latitude D630 (2cores) ~ Intel T7100@1.8GHz - LL3.8/Win8.1 dual-boot (LL really zippy!) - my daily driver  :-)
 

 

bitsnpcs

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This it is a bit different
https://www.gchq.gov.uk/news-article/gchqs-raspberry-pi-bramble-exploring-future-computing
It was shown at a local fair here https://www.thebigbangfair.co.uk/
(also they involved the National Engineering Competition for Girls )

From reading it sounds like it can be possible to increase processing power, but not the processor on each board ?
Some how to behave a little like the multicore processor and multi threads, eg; how the each processor perform a task , or part of it/thread.
It would need to be coded the games for it like this principle -  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porting
for that to work.
Commercial games maybe it won't give the coders who can do that the source code.
There may be Open Source games who would.
I don't know if there are any coders who do work on this, or if they already have done it even in the past, as I don't know about gaming.
Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 08:42:52 AM by bitsnpcs
 


 


Linux Lite 4.6 Final has been released. See the Release Announcements section for more information.