I can't imagine this going over well with consumers who actually want to use Linux.
Over on HackerNews, somebody shed some more light:
I bought a $300 eMachines EL1360G-UW11P for a home server to replace my 2001 vintage 800MHz P-III.
I installed linux but it wouldn't boot. Major bummer.
It wasn't clear that UEFI signing was at fault, but there was no other reason for it to refuse to boot the image. The install went fine right through the reboot. I re-installed linux trying several different things, all unsuccessfully. I also booted a "rescue" image and verified the install looked valid.
There was no way to turn off UEFI signing in the BIOS menus.
I went to the manufacturer's web site and found they had a "Linux BIOS" image. http://support.gatew...fault.aspx?t... I was able to reflash the BIOS with the P01.C1L image, but I had to force it by looking at their "flash.bat" file adding a /X flag to the flash command in there.
With the "linux" BIOS image, the board booted linux just fine. Huh.
* UEFI is a real risk. Most mainstream PCs nowadays boot linux out of the box. I lived through the times when I bought a new PC "at risk" because it might have chips that were not supported by linux. UEFI brings that risk back, but through software, not hardware. Sucks!
* The hardware manufactures apparently are getting the "it must run linux" message, even for low end throw-away machines. Yeah!
* Reflashing BIOSes, especially when the user has to manually override "self protection" aborts, is not something an unsophisticated user is going to be able to do. Sucks.
Is the EFF going to do something about this? I can't imagine how ugly it's going to be to buy a computer and not be able to install Linux on it easily.