There are numerous computer operating systems (OS) other than the various versions of Windows and this includes well over 100 distributions of Linux-based systems.
|Wikipedia gives a short history of Linux. A list of some of the more popular versions for 2015 together with their relative virtues can be found here.|
When you boot a new Windows 8 PC, the Secure Boot feature in the UEFI firmware checks the operating system loader and its drivers to ensure they’re signed by an approved digital signature. On Windows PCs, the UEFI Secure Boot feature generally checks to see if the low level software is signed by Microsoft or the computer’s manufacturer. This prevents low-level malware like rootkits from interfering with the boot process.But the same feature that blocks rootkits will also block other software, like Linux boot loaders.This created a huge problem for those who wanted to install a dual boot system or just try out Linux from a DVD or USBstick. The system refused to boot because there was no Microsoft or other approved signature.
Manufacturers will be able to enable UEFI Secure Boot without giving you a manual kill switch, as they have to do with Windows 8 systems. If that happens, you’ll only be able to boot Microsoft-approved operating systems on these locked-down PCs. Microsoft is turning the Secure Boot screws tighter, and Linux users are right to be concerned—but the issue is more complicated (and probably less disastrous) than it seems at first blush.There are still some Linux systems that are able to boot even though UEFI Secure Boot is turned on, including popular versions such as Ubuntu, since they have an approved signature. However, many versions will not.