Update that firmware!

This past week I taught Learning Tree’s Introduction to Networking. All the course participants were online. (If you are unfamiliar with the course, it is a very comprehensive introduction to computer networking). The course was fun and one participant shared an interesting experience that I’d like to share with you. The participant explained some trouble […]
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Don’t Fall Behind — Learn About UEFI

I was recently surprised when I found myself CC’ed on a forwarded email from a company marketing itself as a significant provider of cloud computing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (or IaaS). The message, from one of the cloud provider’s engineers to a group mostly comprised of his co-workers, bore what to him had been surprising news: Hey, there's […]
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How Does Linux Boot? Part 3: UEFI to Shim to the Next Link in the Chain

Two weeks ago I started explaining how Linux boots.  Last week I got as far as the UEFI firmware finding a running a “shim” program named shim.efi to satisfy the Secure Boot security policy with its digital signature from a trusted signing authority (which, to further discourage the conspiracy theories, is not Microsoft or somehow […]
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How Does Linux Boot? Part 2: UEFI Is The New Firmware

It’s amazing that the early 1980s IBM PC design lasted as long as it did. Into the 2000s people relied on its very limited BIOS firmware and MBR partition tables. But now it’s the 2010s and things have finally moved forward. I gave you an overview of how Linux boots. The first steps involve the […]
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How Does Linux Boot? There’s More To It Than You Might Expect

With Linux, you can just turn it on, wait a few moments, and start doing powerful things! But if you are going to be responsible for critical systems, you need to know how they are supposed to work so you can recognize and fix problems. At its very simplest, we’re looking at this sequence: Firmware […]
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