Here's the problem: A Windows 8 PC must be locked down with the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) set with Microsoft's secure boot on. In turn, that means you won't be able to easily install Linux or any other operating system, such as Windows 7 or XP, on a Windows 8 system. Since the vast majority of desktop Linux installations start with a PC running Windows that's going to be a real headache. So, what can you do about it?
Well, Fedora, Red Hat's community Linux distribution decided to co-operate with Microsoft's key signing service, Verisign. Thus, in the Fedora plan, Fedora will create its own Windows 8 system compatible UEFI secure boot key
using Microsoft's own system.
This made a lot of Linux fans unhappy. Matthew Garrett, a Red Hat developer, explained that “it's cheaper than any realistic alternative would have been. It ensures compatibility with as wide a range of hardware as possible and it avoids Fedora having any special privileges over other Linux distributions.” Linus Torvalds, Linux's founder and guiding light, take: was "I'm certainly not a huge UEFI fan, but at the same time I see why you might want to have signed bootup etc.”
Canonical, Ubuntu Linux's parent company, came up with its own answer. Canonical's secure boot solution
(PDF Link) is to “provide keys and signed boot images for use with secure boot functionality.” In short, Ubuntu will come up with its own independent key that's compatible with the “Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements [WIN8HCR]."
Garrett complained that this is essentially Microsoft's same lock-in scheme “except with an Ubuntu key instead of a Microsoft one.” Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu's founder, responded, that he didn't think either plan was ideal, but “Secure Boot retains flaws in its design that will ultimately mandate that Microsoft's key is on every PC (because of core UEFI driver signing). That, and the inability of Secure Boot to support multiple signatures on critical elements means that options are limited but we continue to seek a better result.”