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Secure Boot booted from Debian 9 'Stretch'

Final release sprint decides to take a hurdle off the track

Debian's release team has decided to postpone its implementation of Secure Boot.

In a release update from last week, release team member Jonathan Wiltshire wrote that “At a recent team meeting, we decided that support for Secure Boot in the forthcoming Debian 9 'stretch" would no longer be a blocker to release. The likely, although not certain outcome is that stretch will not have Secure Boot support.'

“We appreciate that this will be a disappointment to many users and developers,” he continued, “However, we need to balance that with the limited time available for the volunteer teams working on this feature, and the risk of bugs being introduced through rushed development.”

The decision not to offer Secure Boot support at release leaves Debian behind Red Hat and Suse, making it the only one of Linux's three main branches not to support the technology and the many security enhancements it offers.

Wiltshire writes that “It's possible that Secure Boot support could be introduced at some point in stretch's lifetime.” But that lifetime can be years: Debian's previous version, Jessie, appeared in April 2015 and has been updated seven times since.

There's no word on when stretch will debut, but Wiltshire says there are just 143 RC bugs remaining and that “We are beginning to consider the arrangements for releasing stretch.” Which sounds like there's not a long time to wait before stretch's various new bits are yours for the running. ®

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