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Lock out Internet Explorer from Linux Sites?

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Most of you, should be familiar by now with the UEFI Secure Boot that Windows 8 will introduce this summer. For the rest, a very simplistic explanation would be:

Windows 8 secure boot will prevent booting operating systems that aren’t signed by a trusted Certificate Authority. A computer with a Windows 8 logo on it, will make Linux installations complicated.

Of course MS states “Secure boot doesn’t “lock out” operating system loaders, but is a policy that allows firmware to validate authenticity of components”

In my opinion an appropriate secure boot should prevent installation of Windows but we won’t blame MS in here. Instead we will lock out MS from our page, we will prevent Internet Explorer from viewing woGue and we have three reasons for it.

1. Because much like MS we also care about the security of our users and IE isn’t a secure web-browser.
2. It is hard to make a page that is compatible with IE because IE isn’t compliant with HTML standards.
3. We will protest against Secure Boot and as MS “tries” to lock out Linux from OEM hardware, so we will lock out MS from Linux pages.

This approach has a disadvantage. What if people won’t be informed about Open Software and use it just because they couldn’t visit OS pages?

We can improve our approach by permitting users to visit our web-page but warn them that they continue with their own risk as they use an untrusted software. MS does this in application installer, so Windows users are familiar with it.

A few months ago, Organizations, Companies and Individuals joined together to protest against SOPA in a unprecedented way in Internet history. I am not trying to compare these two situations, but what if Linux pages would joined for just a day and would lock out IE from viewing them?


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  • Hoi

    In my opinion that display great deal of lack of professionalism. I would expect similar banners on malware sites and fighting FUD with FUD is just weak. The point of open source sites should be to have as much new viewers as possible (some of which might be using IE) not to drive them away.

    • alex285

      We haven’t implemented that. Just collecting opinions. By the way “Get a modern browser” is what Diaspora* uses also. One of the “biggest” open source projects. 

      • Erikgranger

        “get a modern browser” is web-developer talk for “we’re too lazy to compatibity test our own code”

        I know, I’m a web developer.

        • alex285

          Having bigger JS and CSS files makes you unproductive, isn’t about being lazy. Why you should pay for a windows machine to make  web-development? Why you should know the differences between IE and all other browsers? Why IE doesn’t follow the standards? Why all browsers having Canvas tag as this is defined by HTML5 standards and IE has Explorer Canvas? 
          Finally, it should be a reason why popularity of IE is moving down month by month.

          • Erikgranger

            Because it’s your JOB, duh. If you code it to standard, and it doesn’t work in IE, then at least you can say that it’s IEs fault, not yours. You don’t block IE users, that’s just evil. If people stop using IE because it makes web pages look funky, then its popularity will go down every month, you don’t need to push people along. It’s not your JOB.

          • Stuart

            The latest version of IE does conform well to standards. Microsoft even contributed tests to W3C themselves…

  • jnemesh

    Go for it!  I would recommend a message that says “Web page load failed…you are not using a standards compliant browser”

    • alex285

      Yes that fits better!

      • jnemesh

        Well, either that or an animated gif of Ballmer sticking his tongue out ☺

        • Bill_Toulas

          Now that would make everyone get an open source browser for sure…

  • Erikgranger

    No, no no no no no no no. What the ever-loving fuck is wrong with you? That’s not what the internet is for, you fucking idiots. You don’t say “Fuck you, use X browser”, thats not how the internet works.

    Goddammit, this pisses me off. Who the fuck even recommends this shit? Idiots…

    • alex285

      We got your point. 

  • yossarian

    In the server/networking space Linux pretty much   has the majority share.

    btw iptables has ‘passive OS Fingerprinting’ (you can block traffic from a specific OS)  …..

    Would be good if sysadmins from around the world organised a day and blocked all windows traffic to protest Microsoft’s monopoly/patent trolling/destruction of innovation/the fact that tax payers are forced to fund them and the legal attack against open source.. …

    just an idea..

    • Erikgranger

      Oh, it’s ‘just an idea’… It’s just a terrible idea. It would mark Linux as “the operating system for childish web-developers who think that they should just say f*ck you to possible traffic”. 

      It wouldn’t hurt Microsoft, it would hurt Linux. It would prevent Linux from being seen by Windows users. 

  • Stuart

    This is FUD, just as bad as that which Microsoft uses against Linux. It seems childish.

    I’m love using Linux, but recent versions Internet Explorer actually has advanced security features lacked by other browsers. Please educate yourself before spreading misinformation.

    • alex285

      About security message, is a joke against the Secure Boot. Wasn’t obvious? It seems childish to you, but some people see it as reaction. You might be right, I might be wrong.

  • Richard Anyu

    Rather resort to FUD, and create an impression that Internet Explorer is not secure, or not standards compliant (both will invite a legal action against the site), I would suggest that some features of this site can not be guaranteed to work for browsers that are crippled to work on only one platform.

    • alex285

      Thank you for the info. We’ll do that when we upgrade our template. 

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  • Lucas Romero Di Benedetto

    How do I put that on my site?

    • alex285

      put what ?