I have windows 10 installed. Im trying to install ubuntu. Should i turn off secure boot or leave it on? What does it do?

  • 1
    What machine are you using? Ubuntu has handled secure boot for 4 years, but vendors can do non-UEFI standard things which can mess things up.
    – ubfan1
    Jun 10 '16 at 3:37
  • Acer aspire e5-575g-53vg i think its a relatively new model so there might not be much up for it. I plan on multibooting 2 copies of windows 10, ubuntu,and steamOS. I searched google but all i could find was questions on if it was needed for older versions of ubuntu or different laptop models and noboy bothered to explain what its for either.
    – user25832
    Jun 10 '16 at 3:42
  • 1
    See ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2305965 for many specific Acer links in oldfred's last entry #4
    – ubfan1
    Jun 10 '16 at 4:44

Secure Boot prevents from booting unsigned operational systems.

It allows to boot only systems that are signed with a key that is stored in UEFI.

Ubuntu kernels are signed and you can install Ubuntu with Secure Boot enabled, but there are some limitations if you use Secure Boot:

  1. You will not be able to install 3rd party kernel modules (proprietary graphics and wireless drivers, any other custom built modules).

  2. Hibernation will not work.

Generally Secure Boot is not a very useful feature, because nowadays boot viruses are not an issue. Linux systems have other ways of protection from installing malware (root permissions).

The bottom line is that if you need unsigned modules, you do not lose much if you disable Secure Boot.


Yes and No

On the most basic level, UEFI Secure Boot prevents running unsigned boot loaders.

Modern versions of Ubuntu will boot and install normally on most PCs with Secure Boot enabled.

But not all available tools and OS are having signed boot loaders. If you enable Secure boot and try to boot from say Hirans Boot CD, or If you manually add Grub Entries, you might get something like this :

enter image description here

But if you wish to use only Ubuntu and Windows , as both are having valid and signed boot loaders, you can keep Secure boot ON.

  • I use Hp-Compaq 15s-103tx, I used to have Secure boot Enabled when I was using only Ubuntu. But I have disabled it now as I found out that I could no moor boot into all the ISOs I manually add to grub. Jun 10 '16 at 4:38
  • Would i be able to keep ot enabled with 2 windows 10 installations, ubuntu, and steamOS? Also. How would i go about adding an entry to choose to boot from? On the ubuntu installer it says "windows boot manager" but i thought bootloaders were in the EFI? Whichever it is i would like to add another entry. Can you help me please?
    – user25832
    Jun 10 '16 at 4:45
  • @user25832 NO, Steam OS does not support Secure boot as of now, so you might want to disable secure boot for that. More Details : linuxuser , forums.steampowered. Jun 10 '16 at 4:55
  • Okay, secure boot off. How would you add an entry to the bootloader for another OS selection? If i decide not to install steamOS can i enable secure boot?
    – user25832
    Jun 10 '16 at 4:59
  • If only 2 Windows and Ubuntu, You can enable secure boot. There are a lot of questions about adding grub entries here around, consider browsing through them. Jun 10 '16 at 5:08

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