While fighting with my discrete graphics card, I reinstalled Ubuntu several times. The first couple times I was very careful to move the .priv and .der key I was using to sign my dkms kernel modules to another partition. Unfortunately, as I got more frustrated I became less careful and apparently accidentally cut and pasted from the backup (rather than copying and pasting) and then reformatted over the sole remaining key in the next re-install. I used photorec to try and recover the files but unfortunately no *.der or *.priv files were recovered.

It seems that the intended way to un-enroll machine owner keys (MOKs) is

mokutil --delete keyname.der

Given that I no longer have the public key, is there another way for me to un-enroll it?

3 Answers 3


To delete only one specific key from the database you could first use the --export flag, like so:

$ mokutil --export

This will export all machine owner keys to the current directory:

$ ls -1 MOK*

They are numbered according to the list given by

$ mokutil --list-enrolled
[key 1]
SHA1 Fingerprint:....
[key 2]
SHA1 Fingerprint:....

which should then enable you to delete only one specific key, e.g. key 1:

# mokutil --delete MOK-0001.der

Figured it out. The --reset parameter does the trick.

sudo mokutil --reset

If you had multiple MOKs enrolled and only wanted to remove one it might not be ideal.

If someone comes up with a better option I'll accept that answer.


I realize this is an old question, but I have had fits with this issue regarding VirtualBox and machine owner keys - to the point that I had rebuilt one each time VirtualBox would not start a session.

Here is what I wound up doing:

  1. Created a sub-directory called mokkeys.
  2. Did a cd to that directory.
  3. Executed the command mokutil --export to list all the MOK*.der's.
  4. Executed the command mokutil -l | less to compare the listed der's with what the detail listed per key and identified the extra keys that I wanted to remove.
  5. Executed the command sudo mokutil --delete for each MOK*.der individually. (always double prompted for the MOK password, sudo was the only way this worked for me - have been trying to remove these for way too long a time).
  6. Rebooted and went through the shim prompts to delete the keys (they were numbered sequentially here and did not match (by number) the ones I flagged for deletion).
  7. Rebooted at the end of that process.
  8. executed the command ' mokutil -l | less ' to see if they extraneous keys were removed (they were)
  9. Did my private happy dance --- :-)

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