I have a new laptop that supports UEFI secure boot. My intention is to dual boot windows and ubuntu. Over the past few days I have been researching what the best setup would be and issues I may encounter.

I want to know if I were to dual boot windows (7 or 8) / Ubuntu should I be using secure boot, or can I simply turn it off via BIOS settings without any side-affects such as instability/corruption.

This will be a very important machine for me, and I want to set it up the right way. Any extra comments on UEFI and dual booting would be appreciated.

  • While its possible to dual boot with Secure Boot enabled its not easy and requires a great deal of technical skill. Its much easier to simply disable Secure Boot since you don't lose a great deal, at least nothing, that can't be replaced with additional security software.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


Windows 7 doesn't support Secure Boot, so if you want to replace Windows 8 with Windows 7, you must disable Secure Boot. Windows 8 does support Secure Boot, and if it came pre-installed on your computer, chances are the computer is configured to use it by default.

In theory, Ubuntu 12.04.2, 12.10, and 13.04 all support Secure Boot. In practice, there seem to be a lot of problem reports about this support, though, so many users end up disabling Secure Boot. My suspicion is that the problems are mostly related to the fact that Ubuntu is still using the old shim 0.1 rather than the newer shim 0.2, but I'm not positive of that. It is possible to install shim 0.2 on any EFI Linux system; see my Secure Boot Web page for details.

Secure Boot does provide security benefits, in that it makes it harder to successfully install a certain class of malware known as a boot kit. This type of malware runs before the OS and so can hide itself in ways that are impossible to detect once the OS is running. That said, disabling Secure Boot won't make the computer any less secure than an older computer would be. Also, most malware is targeted at Windows, so if you rarely boot Windows and do most of your work in Linux, you're less likely to pick up or be affected by malware. (That's not to say that Linux is safe in any absolute sense. Linux has its own security issues, but they tend to be different from Windows security issues.)

Unfortunately, the details of how to disable and otherwise manipulate Secure Boot vary from one computer to another, although Microsoft requires that disabling Secure Boot be possible on any x86-64 computer that bears a Windows 8 logo. Windows 8 should continue to boot after Secure Boot is disabled.

  • Thanks for the reply, exactly what I was looking for. I have windows 8 pre-installed but will be using a linux distro as my main OS. I am able to easily disable secure boot. Again, thanks!
    – neolaser
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 23:18

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