The Acer ES1-132, Linux, UEFI, and Secure Boot Part 3

Continued from The Acer ES1-132, Linux, UEFI, and Secure Boot Part 2

Depending on your Linux distribution, and if you decide to dual-boot to Windows or not, there are five settings you have to consider before proceeding with installation:

1. Secure Boot setting

Fedora 25 and Ubuntu 14.04 and later versions support Secure Boot. You can perform either installation without having to disable the Secure Boot setting from the Boot tab.

Debian 8 Jessie has only partial support for Secure Boot. You need to add Set Supervisor Password and Erase all Secure Boot Setting on the Security tab to boot to Debian. Otherwise, a Security Boot Fail message is displayed if you try to boot from a Debian LiveDVD or LiveUSB.

2. Boot priority order

The Boot priority order setting on the Boot tab is ostensibly straightforward. However, it becomes confusing when the Windows Boot Manager is listed and a Linux entry isn't present after Linux installation is complete. Suffice to say, for the initial set up, place your the USB optical drive or USB drive as the priority.

If you set the GPT partition setting from the Main tab and GRUB2 is successfully updated during the Linux installation, a Linux entry is added in the Boot Manager after Linux installation is complete.

3. F12 Boot Menu

By default, the F12 key is disabled during POST. If you prefer the use the F12 key to access the Boot Menu, enable the setting by going to the Main tab on the Setup Utility and then enabling the F12 Boot Menu item.

4. Supervisor Password, Erase all Secure Boot Setting, and Restore Secure Boot to Factory Default

In theory, you don't have to set a Supervisor Password. However, the setting "Erase all Secure Boot Setting" and "Restore Secure Boot to Factory Default" are NOT available without adding a Supervisor Password first. If you require these two settings, then add a Supervisor Password. Once set, you need to enter this password every time you visit the Setup Utility.

Note: Think carefully about adding a Supervisor Password since unlike desktops, you can't just pop out the CMOS battery to reset the Supervisor Password.

One scenario where you might need to add a Supervisor Password is if you are installing Debian 8 Jessie. If Secure Boot on the Boot tab is left Enabled, you won't be able to boot to Debian 8 Live media without adding a Supervisor Password, and using the Erase all Secure Boot Setting. Likewise, if you Disabled Secure Boot on the Boot tab, the Erase and Restore Secure Boot settings are unavailable even if you added a Supervisor Password.

Technically, you don't need the Supervisor Password for distributions that fully support Secure Boot and UEFI. You can leave Secure Boot enabled, set the GPT partition, and install the Linux distribution without issues.

Note: The Acer ES series has had BIOS releases that adds functionality for specifying the key to allow UEFI/Secure Boot supported distributions such as Ubuntu or Fedora to install. Those settings are not available on the current V1.08 BIOS version of the ES1-132-C685. Settings for specifying SHIM or PK on the Aspire ES 11 aren't available, which will no doubt befuddle users who have grappled with Linux on Acer before. You can only restore Secure Boot to factory defaults or clear PK and KEK. On the other hand, you possibly don't need to muck with these settings if you're installing Ubuntu 14.04 or later and Fedora 25, both of which provide adequate support for UEFI and Secure Boot.

Continued in The Acer ES1-132, Linux, UEFI, and Secure Boot Part 4


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