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Intel(R) Software Guard Extensions for Linux* OS



Intel(R) Software Guard Extensions (Intel(R) SGX) is an Intel technology for application developers seeking to protect select code and data from disclosure or modification.

The Linux SGX software stack is comprised of the Intel(R) SGX driver, the Intel(R) SGX SDK, and the Intel(R) SGX Platform Software. The Intel(R) SGX SDK and Intel(R) SGX PSW are hosted in the linux-sgx project.

The linux-sgx-driver project hosts the out-of-tree driver for the Linux Intel(R) SGX software stack, which will be used until the driver upstreaming process is complete.


This driver can be used to support earlier SGX-capable CPUs without Flexible Launch Control (FLC). However, please note that the ABI of this driver is diverged from the upstreaming SGX kernel patches and extra effort may be required to migrate software using this driver to future kernels with SGX support. To minimize ABI divergence and better align all SGX software stack with future SGX enabled kernel, no new features will be added to this driver. Support for distro/kernel versions other than those listed here will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The DCAP driver has been developed to track closely with the upstreaming kernel patches, and support all SGX CPUs with FLC. Therefore, we recommend SGX community to start using the DCAP driver to minimize future impact from adopting new mainline kernels with SGX support.

For new feature requests/patches, please submit them directly to the linux-sgx mailing list


See License.txt for details.


Build and Install the Intel(R) SGX Driver


  • Ensure that you have an operating system version supported as listed in releases:
  • Ensure that you have the following required hardware:
    • 6th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) Processor or newer
  • Configure the system with the SGX hardware enabled option.
  • To build the driver, the version of installed kernel headers must match the active kernel version on the system.
    • On Ubuntu
      • To check if matching kernel headers are installed:
        $ dpkg-query -s linux-headers-$(uname -r)
      • To install matching headers:
        $ sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)
    • On CentOS, RHEL or Fedora
      • To check if matching kernel headers are installed:
        $ ls /usr/src/kernels/$(uname -r)
      • To install matching headers:
        $ sudo yum install kernel-devel
      • After the above command, if the matching headers are still missing in /usr/src/kernels, try update kernel and reboot usig commands below. Then choose updated kernel on boot menu.
        $ sudo yum install kernel
        $ sudo reboot
      • On RHEL 8.0 elfutils-libelf-devel package is required:
        $ sudo yum install elfutils-libelf-devel

Note: Refer to the "Intel® SGX Resource Enumeration Leaves" section in the Intel SGX Programming reference guide to make sure your cpu has the SGX feature.

Build the Intel(R) SGX Driver

To build Intel(R) SGX driver, change the directory to the driver path and enter the following command:

$ make

You can find the driver isgx.ko generated in the same directory.

Install the Intel(R) SGX Driver

To install the Intel(R) SGX driver, enter the following command with root privilege:

$ sudo mkdir -p "/lib/modules/"`uname -r`"/kernel/drivers/intel/sgx"    
$ sudo cp isgx.ko "/lib/modules/"`uname -r`"/kernel/drivers/intel/sgx"    
$ sudo sh -c "cat /etc/modules | grep -Fxq isgx || echo isgx >> /etc/modules"    
$ sudo /sbin/depmod
$ sudo /sbin/modprobe isgx

On Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server or CentOS, need to run below command on each reboot

$ sudo /sbin/modprobe isgx

On SUSE, need to add '--allow-unsupported' flag when executing 'modprobe' command during the SGX driver intallation and on each reboot

$ sudo /sbin/modprobe isgx --allow-unsupported

Uninstall the Intel(R) SGX Driver

Before uninstall the Intel(R) SGX driver, make sure the aesmd service is stopped. See the topic, Start or Stop aesmd Service, on how to stop the aesmd service.
To uninstall the Intel(R) SGX driver, enter the following commands:

$ sudo /sbin/modprobe -r isgx
$ sudo rm -rf "/lib/modules/"`uname -r`"/kernel/drivers/intel/sgx"
$ sudo /sbin/depmod
$ sudo /bin/sed -i '/^isgx$/d' /etc/modules