Linux Fu: UEFI Booting | Hackaday

Unless your computer is rather aged, it probably employs UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) to boot. The idea is that a bootloader picks up documents from an EFI partition and makes use of them to start off your functioning technique. If you use Windows, you get Windows. If you use Linux, there’s a fantastic possibility you’ll use Grub which might or may not display you a menu. The difficulty with Grub is you have to do a ton of configuration to get it to do different things. Granted, distros like Ubuntu have tools that go via and do much of the perform for you and if you are content with that, there’s no harm in employing Grub to boot and manage various operating units.

An substitute would be rEFInd, which is a nice fashionable UEFI boot manager. If you are even now booting through regular (legacy) BIOS, the set up could be a trouble. But, in standard, rEFInd, when installed, just quickly picks up most factors, which includes Windows, Mac, and Linux functioning systems and kernels. The most important factors you might modify the configuration is if you want to hide some points you never care about or change the visual concept.


A UEFI laptop or computer outlets boot info in nonvolatile RAM. You can look at this and even make some improvements making use of the Linux utility efibootmgr:

$ efibootmgr
BootCurrent: 0004
Timeout: 1 seconds
BootOrder: 0004,0003,0001,0002,0005,0006
Boot0001* UEFI OS
Boot0002* UEFI:CD/DVD Generate
Boot0003* ubuntu
Boot0004* rEFInd Boot Manager
Boot0005* UEFI:Removable Product
Boot0006* UEFI:Network Device

Usually, you will not want to right add or delete items utilizing this resource, even while you can. Usually, your working process can take treatment of all that. Nonetheless, it is a ache to select one particular partition in excess of the other if you, for case in point, boot Home windows and Linux. You can see from the earlier mentioned dump that I really do not do this, at the very least not on this computer system. Having said that, I do usually boot from a detachable disk or have numerous kernels or even working programs set up in unique locations.

Grub can handle all this, of training course. Primarily if you use a distribution with a whole lot of instruments, they will scan, seeking for factors, and rebuild your grub configuration. But if that configuration at any time goes lousy and you forget about to develop, search out! Time to boot from a rescue disk, additional than probably. Grub is both a boot loader and a boot menu. But rEFInd is a boot menu manager only.

Pros and Drawbacks

There are various reasons you may decide for rEFInd. The major practical motive is that it scans for bootable products on each boot. It is also great hunting and can aid touchscreens and mice, but not the two at the same time. There was an Request Ubuntu post where by the author of rEFInd listed the professionals and drawbacks in between his code and Grub. His pros listing include things like:

  • Scans for new kernels on just about every boot
  • Eye sweet
  • Trusted booting fo Windows with protected boot lively
  • Capable to launch BIOS-manner bootloaders
  • Means to speed up installs if you never install Grub at all
  • Stringent enforcement of safe boot guidelines

Of training course, there are also some downsides. Grub is the “official” way to handle points for most distributions and you can presume distros and applications will be compatible with it. It relies primarily on a solitary developer. Grub is easier to use with networking, LVM, and RAID booting, despite the fact that these are attainable with rEFInd, much too. For the reason that rEFInd scans on each individual boot, there is a temporary pause when you boot, of study course.

It is achievable to have rEFInd boot into Grub, and that can be handy at times, but in standard, you’ll want to use rEFInd as an alternative of the Grub menus. A single exception is if you want an crisis USB push with rEFInd on it, that may possibly be beneficial considering the fact that it can largely configure itself.

Put in

If you use a distro that can tackle Ubuntu PPAs, putting in the system is very simple.

sudo apt-increase-repository ppa:rodsmith/refind
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get put in refind

You can also discover comprehensive recommendations on installing in exclusive situations on the project’s website. Once you put in, you likely do not have to do something, but you may possibly want to look through the configuration file (a little something like /boot/efi/EFI/refind/refind.conf). There you can adjust a number of items like timeouts, default kernel alternatives, and the like. There are fairly a several possibilities, but most of them are commented out.

You can also make manual entries, considerably like Grub. There are many examples in the default configuration file, but you are going to see they all have the disabled search term in them, so you would remove that search phrase right after building improvements to go well with you. You can also pick a text-primarily based manner, the default screen resolution, and other parameters. I transformed the line to clearly show some resources (like reboot or boot into BIOS set up) that had been not on by default. In numerous instances, you won’t have to have any alterations at all.

If you see entries on the display you never want, highlight them and press the minus signal. Don’t fret, you can manage the “hidden tags” applying a menu if you adjust your intellect afterwards.

Be warned that although the method does aid secure boot, if you use it, it may want a tiny tweaking. Here’s the excellent news. If it doesn’t function, just modify the boot get again to boot Grub first and you can troubleshoot from there.


A single enjoyment thing you can do is get different themes for the program. These are just collections of artwork utilised as the banner and as icons for unique distributions. For some purpose, the plan did not routinely decide on up my Neon with the Neon logo, even although it was present. My easy remedy was to change the default Tux penguin with a copy of the Neon logo.

I’ve browse that pressing F10 will screenshot rEFInd, but seemingly, I do not have the newest variation, so I experienced to depend on my mobile phone to just take an previous-college screenshot. You can see why I modified the penguin brand.


The resources along the base allow you run a memory exam, or reboot and shut down. You can also start an EFI shell or change the EFI boot get.

Low Chance

Any time you dink with the booting of your computer, you are using a chance. Nonetheless, if you set up with Grub, you can generally leave it as an possibility from rEFInd. If you get in big difficulty, Grub is even now there and you can boot from a rescue medium and use efibootmgr to decide on your default Grub setup. The documentation for rEFInd has a fantastic writeup on what the writer calls “boot coups” when an operating process — seeking at you, Home windows — presumptively takes more than booting.

If you really do not dual boot, you can almost certainly adhere with Grub. It is awesome to have a additional present day-on the lookout boot menu, but it is not that persuasive. But if you twin boot with Windows, Mac, or other EFI-able working units, or even if you modify kernels normally, you should really actually verify out rEFInd.

For some specialised instances, you might want to verify out a specialized fork of rEFInd, which features sure supplemental capabilities. You can obtain out additional about the variations on its dwelling web page.

If you want much more specialized particulars on UEFI, in this article you go. Of system, as Scotty famously said, “The a lot more they overthink the plumbing, the a lot easier it is to stop up the drain.” UEFI is a big attack focus on, and it has been strike right before.

Luis Robinson

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