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mzee
25-02-2018, 12:00 PM
Does anyone have experience with the 'reFind' EFI boot manager?
What dangers are there?

Rod J
01-03-2018, 12:29 AM
Sorry, I didn't see your post earlier.

I use rEFInd all the time here. Works great. It can boot Linux kernels directly if you want (bypasses Grub). Looks good too (better than the plain old Grub menu). The author of rEFInd is Rod Smith, he is quite an authority on UEFI. http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/index.html

Only trouble I've had with it is booting the old kernel images with Kubuntu 14.04 (3.13 kernel series). They stopped booting directly after an update a few months ago, fails with an error message. Nobody figured out why they wouldn't boot directly, but no big deal as rEFInd can just fire up the Grub boot loader instead which works just fine. Refind loads later kernel series directly without problems.

Occasionally, if you like to multi-boot different Linux's like me, the rEFInd slot in the EFI boot order gets bumped by a newly installed version of Linux which puts its Grub menu as the first entry. But that is easily rectified by using the refind-mkdefault command line utility which puts rEFInd back at the top of the EFI boot order. This is from the refind-mkdefault man page:


EFI booting normally relies on boot manager entries stored in NVRAM, which describe the loca‐
tions of EFI boot programs and the order in which the firmware will attempt to launch them. In
Linux, these entries can be created, deleted, and manipulated with the efibootmgr utility.

Many OSes and Linux packages assume that they should control the boot process, and so both cre‐
ate NVRAM boot entries for themselves and set these entries first in the boot order. If you
intend rEFInd to control the boot process, though, such changes are undesirable and require
adjustment via efibootmgr. Such adjustments are annoying to make and can be intimidating to non-
experts.

The refind-mkdefault script simplifies matters: Running this script with no options sets rEFInd
as the default boot program.

I just ran the command the other day after installing Linux Elementary OS 0.4.1 to my testing partition. This is the output of the refind-mkdefault command:

rod@Core-i5:~$ sudo refind-mkdefault
rEFInd is not the first boot entry; adjusting....
Setting a boot order of 0000,0001,0005,0006,0008,0002,0003,0004
rod@Core-i5:~$

Rod J
01-03-2018, 12:43 AM
BTW, rEFInd also makes it easier to boot from flash drives, etc as it searches the system at each boot for bootable images.