systemd-boot, previously called gummiboot, is a simple UEFI boot manager which executes configured EFI images. The default entry is selected by a configured pattern (glob) or an on-screen menu. It is included with the, which is installed on an Arch system by default.
It is simple to configure, but can only start EFI executables, such as the Linux kernel EFISTUB, UEFI Shell, GRUB, the Windows Boot Manager, and such.
- 1 Installation
- 2 Configuration
- 3 Keys inside the boot menu
- 4 Troubleshooting
- 5 See also
- Make sure you are booted in UEFI mode.
- Verify your EFI variables are accessible.
- Mount your EFI System Partition(ESP) properly.
espis used to denote the mountpoint in this article.
- If the ESP will not be used as the /boot partition then copy your kernel and initramfs onto that ESP.
- Type the following command to install systemd-boot:
# bootctl --path=esp installIt will copy the systemd-boot binary to your EFI System Partition (
esp/EFI/Boot/BOOTX64.EFI- both of which are identical - on x64 systems) and add systemd-boot itself as the default EFI application (default boot entry) loaded by the EFI Boot Manager.
- Finally you must configure the boot loader to function properly.
You can also successfully install systemd-boot if booted with a legacy OS. However, this requires that you later on tell your firmware to launch systemd-boot's EFI file on boot:
- you either have a working EFI shell somewhere;
- or your firmware interface provides you with a way of properly setting the EFI file that will be loaded at boot time.
If you can do so, the installation is easier: go into your EFI shell or your firmware configuration interface, and change your machine's default EFI file to
systemd-bootia32.efi on i686 systems).
man systemd-efi-boot-generator) assumes that your EFI System Partition is mounted on
/boot. Unlike the previous separate gummiboot package, which updated automatically on a new package release with a
post_install script, updates of new systemd-boot versions are now handled manually by the user:
# bootctl update
If the ESP is not mounted on
--path= option can pass it. For example:
# bootctl --path=esp update
The basic configuration is kept in
esp/loader/loader.conf, with three possible configuration options:
default– default entry to select (without the
.confsuffix); can be a wildcard like
timeout– menu timeout in seconds. If this is not set, the menu will only be shown on key press during boot.
editor- whether to enable the kernel parameters editor or not.
1(default) is to enable,
0is to disable. Since the user can add
init=/bin/bashto bypass root password and gain root access, it's strongly recommended to set this option to
default arch timeout 4 editor 0
Adding boot entries
bootctl searches for boot menu items in
esp/loader/entries/*.conf – each file found must contain exactly one boot entry. The possible options are:
title– operating system name. Required.
version– kernel version, shown only when multiple entries with same title exist. Optional.
machine-id– machine identifier from
/etc/machine-id, shown only when multiple entries with same title and version exist. Optional.
efi– EFI program to start, relative to your ESP (
/vmlinuz-linux. Either this or
linux(see below) is required.
options– command line options to pass to the EFI program or kernel boot parameters. Optional, but you will need at least
root=devif booting Linux.
For Linux, you can specify
linux path-to-vmlinuz and
initrd path-to-initramfs; this will be automatically translated to
efi path and
options initrd=path – this syntax is only supported for convenience and has no differences in function.
Standard root installations
Here is an example entry for a root partition without LVM or LUKS:
title Arch Linux linux /vmlinuz-linux initrd /initramfs-linux.img options root=PARTUUID=14420948-2cea-4de7-b042-40f67c618660 rw
Please note in the example above that
PARTLABEL identifies a GPT partition, and differs from
LABEL, which identifies a filesystem. Using the
PARTLABEL is advantageous because it is invariant (i.e. unchanging) if you reformat the partition with another filesystem, or if the
/dev/sd* mapping changed for some reason. It is also useful if you do not have a filesystem on the partition (or use LUKS, which does not support
LVM root installations
Here is an example for a root partition using Logical Volume Management:
title Arch Linux (LVM) linux /vmlinuz-linux initrd /initramfs-linux.img options root=/dev/mapper/<VolumeGroup-LogicalVolume> rw
<VolumeGroup-LogicalVolume> with the actual VG and LV names (e.g.
root=/dev/mapper/volgroup00-lvolroot). Alternatively, it is also possible to use a UUID instead:
.... options root=UUID=<UUID identifier> rw
root=UUID= is used instead of
root=PARTUUID=, which is used for Root partitions without LVM or LUKS.
Encrypted Root Installations
title Arch Linux Encrypted linux /vmlinuz-linux initrd /initramfs-linux.img options cryptdevice=UUID=<UUID>:<mapped-name> root=/dev/mapper/<mapped-name> quiet rw
UUID is used in this example;
PARTUUID should be able to replace the UUID, if so desired. You may also replace the
/dev path with a regular UUID.
mapped-name is whatever you want it to be called. See Dm-crypt/System configuration#Boot loader.
If you are using LVM, your cryptdevice line will look like this:
title Arch Linux Encrypted LVM linux /vmlinuz-linux initrd /initramfs-linux.img options cryptdevice=UUID=<UUID>:MyVolGroup root=/dev/mapper/MyVolGroup-MyVolRoot quiet rw
You can also add other EFI programs such as
btrfs subvolume root installations
If booting a btrfs subvolume as root, amend the
options line with
rootflags=subvol=<root subvolume>. In the example below, root has been mounted as a btrfs subvolume called 'ROOT' (e.g.
mount -o subvol=ROOT /dev/sdxY /mnt):
title Arch Linux linux /vmlinuz-linux initrd /initramfs-linux.img options root=PARTUUID=14420948-2cea-4de7-b042-40f67c618660 rw rootflags=subvol=ROOT
A failure to do so will otherwise result in the following error message:
ERROR: Root device mounted successfully, but /sbin/init does not exist.
ZFS root installations
When booting from a ZFS dataset, add
zfs=<root dataset> to the
options line. Here the root dataset has been set to 'zroot/ROOT/default':
title Arch Linux ZFS linux /vmlinuz-linux initrd /initramfs-linux.img options zfs=zroot/ROOT/default rw
When booting off of a ZFS dataset ensure that it has had the
bootfs property set with
zpool set bootfs=<root dataset> <zpool>.
EFI Shells or other EFI apps
In case you installed EFI shells and other EFI application into the ESP, you can use the following snippets:
title UEFI Shell x86_64 v1 efi /EFI/shellx64_v1.efi
title UEFI Shell x86_64 v2 efi /EFI/shellx64_v2.efi
The following keys are used inside the menu:
Up/Down- select entry
Enter- boot the selected entry
d- select the default entry to boot (stored in a non-volatile EFI variable)
-/T- decrease the timeout (stored in a non-volatile EFI variable)
+/t- increase the timeout (stored in a non-volatile EFI variable)
e- edit the kernel command line. It has no effect if the
editorconfig option is set to
v- show the gummiboot and UEFI version
P- print the current configuration
These hotkeys will, when pressed inside the menu or during bootup, directly boot a specific entry:
a- OS X
s- EFI Shell
1-9- number of entry
Manual entry using efibootmgr
bootctl install command failed, you can create a EFI boot entry manually using :
# efibootmgr -c -d /dev/sdX -p Y -l /EFI/systemd/systemd-bootx64.efi -L "Linux Boot Manager"
/dev/sdXY is the EFI System Partition.