Boot loaders

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The boot loader is the first piece of software started by the BIOS or UEFI. It is responsible for loading the kernel with the wanted kernel parameters, and initial RAM disk before initiating the boot process. You can use different kinds of bootloaders in Arch, such as GRUB and Syslinux. Some bootloaders only support BIOS or UEFI and some support both.

This page contains a short introduction about bootloaders available in Arch. For detailed information see the corresponding pages of each bootloader.

Note: Loading Microcode updates requires adjustments in boot loader configuration. [1]

Both BIOS and UEFI boot loaders


GRUB is more feature-rich and supports more complex scenarios. Its configuration file(s) is more similar to 'sh' scripting language, and can be automatically generated.


Syslinux is (currently) limited to loading only files from the partition where it was installed. An example configuration can be found in Syslinux#Examples.

UEFI-only boot loaders

Linux Kernel EFISTUB

The Linux kernel can be booted directly using the built-in EFI stub loader. See EFISTUB.


systemd includes an EFI bootloader which provides a text menu for booting EFISTUB kernels. See systemd-boot.


rEFInd is a UEFI Boot Manager which provides a graphical menu for booting EFISTUB kernels. See rEFInd.


Clover is a UEFI Boot Manager which provides native resolution GUI for booting EFISTUB kernels. See Clover.


Warning: ELILO upstream has clarified that it is no longer in active development, meaning no new features will be added and only bug-fixes are released. See for more information. ELILO is not officially supported by Arch developers.

ELILO is the UEFI version of the BIOS-only LILO. Its config file elilo.conf is similar to LILO's config file. Upstream provided compiled binaries are available at and an AUR package at elilo-efiAUR.

BIOS-only boot loaders

Warning: None of the options presented here are officialy supported in Arch Linux.

GRUB Legacy

GRUB Legacy (also known as grub-0.97), is the legacy, BIOS-only branch of GRUB. See GRUB Legacy.




NeoGRUB provides a means to boot Arch from the Windows boot loader without installing an additional boot loader. See NeoGRUB.

Booting Arch from NeoGRUB has not been tested yet from Windows 8 and/or UEFI systems.

See also