In order to boot Arch Linux, a Linux-capable boot loader must be installed to the Master Boot Record or the GUID Partition Table. It 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.
- Boot loaders only need to support the file system on which kernel and initramfs reside (the file system of the partition on which
- As GPT is part of the UEFI specification, all UEFI boot loaders support GPT disks. GPT on BIOS systems is possible, using either "hybrid booting", or the new GPT-only protocol. This protocol may however cause issues with certain BIOS implementations; see rodsbooks for details.
- Encryption mentioned in file system support is filesystem-level encryption, it has no bearing on block-level encryption.
|GRUB||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||On BIOS/GPT configuration requires a BIOS boot partition.|
|systemd-boot||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||No||Cannot launch binaries from partitions other than ESP.|
|Syslinux||Yes||Partial||Partial||without: multi-device volumes, compression, encryption||without:
||No||Yes||v4 on MBR only||No support for certain file system features |
|rEFInd||No||Yes||Yes||without encryption||without encryption||without tail-packing feature||Yes||No|
|Clover||emulates UEFI||Yes||Yes||No||Unknown||No||Yes||No||Main target audience is Hackintosh users.|
|LILO||Yes||No||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||MBR only ||Deprecated. Does not support GUID Partition Table.|
|GRUB Legacy||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||v4 only||Deprecated. Does not support GUID Partition Table.|