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, which is installed on Arch system by default.
It is simple to configure but it can only start EFI executables such as the Linux kernel EFISTUB, UEFI Shell, GRUB, the Windows Boot Manager.
- 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.Note: systemd-boot cannot load EFI binaries from other partitions. It is therefore recommended to mount your ESP to
/boot. In case you want to separate
/bootfrom the ESP see #Manually for more information.
- If the ESP is not mounted at
/boot, then copy your kernel and initramfs onto that ESP.Note: For a way to automatically keep the kernel updated on the ESP, have a look at EFI System Partition#Using systemd for some systemd units that can be adapted. If your EFI System Partition is using automount, you may need to add
vfatto a file in
/etc/modules-load.d/to ensure the current running kernel has the
vfatmodule loaded at boot, before any kernel update happens that could replace the module for the currently running version making the mounting of
/boot/efiimpossible until reboot.
- 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 x86-64 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 successfully install systemd-boot if booted with in BIOS mode. However, this process requires you to tell firmware to launch systemd-boot's EFI file at boot, usually via two ways:
- you have a working EFI Shell somewhere else.
- your firmware interface provides a way of properly setting the EFI file that needs to be loaded at boot time.
If you can do it, the installation is easier: go into your EFI Shell or your firmware configuration interface and change your machine's default EFI file to
esp/EFI/systemd/systemd-bootx64.efi ( or
systemd-bootia32.efi depending if your system firmware is 32 bit).
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 must now be done manually by the user. However the procedure can be automated using pacman hooks.
# bootctl update
If the ESP is not mounted on
--path= option can pass it. For example:
# bootctl --path=esp update
bootctl --path=esp install.
Alternatively, place the following pacman hook in the
[Trigger] Type = Package Operation = Upgrade Target = systemd [Action] Description = Updating systemd-boot... When = PostTransaction Exec = /usr/bin/bootctl update
The basic configuration is stored in
esp/loader/loader.conf file and it is composed by three 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
Spacekey (or most other keys actually work too) press during boot.
editor– whether to enable the kernel parameters editor or not.
1(default) is enabled,
0is disabled; since the user can add
init=/bin/bashto bypass root password and gain root access, it is strongly recommended to set this option to
default arch timeout 4 editor 0
- The first 2 options can be changed in the boot menu itself and changes will be stored as EFI variables.
- systemd-boot does not recognize tabs in its configuration files, only spaces can follow the keywords.
Adding boot entries
- bootctl will automatically check for "Windows Boot Manager" (
\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\Bootmgfw.efi), "EFI Shell" (
\shellx64.efi) and "EFI Default Loader" (
\EFI\Boot\bootx64.efi) at boot time, as well as specially prepared kernel files found in
\EFI\Linux. When detected, corresponding entries with titles
auto-efi-default, respectively, will be automatically generated. These entries do not require manual loader configuration. However, it does not auto-detect other EFI applications (unlike rEFInd), so for booting the Linux kernel, manual configuration entries must be created.
- If you dual-boot Windows, it is strongly recommended to disable its default Fast Start-Up option.
- Remember to load the intel microcode with
- You can find the
PARTUUIDfor your root partition with the command
blkid -s PARTUUID -o value /dev/sdxY, where
xis the device letter and
Yis the partition number. This is required only for your root partition, not
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 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.
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
Preparing kernels for EFI\Linux
EFI\Linux is searched for specially prepared kernel files, which bundle the kernel, the initrd, the kernel command line and
/etc/os-release into one file. This file can be easily signed for secure boot.
systemd-bootrequires that the
os-releasefile contain either
BUILD_IDto generate an ID and automatically add the entry, which the Arch
os-releasedoes not. Either maintain your own copy with one of them, or make your bundling script generate it automatically.
Put the kernel command line you want to use in a file, and create the bundle file like this:
Kernel packaging command:
objcopy \ --add-section .osrel="/usr/lib/os-release" --change-section-vma .osrel=0x20000 \ --add-section .cmdline="kernel-command-line.txt" --change-section-vma .cmdline=0x30000 \ --add-section .linux="vmlinuz-file" --change-section-vma .linux=0x40000 \ --add-section .initrd="initrd-file" --change-section-vma .initrd=0x3000000 \ "/usr/lib/systemd/boot/efi/linuxx64.efi.stub" "linux.efi"
Optionally sign linux.efi now (e.g. using sbsigntools from AUR).
Copying linux.efi into
Kernel parameters editor with password protection
Alternatively you can install
password basic configuration option. Use
sbpctl generate to generate a value for this option.
Install systemd-boot-password with the following command:
# sbpctl install esp
With enabled editor you will be prompted for your password before you can edit kernel parameters.
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.
\) as the separator