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Use Linux efibootmgr Command to Manage UEFI Boot Menu

The Linux efibootmgr command line utility is very handy when it comes to managing UEFI boot menu. This tutorial shows you how to use efibootmgr with 5 examples. It’s assumed that you have installed Linux in UEFI mode.

You can install the efibootmgr command line utility with the following commands.

Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint

sudo apt install efibootmgr

Fedora, CentOS, RedHat

sudo dnf install efibootmgr

SuSE

sudo zypper install efibootmgr

Arch Linux/Manjaro

sudo pacman -S efibootmgr

1 Displaying Current Settings

Simply run the following command. In some Linux distributions like Debian, you need to run it with sudo privilege.

efibootmgr

This command allows you to view the default boot entry (BootCurrent), boot order and all boot entries.  Each boot entry is identified by a boot number in hexadecimal. The asterisk (*) means the boot entry is active.

You can also add -v option to show verbose information.

efibootmgr -v

You can see the EFI system partition number, the partition table type (GPT), UUID of the EFI system partition and the boot loader file.

The above screenshot shows that my EFI system partition (ESP) is on the 7th partition of my hard disk (/dev/sda7). It’s a GPT partition table.

2. Changing Boot Order

First, copy the current boot order. For example, my boot order is:

0013,0012,0014,0000,0001,0002,0003,000D,0011,0007,0008,0009,000A,000B,000C,000E

Then type in the following command

sudo efibootmgr -o

And append the boot order to the above command.

sudo efibootmgr -o 0013,0012,0014,0000,0001,0002,0003,000D,0011,0007,0008,0009,000A,000B,000C,000E

Let’s say you want 0012 to be the first boot entry. All you have to do is move it to the left of 0013 and press Enter.

sudo efibootmgr -o 0012,0013,0014,0000,0001,0002,0003,000D,0011,0007,0008,0009,000A,000B,000C,000E

3. Adding Boot Entry

If you have installed multiple Linux distributions on your computer, but one of the Linux distribution doesn’t have a UEFI boot entry, you can manually add it.

Boot into the Linux distro that doesn’t have UFEI boot entry.  Then make sure it has the EFI version of GRUB boot loader installed.

Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint

sudo apt install grub-efi

Fedora

sudo dnf install grub2-efi-modules

Then mount the EFI system partition (ESP) under /boot/efi/ directory. In this example, /dev/sda7 is the ESP.

sudo mount /dev/sda7 /boot/efi/

Then install Grub boot loader to ESP.

sudo grub-install /dev/sda --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi/

x86_64-efi means that we are going to install Grub for UEFI firmware. The default target is i386-pc, which is for traditional BIOS firmware.

Now, you should see a new entry in UEFI boot menu with the bootmgr command.  Under the hood, the Grub installer first installs a .efi booloader file to /boot/efi/EFI/<label>/ directory. Usually it’s named grubx64.efi. Then it runs the following command to add a new entry in UEFI boot menu.

efibootmgr -c -d /dev/sda -p 7 -L <label> -l \EFI\<label>\grubx64.efi

Newly added entry will be the first in boot order.

4. Deleteing Boot Entry

Let’s say you have installed multiple Linux distributions on a hard disk so you have multiple boot entries just like the above screenshot. And now you deleted a Linux distro but the boot entry is still there. To remove the respective boot entry, run:

sudo efibootmgr -b <bootnum> -B

For example,

sudo efibootmgr -b 0014 -B

-b option specify the boot number. -B option delete that boot number.

5. Setting a Boot Entry Active or Inactive

A boot entry followed by asterisk indicates that it’s active. Otherwise it’s inactive. To set a boot entry active, run:

sudo efibootmgr -b <bootnum> -a

To set a boot entry inactive, run:

sudo efibootmgr -b <bootnum> -A

Wrapping Up

I hope this tutorial is helped you master the Linux efibootmgr command. Ever wondered if you can boot an ISO file without creating a live USB or live CD? Please read the following tutorial:

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