rEFInd: what are the pros, cons, and possible usage scenarios?

A few days ago I was reading an article on a blog about rEFInd where it was stated that:

rEFInd is a highly customizable and modern boot manager for UEFI and EFI-based machines. It has been around since 2012, yet only a few people are aware of it, despite its superiority over GRUB.

(source: rEFInd: A Modern and Customizable Boot Manager for Linux)

I have never used rEFInd, and unfortunately, I don’t think that the features mentioned in the article in favor of rEFInd have cleared my mind.

For the part about themes brings me back to the memory of BURG, but beyond the visual concept, what are the real pros and cons and in what usage scenarios is rEFInd more recommended than GRUB?

Most importantly, will it ever be included in the official Fedora repositories someday?

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Added grub, refind, uefi

From Ask Fedora to The Water Cooler

I’ve only heard of rEFInd in Hackintosh communities.

My biggest question from that article is how is Ubuntu booting after selecting it in rEFInd? As easy as it sounds to install it, it sounds like it’s just chain-loading Ubuntu’s EFI GRUB, in which case that article is wrong about replacing it.

There’s no way rEFInd can just install cleanly and work with the OS /boot updates and kernel options, dracut, and etc? systemd-boot isn’t even implemented that good yet in mainstream distros, and it’s more popular :stuck_out_tongue:

systemd-boot has brought so much stability to my build, I refuse to use anything else. Making the switch made me realize how big Grub is as a bootloader, when all I need it to do is boot the system.

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I tried inst.sdboot on F40 and Anaconda failed on the bootloader step. I do custom partitioning against most defaults and imagine that’s why (no /home, maxed-size /, /boot and / XFS)

I do too many reinstalls to care about manually configuring the bootloader every time, but I want to try systemd-boot eventually to see if I can get my boot even faster! I have this on openSUSE TW with GRUB EFI (systemd-analyze):

Startup finished in 4.491s (firmware) + 603ms (loader) + 452ms (kernel) + 3.874s (initrd) + 5.691s (userspace) = 15.112s

I think that’s been a bug in Anaconda for a while. What I’ve done is to mount the drives after setting up the partitions and install. (In advanced select no bootloader) I also have LVM + XFS.

Its a shame that rpm-ostree has no systemd-boot support yet.

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rEFInd supports touch input, which is useful for devices that don’t have a keyboard (e.g. Surface tablets).

@ngompa already packaged it a while ago (Overview - rpms/rEFInd - Note that this isn’t shim signed, so it cannot be used on systems with secure boot enabled.

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Thanks for the reply, anyway the package on the repositories seems to be quite outdated, the most recent version currently is the 0.14.2

Aside from support for touch inputs, does it offer features (if so, what) that for typical use can provide an advantage in use over GRUB?

I was thinking maybe a way to make your own in uBlue with systemd-boot and other non traditional things.

Dont know but suppose rpm-ostree needs some hook to tell the boot manager to switch to the new target.

Even if it could be built, you couldnt update.