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14 <h1>The rEFInd Boot Manager:<br />Getting rEFInd</h1>
15
16 <p class="subhead">by Roderick W. Smith, <a
17 href="mailto:rodsmith@rodsbooks.com">rodsmith@rodsbooks.com</a></p>
18
19 <p>Originally written: 3/14/2012; last Web page update:
20 6/24/2016, referencing rEFInd 0.10.3</p>
21
22 <p>This Web page is provided free of charge and with no annoying outside ads; however, I did take time to prepare it, and Web hosting does cost money. If you find this Web page useful, please consider making a small donation to help keep this site up and running. Thanks!</p>
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119
120 <hr />
121
122 <p>This page is part of the documentation for the rEFInd boot manager. If a Web search has brought you here, you may want to start at the <a href="index.html">main page.</a></p>
123
124 <hr />
125
126 <p><b>Note:</b> I consider rEFInd to be <i>beta-quality software!</i> I'm discovering bugs (old and new) and fixing them every few days. That said, rEFInd is a usable program in its current form on many systems. If you have problems, feel free to drop me a line.</p>
127
128 <h2>Getting rEFInd from Sourceforge</h2>
129
130 <p>You can find the rEFInd source code and binary packages at <a href="http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/refind/">its SourceForge page.</a> Note that rEFInd is OS-independent&mdash;it runs before the OS, so you download the same binary package for any OS. You can obtain rEFInd in several different forms:</p>
131
132 <ul>
133
134 <li><b><a
135 href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/refind/files/0.10.3/refind-bin-0.10.3.zip/download">A
136 binary zip file</a></b>&mdash;Download this if you want to install rEFInd
137 and/or its filesystem drivers on an <i>x</i>86, <i>x</i>86-64, or ARM64
138 computer and have no need to test rEFInd first by booting it on an optical
139 disc. This zip file package includes <i>x</i>86 (aka IA32), <i>x</i>86-64
140 (aka <i>x</i>64, AMD64, or EM64T), and ARM64 (aka AARCH64 or AA64) versions
141 of rEFInd. Which you install depends on your architecture, as described on
142 the <a href="installing.html">Installing rEFInd</a> page. Some users of Arch
143 Linux have reported problems booting some specific Arch Linux kernels with
144 rEFInd and some other tools. For them, a <a
145 href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/refind/files/0.10.3/refind-bin-gnuefi-0.10.3.zip/download">variant
146 package</a> exists in which the <i>x</i>86-64 binary was compiled with
147 GNU-EFI rather than the usual TianoCore EDK2. This change helps some users
148 with this problem.</li>
149
150 <li><b><a
151 href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/refind/files/0.10.3/refind-0.10.3-1.x86_64.rpm/download">A
152 binary RPM file</a></b>&mdash;If you use an RPM-based <i>x</i>86-64
153 Linux system such as Fedora or openSUSE, you can install the binary RPM
154 package rather than use the binary zip file. (I don't provide
155 equivalent 32-bit [<i>x</i>86] or ARM64 packages.) This package runs the
156 <tt>refind-install</tt> script (described on the <a
157 href="installing.html">Installing rEFInd</a> page) as part of the
158 installation process. Distribution maintainers can examine the
159 <tt>refind.spec</tt> file in the source package and tweak it to their
160 needs. The <a
161 href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/refind/files/0.10.3/refind-0.10.3-1.src.rpm/download">source
162 RPM file</a> might or might not build on your system as-is; it relies
163 on assumptions about the locations of the GNU-EFI development
164 files.</li>
165
166 <li><b><a
167 href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/refind/files/0.10.3/refind_0.10.3-1_amd64.deb/download">A
168 binary Debian package</a></b>&mdash;If you use an <i>x</i>86-64 version
169 of Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, or another Debian-based distribution, you can
170 install from this package, which was converted from the binary RPM
171 package using <tt>alien</tt>. Note that an <a href="#ppa">Ubuntu
172 PPA</a> is available, which may install more smoothly and will cause
173 rEFInd to automatically update with other packages.</li>
174
175 <p class="sidebar"><b>Note:</b> At the moment, neither the bootable CD-R image file nor the bootable USB flash drive image file supports booting with Secure Boot active. The x86-64 version of the <a href="http://en.altlinux.org/Rescue">ALT Linux Rescue disc</a> uses a Secure Boot-enabled rEFInd, though, so you may find that useful in some situations.</p>
176
177 <li><b><a
178 href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/refind/files/0.10.3/refind-cd-0.10.3.zip/download">A
179 CD-R image file</a></b>&mdash;This download contains the same files as
180 the binary zip file, but you can burn it to a CD-R to test rEFInd
181 (and its filesystem drivers) without installing it first. (It boots on
182 UEFI PCs, but fails on some older Macs.) If you like it, you can then
183 copy the files from the CD-R to your hard disk. The files are named in
184 such a way that the disc should boot on either 64-bit (<i>x</i>86-64)
185 or 32-bit (<i>x</i>86) EFI computers. I've included an open source EFI
186 shell program on this disc that's not included in the binary zip file,
187 so that you can access an EFI shell from a bootable disc even if you
188 don't have an EFI shell available from your regular hard disk. This can
189 be an extremely valuable diagnostic tool if you know how to use an EFI
190 shell.</li>
191
192 <p class="sidebar"><b>Tip:</b> If you want to make your own bootable USB
193 flash drive, download the binary zip file or CD-R image file, prepare a USB
194 flash drive with a FAT32 partition, and then use the
195 <tt>refind-install</tt> program's <tt>--usedefault</tt> option, and perhaps
196 the <tt>--alldrivers</tt> option, as in <tt class="userinput">bash
197 refind-install --usedefault /dev/sdd1 --alldrivers</tt> to install to the
198 first partition on <tt>/dev/sdd</tt>. This procedure should work even on a
199 BIOS-booted computer.</p>
200
201 <li><b><a
202 href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/refind/files/0.10.3/refind-flashdrive-0.10.3.zip/download">A
203 USB flash drive image file</a></b>&mdash;Although you can create
204 your own rEFInd USB flash drive, you may find it easier to download
205 this version and copy it to your USB drive with <tt>dd</tt> or some
206 other low-level disk copying utility.</li>
207
208 <li><b><a
209 href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/refind/files/0.10.3/refind-src-0.10.3.tar.gz/download">A
210 source code tarball</a></b>&mdash;This is useful if you want to compile
211 the software locally. Note that I use Linux with the <a
212 href="https://sourceforge.net/projects/tianocore/">TianoCore EFI
213 Development Kit 2 (EDK2)</a> to build my binary packages (above),
214 although the <a
215 href="http://sourceforge.net/projects/gnu-efi">GNU-EFI</a> development
216 tools are also supported, and are used in building the Ubuntu PPA.</li>
217
218 <li><b><a href="https://sourceforge.net/p/refind/code">Source code via
219 git</a></b>&mdash;If you want to peruse the source code in your Web
220 browser or get the very latest version (including pre-release bug fixes
221 and updates), you can use the Sourceforge git repository. This access
222 method is most useful to programmers, or at least to those who are
223 familiar with programming tools. If you need to ask "what's git?", this
224 is probably not the best way for you to obtain rEFInd.</li>
225
226 </ul>
227
228 <p>If you're using a platform other than <i>x</i>86 or <i>x</i>86-64, you can give rEFInd a try; however, you'll need to build it from source code yourself or track down a binary from another source. (Perhaps by the time you read this it will be included in Linux distributions built for unusual CPUs.)</p>
229
230 <p>To extract the files from the zip file images I've provided, you'll need a tool such as <tt>unzip</tt>, which is included with Linux and Mac OS X. Numerous Windows utilities also support this format, such as <a href="http://www.pkware.com/software/pkzip/">PKZIP</a> and <a href="http://www.7-zip.org/">7-Zip.</a></p>
231
232 <p>You should be able to create a bootable USB flash drive from either the binary zip file or the CD-R image file; just treat the flash drive as if it were a hard disk and install rEFInd as described on the <a href="installing.html">installation page.</a> Using the fallback boot loader name of <tt>EFI/boot/bootx64.efi</tt> is likely to be the most useful way to install rEFInd to a removable medium.</p>
233
234 <h2>Getting rEFInd from Your OS's Repositories</h2>
235
236 <p>I know of a small number of pre-packaged versions of rEFInd, either in official OS repositories or in ancillary repositories:</p>
237
238 <ul>
239
240 <li><b>Debian</b>&mdash;Debian added rEFInd 0.10.3 to its "sid" (unstable")
241 repository in June of 2016. Because most people don't use this
242 "bleeding-edge" version of the distribution, it is not yet a practical
243 option for most users; but it is on the way. You can download and
244 install it as a separate package <a
245 href="https://packages.debian.org/unstable/admin/refind">here.</a>
246 Debian's inclusion of rEFInd means that derivative distributions, such
247 as Ubuntu and Mint, will eventually receive rEFInd packages, too. Be
248 aware that Debian's package is not signed with a Secure Boot key,
249 although if the <tt>sbsigntool</tt> package is installed, the
250 installation scripts will generate and use their own Secure Boot
251 keys and sign the binary with them.</li>
252
253 <li><b>Ubuntu</b>&mdash;Two Ubuntu-specific methods of installing rEFInd in
254 this distribution exist:
255
256 <ul>
257
258 <li>Ubuntu 16.10 ("Yakkety Yak") has synced the Debian package. As I
259 write (in late June, 2016), it's not yet available in the
260 repositories, but it should appear there eventually. Note that, like
261 the Debian package, this one is not signed for use with Secure Boot,
262 but if your system includes the <tt>sbsigntool</tt> package, the
263 installer will generate a local key for this purpose.</li>
264
265 <li>I've created a <a
266 href="https://launchpad.net/~rodsmith/+archive/refind">rEFInd
267 PPA</a> for Ubuntu. To use it, open a Terminal window and type <tt
268 class="userinput">sudo apt-add-repository ppa:rodsmith/refind</tt>,
269 then <tt class="userinput">sudo apt-get update</tt>. You can then
270 type <tt class="userinput">sudo apt-get install refind</tt> to
271 install the package. You'll be asked to decide whether to install
272 rEFInd to the ESP when you first install it. Thereafter, the rEFInd
273 version will update along with your other software. This package is
274 built with GNU-EFI and is not signed with a Secure Boot key;
275 however, the install script should sign the binary with a
276 locally-generated key if it detects that your system uses Secure
277 Boot. Thus, if you've previously installed one of my binaries on a
278 Secure Boot system and added its key as a MOK, you'll have to add
279 your local key when you reboot.</li>
280
281 </ul></li>
282
283 <li><b>Arch Linux</b>&mdash;You can obtain rEFInd from the Arch
284 repositories, in both a stable version (the <tt>refind-efi</tt> package
285 installable via <tt>pacman</tt>) and an experimental release built from
286 rEFInd's git repository in the Arch User Repository (AUR), under the
287 name <tt>refind-efi-git</tt>. The git release is likely to include
288 pre-release bug fixes and new features, but those features may be
289 poorly tested or undocumented.</li>
290
291 <li><b>ALT Linux</b>&mdash;This RPM-based distribution is experimenting
292 with using rEFInd on EFI-based computers. As I write, the ALT
293 developers haven't yet nailed down booting from an optical disc (it's a
294 tricky and delicate task, especially when preparing a "hybrid" image),
295 but they're working on the problem. They have an RPM of rEFInd; see <a
296 href="http://packages.altlinux.org/en/Sisyphus/srpms/refind">this
297 page</a> for details.</li>
298
299 <li><b>Gentoo Linux</b>&mdash;An official ebuild of rEFInd is available; see <a
300 href="https://packages.gentoo.org/packages/sys-boot/refind">here</a> for
301 details and <a href="https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Refind">here</a> for
302 Gentoo's official rEFInd documentation.</a> A separately-maintained overlay
303 exists (see <a href="https://github.com/sveyret/sveyret-overlay">here</a>),
304 which can be compiled with TianoCore and may be more up-to-date.</li>
305
306 <li><b>Slackware</b>&mdash;As far as I know, an official rEFInd package is
307 not available as part of Slackware; however, a <a
308 href="http://slackbuilds.org/repository/14.1/system/refind/?search=refind">Slackware
309 package from SlackBuilds</a> is available.</li>
310
311 <li><b><a href="http://distro.ibiblio.org/fatdog/web/">Fat
312 Dog</a></b>&mdash;This variant of Puppy Linux uses a combination of
313 rEFInd and GRUB 2 to boot its installation medium in EFI mode and
314 provides a rEFInd package in its repository set.</li>
315
316 <li><b>The <a href="http://nixos.org/nixpkgs/">Nix Packages
317 collection</a></b>&mdash;This site creates packages for a number of
318 OSes using its own packaging system.</li>
319
320 </ul>
321
322 <p>To the best of my knowledge, no other Linux distribution yet includes rEFInd in its repositories. That's likely to change in time. If you hear of rEFInd being included in an OS's official package set, feel free to <a href="mailto:rodsmith@rodsbooks.com">drop me a line.</a></p>
323
324 <hr />
325
326 <p>copyright &copy; 2012&ndash;2016 by Roderick W. Smith</p>
327
328 <p>This document is licensed under the terms of the <a href="FDL-1.3.txt">GNU Free Documentation License (FDL), version 1.3.</a></p>
329
330 <p>If you have problems with or comments about this Web page, please e-mail me at <a href="mailto:rodsmith@rodsbooks.com">rodsmith@rodsbooks.com.</a> Thanks.</p>
331
332 <p><a href="index.html">Go to the main rEFInd page</a></p>
333
334 <p><a href="installing.html">Learn how to install rEFInd</a></p>
335
336 <p><a href="http://www.rodsbooks.com/">Return</a> to my main Web page.</p>
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