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#1 2023-10-05 23:39:29

bedtime
Member
Registered: 2019-02-12
Posts: 68

Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

Or perhaps systemd-boot or grub?

I ask as I'd rather put my time and effort into the one that is likely to be around the longest and strongest. I'm on btrfs, and I've been able to get btrfs-grub installed (which allows for booting snapshots). Works great, but it doesn't have touch support, which sucks.

I installed rEFInd for my first time yesterday and have it working too, but can't get refind-btrfs working. So I'm wondering it's worth trying to get it going. People say it's super simple to set up, but I'm not finding that to be true at all. These @#$@#$#@$ stanza things are a PITA. And all those config files and strange places that they go. So confusing.

The thing I like about rEFInd is that it's more lightweight and it has a touch interface, which is huge for those like me with touch-based computers.

So what do you guys think? Will rEFIind or systemd-boot surpass grub in popularity?

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#2 2023-10-06 00:16:08

ewaller
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From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 19,685

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

I would like to think the future of boot loaders on uEFI systems is none. 
EFI implementations are improving and many of them are getting pretty darn good at booting things besides Windows.

The Arch kernel boots nicely from uEFI.  Not quite sure how it all works with encrypted drives.


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Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine. -- Alan Turing
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#3 2023-10-06 01:21:11

Anonymo
Member
Registered: 2005-04-07
Posts: 427
Website

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

bedtime wrote:

Or perhaps systemd-boot or grub?

I ask as I'd rather put my time and effort into the one that is likely to be around the longest and strongest. I'm on btrfs, and I've been able to get btrfs-grub installed (which allows for booting snapshots). Works great, but it doesn't have touch support, which sucks.

I installed rEFInd for my first time yesterday and have it working too, but can't get refind-btrfs working. So I'm wondering it's worth trying to get it going. People say it's super simple to set up, but I'm not finding that to be true at all. These @#$@#$#@$ stanza things are a PITA. And all those config files and strange places that they go. So confusing.

The thing I like about rEFInd is that it's more lightweight and it has a touch interface, which is huge for those like me with touch-based computers.

So what do you guys think? Will rEFIind or systemd-boot surpass grub in popularity?

https://github.com/classy-giraffe/easy-arch/issues/31

This guy got it working, he'll probably release an update to his script soon.  The script is very polished.

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#4 2023-10-06 11:50:26

bedtime
Member
Registered: 2019-02-12
Posts: 68

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

ewaller wrote:

I would like to think the future of boot loaders on uEFI systems is none. 
EFI implementations are improving and many of them are getting pretty darn good at booting things besides Windows.

The Arch kernel boots nicely from uEFI.  Not quite sure how it all works with encrypted drives.

Are you saying that you think boot loaders are going to be replaced by scripts?


https://github.com/classy-giraffe/easy-arch/issues/31

This guy got it working, he'll probably release an update to his script soon.  The script is very polished.

Just checked the script out, and there's a lot of stuff in it I could use to make mine better. Thanks for posting this.

He does get it running, and he links the new script with refind-btrfs installed, but the link is dead, and there's been no update on his Github script in 10 months. Sadly, I'm thinking it's not gonna happen.

Last edited by bedtime (2023-10-06 11:50:54)

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#5 2023-10-06 12:52:24

ua4000
Member
Registered: 2015-10-14
Posts: 383

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

ewaller wrote:

I would like to think the future of boot loaders on uEFI systems is none.

I think these the relevant wiki pages :
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/EFISTUB
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Unified_kernel_image

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#6 2023-10-06 16:26:09

cloverskull
Member
Registered: 2018-09-30
Posts: 172

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

I personally prefer systemd-boot but acknowledge it has basically four competitive shortcomings at present:

1. It can’t boot from an encrypted device
2. It doesn’t have any graphical boot
3. No touchscreen interface
4. No ability to boot btrfs snapshots directly

That said, the things I _love_ about systemd-boot are that it does tend to get out of your way and configuration is a straightforward (albeit mostly manual) process, but the level of explicit control I feel I have over the boot process with systemd-boot is something I could never achieve fully with grub.

I haven’t used rEFInd much but it does seem promising. I suppose my post is really more of a grub vs systemd-boot type of discussion smile

Really, though, the core of my attitude here is that a bootloader should be as minimal as possible. That said, the encrypted boot device and btrfs snapshot boot are the two killer features that I think would see systemd-boot take a lot more ground.

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#7 2023-10-07 04:51:07

Anonymo
Member
Registered: 2005-04-07
Posts: 427
Website

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

bedtime wrote:
ewaller wrote:

I would like to think the future of boot loaders on uEFI systems is none. 
EFI implementations are improving and many of them are getting pretty darn good at booting things besides Windows.

The Arch kernel boots nicely from uEFI.  Not quite sure how it all works with encrypted drives.

Are you saying that you think boot loaders are going to be replaced by scripts?


https://github.com/classy-giraffe/easy-arch/issues/31

This guy got it working, he'll probably release an update to his script soon.  The script is very polished.

Just checked the script out, and there's a lot of stuff in it I could use to make mine better. Thanks for posting this.

He does get it running, and he links the new script with refind-btrfs installed, but the link is dead, and there's been no update on his Github script in 10 months. Sadly, I'm thinking it's not gonna happen.

I think you didn't read the whole conversation

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#8 2023-10-07 07:32:27

bedtime
Member
Registered: 2019-02-12
Posts: 68

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

ua4000 wrote:
ewaller wrote:

I would like to think the future of boot loaders on uEFI systems is none.

I think these the relevant wiki pages :
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/EFISTUB
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Unified_kernel_image

Thanks. When I work up the nerve, I'll give it a try.

That said, the things I _love_ about systemd-boot are that it does tend to get out of your way and configuration is a straightforward (albeit mostly manual) process, but the level of explicit control I feel I have over the boot process with systemd-boot is something I could never achieve fully with grub.

I just installed it, and my computer wouldn't boot. Couldn't even get back in with chroot to reinstall grub. Won't be trying again for a long time.

I think you didn't read the whole conversation

I only read till I got to the inactive link and then supposed that all had ended. Just read the rest now, and it looks like there just might be hope.

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#9 2023-10-13 12:49:07

bedtime
Member
Registered: 2019-02-12
Posts: 68

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

Good news!

The dev of Easy-Arch responded yesterday and said that he'd have a beta version of rEFInd out within a week or so:

https://github.com/classy-giraffe/easy- … 1759541230

Here's hoping that refind-btrfs is included in the release.

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#10 2023-11-25 17:29:26

RapidTransit
Member
Registered: 2013-04-27
Posts: 13

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

bedtime wrote:

Or perhaps systemd-boot or grub?

I ask as I'd rather put my time and effort into the one that is likely to be around the longest and strongest. I'm on btrfs, and I've been able to get btrfs-grub installed (which allows for booting snapshots). Works great, but it doesn't have touch support, which sucks.

I installed rEFInd for my first time yesterday and have it working too, but can't get refind-btrfs working. So I'm wondering it's worth trying to get it going. People say it's super simple to set up, but I'm not finding that to be true at all. These @#$@#$#@$ stanza things are a PITA. And all those config files and strange places that they go. So confusing.

The thing I like about rEFInd is that it's more lightweight and it has a touch interface, which is huge for those like me with touch-based computers.

So what do you guys think? Will rEFIind or systemd-boot surpass grub in popularity?

I have GRUB as my bootloader, but I use rEFInd as my boot selector, I wanted to use FACEIT, so I installed Windows on another drive... I was pulling my hair out trying to find a **FOOLPROOF** way to not mess up my system, saw this installed and it was easy!

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#11 2023-12-02 00:59:48

OpusOne
Member
Registered: 2023-05-31
Posts: 62

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

I use rEFInd. I don't know if it's going to be the future though - it works, but still has a few quirks, and tends to be slow to start on my machine (and I know this is a common symptom). And yes, I've configured it as leanly as possible, removing all drivers not needed, making it not scan volumes that don't contain OS's, etc. Still slow to start. The mouse support works, but it's very dodgy for the most part, so I disabled it.

It would also be cool if the project was a bit more active than it is - not judging here, just noting that it's progressing rather slowly, so relying on it for the future, I don't know. Maybe if the project gets more traction.

I agree with ewaller about the fact we shouldn't need an extra bootloader anyway. But we need better EFI implementations indeed, with better customizability.

Last edited by OpusOne (2023-12-02 01:00:49)

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#12 2023-12-02 11:45:37

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 7,637
Website

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

The best bootloader is no bootloader at all. UKIs ftw! A different kernel image could be created for each btrfs snapshot.

And please stop posting links to "Easy-Arch" [sic]. That script is not supported here.

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#13 2024-01-14 06:02:41

thoushaltnot
Member
Registered: 2023-09-24
Posts: 8

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

The future of booters is no booters at all. I've, personally, switched to making UKIs and adding entries to the built-in UEFI bootloader.

I hope the Linux world will eventually switch to UKI and we can forget about grub, refind, and systemd-boot .

Last edited by thoushaltnot (2024-01-14 06:06:11)

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#14 2024-01-14 10:19:51

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 7,637
Website

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

thoushaltnot wrote:

I've, personally, switched to making UKIs and adding entries to the built-in UEFI bootloader

You don't need any boot entries at all if you place the UKI at /EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi on the EFI system partition.

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#15 2024-01-14 13:43:15

thoushaltnot
Member
Registered: 2023-09-24
Posts: 8

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
thoushaltnot wrote:

I've, personally, switched to making UKIs and adding entries to the built-in UEFI bootloader

You don't need any boot entries at all if you place the UKI at /EFI/Boot/bootx64.efi on the EFI system partition.

If this is what I'm thinking about  - I load my installation from this file when a firmware update purges my entries. IMHO, going 'boot from a file >bootx64.efi>arch_linux.efi'  every time is a bit too many steps..

Last edited by thoushaltnot (2024-01-14 13:48:57)

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#16 2024-01-14 14:07:32

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 7,637
Website

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

If the UKI is placed at that location then it will be booted automatically if there are no specific NVRAM boot entries. That's how live ISO images work. Using that method means booting is no longer dependent on the firmware "remembering" the NVRAM entries so the boot process won't break after firmware updates. See also my reply to your post in the Grrr thread.

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#17 2024-01-14 15:37:03

thoushaltnot
Member
Registered: 2023-09-24
Posts: 8

Re: Do you think that rEFInd is the future of booters?

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:

If the UKI is placed at that location then it will be booted automatically if there are no specific NVRAM boot entries. That's how live ISO images work. Using that method means booting is no longer dependent on the firmware "remembering" the NVRAM entries so the boot process won't break after firmware updates. See also my reply to your post in the Grrr thread.

Good to know. Thanks for the information.

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