mini-tool review: rEFInd

The rEFInd Boot Manager is written by Roderick W. Smith. The author works at Canonical on Ubuntu, and has written dozens of technical books.

rEFInd is one of a handful of actively-maintained, open source UEFI-aware boot managers, and one of the most powerful ones. For Mac users, rEFInd is better than Bootcamp: with Bootcamp, you can boot Windows or Mac OS X. With rEFInd, you can boot nearly any EFI-aware OS, FreeBSD, multiple Linux distributions, as well as Mac OS X and Windows. rEFInd is worth learning if you want to dual- and multi-boot UEFI-aware operating systems, or get access to UEFI Shell and other pre-OS applications.

Before rEFInd, there was rEFIt, an Apple Mac OS X-centric boot manager for EFI. That was abandoned, and Roderick picked it up and went on to create rEFInd with it, which is actively maintained, and works with MacOSX, Windows, and Linux, and FreeBSD.

If you are new to, spend some time and look at the other UEFI pages there. I’ll have some future blog entries on some of the excellent UEFI boot loader documentation there, as well as on on gdisk, a GPT-centric disk partitioning tool. The web site has Paypal donate button; please consider donating to this open source author to help with the future of this tool.

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