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29 June 2012, 11:50

Gummiboot is an EFI boot loader that "just works"

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Zoom The boot loader presents a very simple menu and automatically finds relevant boot images
Source: Kai Sievers

Red Hat employees Kay Sievers and Harald Hoyer have written a new boot loader for EFI images called gummiboot. Announced on Google+ by Lennart Poettering, the tool is under 64KB in size and discovers kernel configurations automatically. It doesn't need any configuration files or user space infrastructure; according to Poettering: it "just works".

Gummiboot, which is German for rubber dinghy, was released on the same day as version 2 of the GRUB boot loader. Unlike GRUB, however, it only works with EFI systems. Poettering has proposed the project as the boot loader that Linux distributions should use where UEFI Secure Booting support requires a signed boot loader; this support being planned by both Red Hat and Canonical but neither are currently planning to use gummiboot.

Gummiboot can chain-load other boot loaders and is configured interactively rather than by creating and editing configuration files. With Poettering's involvement, it is no surprise that the tool also features integration with systemd. Performance data can be passed on to the daemon so that the system can report how much time was spent in the different stages of the boot process.

Gummiboot is licensed under the LGPLv2.1 and can be downloaded from the Git repository. More information on the tool, including configuration options, is available in its README file.


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