mvrefind(8) Move a rEFInd installation from one location to another


mvrefind SOURCE DEST


Move a rEFInd installation from SOURCE to DEST, where both SOURCE and DEST are directories on the EFI System Partition (ESP), with SOURCE containing a working rEFInd installation. This operation entails taking several actions:

Renaming the SOURCE directory to DEST.

Renaming the rEFInd binary to a suitable value given the new destination. For instance, if DEST is EFI/BOOT on the EFI System Partition (ESP), the rEFInd binary should be bootx64.efi (or something similar but with a different architecture code).

Altering the computer's NVRAM entries to point to rEFInd at its new location.

If Shim is detected, renaming operations and NVRAM entry pointers are adjusted appropriately.

If the DEST exists, its contents are preserved.

Broadly speaking, mvrefind understands three types of locations for both SOURCE and DEST, relative to the root of the ESP:

EFI/BOOT -- The bootx64.efi (or similar for other architectures) filename in this location is the "fallback filename," which is used by removable boot media and as a boot loader of last resort on hard disks. Some EFIs can't remember their normal boot entries, and on them, rEFInd must be installed here (or as the Windows boot loader). When this directory is the DEST and it already exists, the existing EFI/BOOT is backed up to EFI/BOOT-rEFIndBackup; and if the SOURCE is EFI/BOOT and EFI/BOOT-rEFIndBackup exists, it is renamed to EFI/BOOT after rEFInd is moved to its destination.

EFI/Microsoft/boot -- The bootmgfw.efi file in this location normally holds the Windows boot loader. Machines with broken EFIs may refuse to accept or remember proper boot entries and will instead boot this entry in preference to all others. In such cases, using rEFInd requires moving the Microsoft boot loader elsewhere and replacing it with rEFInd. When this directory is the DEST, mvrefind moves the original bootmgfw.efi file down one level (to EFI/Microsoft) and stores refind_x64.efi (or Shim) in that location. When moving from EFI/Microsoft/boot, this process is reversed.

Anything else -- Any other SOURCE or DEST location is treated as a regular rEFInd installation, with a proper NVRAM entry created by efibootmgr.

mvrefind attempts to identify the ESP and refuses to move between the ESP and any other partition. When it does move files, it moves the main rEFInd binary, the refind.conf file, any identified Shim binary, and the icons, icons-backup, drivers_*, and keys subdirectories. If other rEFInd files or directories are present in SOURCE (such as a custom theme/icons directory), they will not be moved. If SOURCE is empty after the specified files and subdirectories are moved, SOURCE will be deleted.


Primary author: Roderick W. Smith ([email protected])


The mvrefind command is part of the rEFInd package and is available from Roderick W. Smith.