This guide shall help you install the rEFInd Boot Manager in your T2 Mac in the safest possible way. Though there are various options to get rEFInd on your Mac, it is recommended to follow the instructions given below unless you know what you are doing.
All steps given here have to be performed on macOS. You will also need to have secure boot disabled.
With the help of disk utility, create a 100-200MB
MS-DOS FATpartition and label it as
Get a binary zip file of rEFInd from here.
The binary zip file of rEFInd shall be available in the downloads folder by the name of
<VERSION>represents the version of rEFInd you have downloaded. For eg:- If you have downloaded
0.13.2version, it will be available as
Extract the zip file (can be done by double clicking on it). The contents shall be extracted in a folder named
<VERSION>means the same as described in step 3.
Open the terminal and run
diskutil listto get the disk identifier of the
REFINDvolume created in step 1. A sample output is given below:-
/dev/disk0 (internal, physical): #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: GUID_partition_scheme *500.3 GB disk0 1: EFI EFI 314.6 MB disk0s1 2: Apple_APFS Container disk1 284.0 GB disk0s2 3: Microsoft Basic Data Windows 215.9 GB disk0s3 4: Microsoft Basic Data REFIND 103.8 MB disk0s4 /dev/disk1 (synthesized): #: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: APFS Container Scheme - +284.0 GB disk1 Physical Store disk0s2 1: APFS Volume macOS 15.3 GB disk1s1 2: APFS Snapshot com.apple.os.update-... 15.3 GB disk1s1s1 3: APFS Volume macOS - Data 33.9 GB disk1s2 4: APFS Volume Preboot 567.1 MB disk1s3 5: APFS Volume Recovery 626.1 MB disk1s4 6: APFS Volume VM 20.5 KB disk1s5
Here, the disk indentifier of
Now run the following in the terminal. Make sure you replace
disk0s4(found in 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th line of the command given below) with the disk identifier you got in the output as described in step 5 and
refind-bin-0.13.2(found in 1st line of the command given below) with the name of folder which was created in step 4.
cd ~/Downloads/refind-bin-0.13.2 xattr -rd com.apple.quarantine . sed -i '' "s/sed -i 's/sed -i '' 's/g" refind-install diskutil unmount disk0s4 sudo ./refind-install --usedefault /dev/disk0s4 diskutil unmount disk0s4 diskutil mount disk0s4 sudo rmdir /tmp/refind_install
bless --folder /Volumes/REFIND/EFI/BOOT --label rEFInd
This will change the label in the Mac Startup Manager for rEFInd from
Though rEFInd has many configuration options, some basic configuration is required for a smoother experience on T2 Macs.
Removing BIOS entries¶
Macs with T2 chip cannot BIOS boot. So it is advised to remove the BIOS entries. For that, open finder, and then open the
REFIND volume. Add the line given below at the end of
EFI/BOOT/refind.conf file by editing it with a text editor.
In case you face the error saying The document “refind.conf” could not be saved., copy the
refind.conf file to any place in your home directory (Downloads folder for example) and do the editing over there. After editing replace the
refind.conf file in the
REFIND volume with the newly edited file.
Hiding text on booting an OS using rEFInd (Optional)¶
In case you boot an OS other than macOS using rEFInd, it shows some debug text while booting it. In order to get a smooth boot experience simiar to the Mac Startup Manager, add the following line to
EFI/BOOT/refind.conf, just as you did to remove BIOS entries.
Preventing use of NVRAM (Likely to have been enabled already)¶
Preventing use of NVRAM is must as T2 doesn’t like someone to touch the NVRAM. In latest editions of rEFInd, preventing use of NVRAM is enabled by default. You may confirm this by checking presence of
use_nvram false line somewhere in the middle of the
refind.conf file (the one mentioned in above instructions). Make sure it is not commented (doesn’t have a
# before the line). If it is then remove the
In case the line is missing, add it at the end of
In case the line
use_nvram true is present instead, change
Making rEFInd default at startup¶
After correctly installing and configuring rEFInd, we need to make it boot by default on every startup. In order to do so, restart your Mac and press and hold down the Option key. When the startup manager gets displayed, release the Option key. Now press and hold the Control key and without releasing the Control key, boot into the rEFInd startup disk. Now on every startup, rEFInd will get displayed by default.
Note :- This step has to be performed every time you update macOS to a newer version, as this makes the macOS startup disk as the default startup disk.
Fixing blank screen on booting macOS using rEFInd¶
Sometimes, while booting into macOS using rEFInd, users get stuck at a blank screen. This bug is observed only if you have performed a force/unsafe shutdown by pressing and holding the power button in the previous boot. Some users have also faced it in the first macOS boot using rEFInd on new rEFInd installations. In order to fix it, turn off your Mac and restart while holding down the Option key. Release the Option key when the Mac Startup Manager gets displayed. Boot into macOS using the Mac Startup Manager. This shall fix the bug for subsequent boots.
In case you wish to uninstall rEFInd, boot into macOS and follow the steps below :-
- Open the Disk Utility
- Select the partition on which macOS is installed (it generally has the label
Macintosh HDuntil you have renamed it manually).
- Click on Partition.
- Select the
REFINDpartition and click
-to remove it. Your macOS partition should expand to fill the space that rEFInd was in.
- Click on Apply. Disk Utility will remove the
REFINDpartition and expand your macOS partition. This may take a while, but do not interrupt this process.
- Change the default startup disk to the OS you wish to be boot by default.
If the OS you wish is macOS or Windows, follow Apple's documentation where you have to follow the Change your startup disk for every startup section.
If the OS you wish is Linux, follow the Startup Manager Guide.
References and External links¶
Reference - This guide has been inspired from here.
rEFInd - Official website of rEFInd.
Theming rEFInd - Useful guide to set custom themes for rEFInd.