OVMF/UEFI Boot Entries

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If a VM boots via OVMF (UEFI[1]), the firmware has to know which bootloader it has to start from the ESP[2]. When no boot entries exist in the EFIVARS store, it tries to load the fallback $ESP/EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.efi loader. Should that also fail, the VM gets bootet into the EFI Shell

Add a Boot Option

Short How-To

  1. Start-up the VM and press ESC to get into the OVMF menu.
  2. Then "Boot Maintenance Manager" -> "Boot Options" -> "Add Boot Option" -> choose Disk with the Efi System Partition.
  3. Now find the EFI executable, for example for Debian: EFI/debian/grubx64.efi or for Fedora: EFI/fedora/shimx64-fedora.efi.
  4. Name it ("Input the description") and "Commit Change"
  5. Use "Change Boot Order" to order the new entry to the top.

Detailed How-To

To add an entry of an existing bootloader go into the OVMF Menu by pressing 'ESC' during boot. Then select 'Boot Maintenance Manager':


Select 'Boot Options':

Boot Maintenance Manager

Select 'Add Boot Option':

Boot Options

Choose the Hard Drive with the ESP:

Add Boot Option

Navigate the folder structure to your bootloader (EFI/debian/shimx64.efi in this example)

Bootloader File Chooser /Bootloader File Chooser /EFIBootloader File Chooser /EFI/debian

After that, enter a name and commit:

Modify Boot OptionModify Boot OptionModify Boot Option

To make it the default boot entry, you now have to change the boot order:

Boot Options

Press enter, select the boot entry with the arrow keys and move it up and down with '+' and '-' respectively. Then press enter again and commit your changes:

Change Boot OrderChange Boot Order

The last step is to reset the VM via OVMF, after that it should boot using the just configured boot entry.