Is it possible for a bios revision, or future versions to have an integrated bootloader GUI similar to the MacOS Bootcamp or Clover Bootloader? It would be very helpful for myself and some of the others I work with to have an integrated system for switching OS during machine startup.
In my head it would work something like:
- If no key is hit during boot, the system launches the last used OS / Partition.
- If a key (one of the “F” keys) is pressed during boot it takes the user to a GUI to select the OS / Partition desired.
It may not be something that should be in the stock firmware! That would undoubtedly come with some limitations and be a pretty good amount of engineering work.
You might want to look into rEFInd, though! It’s a UEFI bootloader intended to mimic the one found on a Mac with, of course, way more customization options. It reportedly works great on the Framework Laptop. Since its sole purpose is to make it easier to boot other operating systems on a Mac, it’s got excellent compatibility with pretty much everything you could throw at it!
Undoubtedly it would come with engineering work, and of course it would come with limitations. I think that the benefints of having it straight out of the box goes a long way towards happier newcomers, and learners in the space.
I did look into rEFInd, and I like it a lot. I’ve actually been running on my NUC since your recommendation, I do have some issues with it to though:
Especially for new users to dual booting, or even new users to rEFInd specifically, the program is not a well known, easy to find, or easily accessible. That turns a lot of people away at the door, assuming they even found the door. (Side note too, their website does not inspire the warm fuzzies nor much confidence.) So having a bootloader GUI as part of the default machine would go a long way for new comers or people who just want to dabble in dual booting.
Damned Secure Boot. I’ve been transitioning my windows installations to Windows 11, and unfortunately most Linux distros don’t support Secure Boot. rEFInd as far as I could tell when I installed it, has no way to manage the BIOS level Secure Boot options. So now to switch OS I don’t really need to bother with rEFInd, as I already have to enter BIOS proper to toggle the Secure Boot option and can boot off alternate from there. If rEEFInd could update to have it toggle automatically that’d be lovely. Alternatively if the bootloader was integrated into the machine that automatic toggle could also be implemented. (Honestly if you have any advice on this I’d love some… this has been driving me nuts with Win 11.)
Which distros are you referring to? It seems to me that most of the modern distros support it, at least as long as you’re not trying to load closed-source Nvidia driviers.
@Brad_J referring to Pop_OS! and Manjaro specifically as those are what I typically run around with. I’ve primarily been running Pop, but looking around it seems once you leave the core distros (Ubuntu, Cent, Fedora, etc.) support drops quick.