Installing rEFIt on the hidden EFI system partition


rEFIt is no longer developed. Try rEFInd at and download from

Refind installs cleanly into OS X.


Install rEFIt on the system partition, instead of using Mac OS X system volume, allows one to manage rEFIt independently from Mac OS X. It is also possible to wipe out Mac OS X entirely while still being able to use rEFIt to boot other operating systems, like GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, or even Windows.

To install rEFIt on the hidden EFI system partition, follow this simple steps which I gathered from a post at the personal blog of Lincoln Ramsay.

From a Terminal or command-line prompt, run the following commands:

$ sudo mkdir /efi

This will create the mount point for the EFI system partition

$ sudo mount -t msdos /dev/disk0s1 /efi

This command will mount the EFI system partition (usually hidden from Mac OS X) into /efi. The EFI system partition is basically a 200MB FAT32 partition which is, by default empty.

NOTE: Please, take into consideration that EFI system partition is usually the first partition on the built-in hard disk, which is usually /dev/disk0s1, although it could be different on your system.

open /efi

This will open the /efi folder in Finder.

Now, download rEFIt and copy the contents of the efi folder into /efi.

In the end, you should have the following subdirectories on your machine:

  • /efi/efi/refit
  • /efi/efi/tools

Now, we will bless the EFI system partition:

sudo bless --mount /efi --setBoot --file /efi/efi/refit/refit.efi --labelfile /efi/efi/refit/refit.vollabel

I think blessing marks the partition mounted on /efi as bootable, uses /efi/efi/refit/refit.efi as the boot loader, then changes some OpenFirmware variables to boot the machine from this partition.

Thanks to

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