After succesfully installing the rEFInd tool from https://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/ on a macbook with macos 10.15, restarting the laptop does bring me into the rEFInd boot manager. But the only option available is to launch macOS. I downloaded this tool to use the EFI shell and there seems to be no option to launch the shell.

Is this some sort of package I need to install to the EFI mount?

2 Answers 2


You need a compatible EFI Shell program (called shell.efi) in your EFI partition.

As mentioned in the rEFInd config file documentation, in the showtools parameter section:

Note that the shell, memtest, gdisk, apple_recovery, mok_tool, and fwupdate options all require the presence of programs not included with rEFInd.

The rEFInd CD version does include an EFI shell (there is also a link for it on the Installing Additional Components section of the documentation) but this doesn't work on my macs (all 2015 or older) as the Apple EFI firmware is too old.

You can download an older EDK version 1 binary which should work on any version :

  • Download Shell_Full.efi from tianocore/edk2
  • Rename it to shell.efi
  • Mount your ESP with mkdir /Volumes/ESP followed by sudo mount -t msdos /dev/disk0s1 /Volumes/ESP
  • Copy shell.efi to directory /Volumes/ESP/EFI/tools where rEFInd will look by default (make directory if it doesn't exist).
  • rEFInd will display shell as a small icon underneath the OS icons if it finds the executable.
  • "The CD version"... of what? rEFInd?
    – Seamus
    Apr 23, 2020 at 15:22
  • 1
    @Seamus - the rEFInd CD version, yes. On the rEFInd downloads page there are releases in various formats - binary, image to dd onto usb key and a bootable CD image file to burn onto optical disk. Only the CD image contains a boot.efi but it is a version 2 boot.efi which doesn't work on mac (at least not on mine). I updated the answer to hopefully clarify.
    – lx07
    Apr 23, 2020 at 17:15
  • Thnx - I didn't know rEFInd even had a 'CD version'.
    – Seamus
    Apr 23, 2020 at 20:04

Another alternative is to use the EFI shell included in rEFIt, the discontinued predecessor to rEFInd: http://refit.sourceforge.net/

The archive refit-bin-0.14.tar.gz includes a file called shell.efi that you can copy to your EFI/tools folder.

Thanks to Wayne Uroda's answer on superuser.com, I was able to install the latest NVidia drivers on my Macmini3,1 (late 2009), which now triple boots macOS, Windows 10 64-bit and MX Linux, all booting with EFI with a GPT (no hybrid MBR) and rEFInd.

Answer on superuser.com that helped me

  • Hey! I'm glad I could help you! No upvote for me over there on superuser though!?! ;) May 9 at 14:26

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