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I just installed Ubuntu 22.04 on a partition. I'd like macOS 10.14.6 to be the default system to boot and having the possibility to choose Ubuntu only if I hold option key to get into the Mac startup manager, but Ubuntu takes over as the default system every time after I log into it.
My first try was changing the boot order with sudo efibootmgr -o xxxx,xxxx, and the second one was entering the Mac startup manager by holding option, then select the macOS option by pressing ctrl while clicking on the icon under macOS boot device.
Both work on the immediate (I automatically log into macOS if I reboot from both systems) but the first time I boot Ubuntu one of the described actions need to be remade (boot order is reset and Ubuntu is first again), otherwise if I reboot the computer, I need to get into the startup manager to not get automatically into Ubuntu.
How could I permanently set macOS as the default boot option independently from the last used OS?

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The Ubuntu installer places .efi files in the following folders on the hidden EFI partition. The MokManager is repeated with with the same filename and Secure Boot is repeated with different filenames.

Type Filenames in
EFI/Ubuntu Folder
Filenames in
EFI/BOOT Folder
Grub grubx64.efi
MokManager mmx64.efi mmx64.efi
Secure Boot shimx64.efi BOOTX64.EFI
Fall Back fbx64.efi

The Mac Startup Manager only recognizes, as a boot option, the BOOTX64.EFI file in the EFI/BOOT folder. When selecting this option, the Secure Boot file will automatically make Ubuntu the default to boot.


Possible Solution #1

Copy the EFI/Ubuntu/grubx64.efi file to EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI file. This will cause the Mac Startup Manger to instruct the firmware to boot Grub instead of Secure Boot. Grub will not change the boot order.

Note: A future update to Ubuntu may undo this change.


Possbile Solution #2

Install and configure the rEFInd Boot Manager. (Preferable to the EFI/BOOT folder in a new EFI partition.)

Below are two possible ways to configure rEFInd.

  • Always display a menu where the Grub installed with Ubuntu (or possibly just Ubuntu) could be chosen, but would by default always boot macOS after a short delay. In this case, you would make rEFInd the default to boot.

  • Do not display a menu and always boot the Grub installed with Ubuntu (or possibly just Ubuntu). In this case, you would make macOS the default to boot.

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