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I have two versions of Linux installed in different partitions on a 2013 iMac and I'm using rEFInd to perform the initial booting, which then starts up the grub EFI binary that lives on a dedicated MSDOS partition.

If I select grub, it seems to scan all my partitions and discovers a kernel at /dev/sda8 (latest release) and /dev/sda9 (long term support). It then gives me the option to boot into each kernel, but orders them in alphabetical order: meaning the old kernel is the default. But I want the new kernel to be the default.

There do not appear to be any config files for this /boot/efi/EFI/ version of grub... the /boot/grub/* files are specific to each installation.

How can I set the display order (or at least the default choice) for grub EFI?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

See the following question and answers:

How do I change the GRUB boot order?

An alternative is to ditch GRUB entirely; rEFInd can launch your kernels directly, assuming they're 3.3.0 or later. You may need to install an EFI filesystem driver. With that done, you can edit the refind.conf file to change the default_selection option to specify which kernel you want to boot by default.

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Thanks. Actually I messed up... I installed the older distro second and its grub overwrote the more recent distro, placing itself as preference! Obviously the menu entries are hard-coded into the grub EFI binary that is deployed at /boot/efi (I thought it was auto-detecting). Doing a grub-install and grub-update from my new distro fixed the problem. I'll mark you as answer since you're technically correct ;-) – fommil Mar 10 '14 at 20:19
Actually, GRUB 2 reads menu entries from its grub.cfg file, which can be loaded from the ESP or from the Linux /boot partition, depending on how GRUB is configured. The grub.cfg file is usually regenerated when you re-install GRUB or when you run tools like update-grub (which will be done when you update your kernel, among other things). – Rod Smith Mar 15 '14 at 13:52

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