Building xen.efi requires gcc 4.5.x or above (4.6.x or newer recommended, as 4.5.x was probably never really tested for this purpose) and binutils 2.22 or newer. Additionally, the binutils build must be configured to include support for the x86_64-pep emulation (i.e. --enable-targets=x86_64-pep or an option of equivalent effect should be passed to the configure script).

Once built, make install-xen will place the resulting binary directly into the EFI boot partition, provided EFI_VENDOR is set in the environment (and EFI_MOUNTPOINT is overridden as needed, should the default of /boot/efi not match your system). The xen.efi binary will also be installed in /usr/lib64/efi/, unless EFI_DIR is set in the environment to override this default.

The binary itself will require a configuration file (names with the .efi extension of the binary's name replaced by .cfg, and - until an existing file is found - trailing name components dropped at ., -, and _ separators will be tried) to be present in the same directory as the binary. (To illustrate the name handling, a binary named xen-4.2-unstable.efi would try xen-4.2-unstable.cfg, xen-4.2.cfg, xen-4.cfg, and xen.cfg in order.) One can override this with a command line option (-cfg=<filename>).

The configuration file consists of one or more sections headed by a section name enclosed in square brackets, with individual values specified in each section. A section named [global] is treated specially to allow certain settings to apply to all other sections (or to provide defaults for certain settings in case individual sections don't specify them). A typical file would thus look like this (# serving as comment character):

**************************example begin******************************


options=console=vga,com1 com1=57600 loglvl=all noreboot
kernel=vmlinuz-3.0.31-0.4-xen ignore_loglevel #earlyprintk=xen

**************************example end********************************

The individual values used here are:


Specifies the section to use for booting, if none was specified on the command line; only meaningful in the [global] section. This isn't required; if absent, section headers will be ignored and for each value looked for the first instance within the file will be used.


Specifies the options passed to the hypervisor, see Xen Hypervisor Command Line Options.

kernel=<filename>[ <options>]

Specifies the Dom0 kernel binary and the options to pass to it.


Specifies a Linux-style initial RAM disk image to load.

Other values to specify are:


Specifies a video mode to select if available. In case of problems, the -basevideo command line option can be used to skip altering video modes.


Specifies an XSM module to load.


Specifies a CPU microcode blob to load.


Specifies an alternate configuration file to use in case the specified section (and in particular its kernel= setting) can't be found in the default (or specified) configuration file. This is only meaningful in the [global] section and really not meant to be used together with the -cfg= command line option.

Filenames must be specified relative to the location of the EFI binary.

Extra options to be passed to Xen can also be specified on the command line, following a -- separator option.