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Itanium(R)-based Systems Only
HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

Technical documentation

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hpux.efi — HP-UX bootstrap for Itanium-based systems


hpux.efi [-V] [-tm] [-vm]


hpux.efi is the HP-UX-specific operating system loader utility for bootstrap. It is a native efi(4) application that can be run on the Itanium-based platform.

hpux.efi supports the following options:


Display the release and version numbers of the hpux utility.


Boot the system in tunable maintenance mode, also known as "failsafe boot" mode. This option will disregard the tunable settings and module settings in the kernel configuration, and boot with known good settings instead.


Boot the system in VxVM maintenance mode, configure only the root volume, and then enter single user mode.

The following commands can be given interactively from the keyboard or provided in an efi(4) AUTO file.

boot [file]

Load a kernel object file from an HP-UX file system and transfer control to the loaded image. (Note, the boot operation is position-dependent). Currently, hpux.efi is limited to disk for booting. file can be the name of a kernel object file or the name of a kernel configuration directory.

The following commands can given interactively from the keyboard only after hpux is launched.


List the contents of HP-UX directories in detail.


List the contents of HP-UX directories.


Display the contents of the AUTO file.

setauto string

Change the contents of the AUTO file to string.

boot Operation

The boot operation loads an ELF kernel object file from supported HP-UX file system (HFS, VxFS). It then transfers control to the loaded image.

In addition to the kernel object file, hpux.efi also loads persistent system-specific files from the boot.sys directory and kernel configuration-specific files from the configname/bootfs directory during boot operation.

hpux.efi always assumes /stand (the boot directory) as the current directory. For example, myconfig/vmunix would actually yield:


Along with this information, boot gives the sizes of the TEXT, DATA, and BSS segments before transferring control to it.

The boot operation accepts several options. Note that boot options must be specified positionally as shown in the syntax statement in the SYNOPSIS. Options for the boot operations are as follows:


Set the initial run-level for init when booting the system. This run-level overrides any run-level specified in an initdefault entry in /etc/inittab. See init(1M) and inittab(4).


Set the specified variable to the specified value. (No whitespace is allowed.)

If variable is a kernel tunable parameter, this sets the value of that tunable, overriding the value in the kernel configuration being booted. value must be a decimal integer or a hexadecimal integer (with a 0x prefix).

boot can load only ELF object files.

ll and ls Operations

The ll and ls operations list the contents of the HP-UX directory. In addition to filenames, ll displays size and date information when used on supported HP-UX filesystems.

For VxVM disks, only boot volume (/stand) information can be displayed. To display boot volume information, either a relative path to /stand or an absolute path can be used.

setauto Operation

The setauto operation overwrites the contents of the autoexec file, AUTO, with the string specified.

showauto Operation

The showauto operation displays the contents of the autoexec file, AUTO. See autoexecute in the EXAMPLES section.


Automatic Boot

This is an overview of HP-UX automatic boot processes on Itanium-based systems. When power is applied to the HP-UX system processor, or the system Reset button is pressed, Itanium-based system firmware code is executed to verify hardware and general system integrity (see boot(1M)). After initializing the hardware, the EFI boot_manager is launched. The EFI boot_manager gives the user the option to automatically start any EFI application. After hpux.efi is launched by the EFI boot_manager, it looks for an AUTO file and uses its content for the boot string. Then it gives the user the option to override the autoboot sequence by pressing any key:

*** HP-UX Boot Loader for IA-64 *** *** Version #.# *** *** Type 'help' for help *** Press Any Key to interrupt Autoboot AUTO ==> boot vmunix -is Seconds left till autoboot - 10

If hpux.efi does not detect a key press, it initiates the autoboot sequence using the AUTO string. hpux.efi displays messages similar to the following on the console:

AUTOBOOTING... AUTO BOOT> boot vmunix -is

If hpux.efi successfully locates the kernel object file, it displays the progress of loading each sections and the symbol table of the object file.

loading section 0 .................... loading section 1 ...... Loading symbol table. Num of Sec Header(79)

Then it displays the progress of loading system- and kernel configuration-specific directories.

Loading System Directory(boot.sys) to MFS .... Loading Kernel Boot Directory(bootfs) to MFS ......

Finally, boot displays the complete path to the kernel object file loaded and the TEXT size, DATA size, and BSS size of the load image before control is passed to the image.

Launching /stand/vmunix... SIZE: Text:16308K + Data:1268K + BSS:2004K = Total:19581K

The loaded image then displays numerous configuration and status messages.

Interactive Boot

To use hpux.efi interactively, the user must interrupt the autoboot sequence by pressing a key or removing the AUTO file. Then hpux.efi interactively prompts for commands.


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