Crate bootloader[][src]

An experimental x86_64 bootloader that works on both BIOS and UEFI systems.

To use this crate, specify it as a dependency in the Cargo.toml of your operating system kernel. Then you can use the entry_point macro to mark your entry point function. This gives you access to the BootInfo struct, which is passed by the bootloader.

Disk Image Creation

Including the bootloader crate as a dependency makes the kernel binary suitable for booting, but does not create any bootable disk images. To create them, two additional steps are needed:

  1. Locate the source code of the bootloader dependency on your local system. By using the dependency source code directly, we ensure that the kernel and bootloader use the same version of the BootInfo struct.

    • When creating a builder binary written in Rust, the bootloader_locator crate can be used to automate this step.
    • Otherwise, the cargo metadata subcommand can be used to locate the dependency. The command outputs a JSON object with various metadata for the current package. To find the bootloader source path in it, first look for the “bootloader” dependency under resolve.nodes.deps to find out its ID (in the pkg field). Then use that ID to find the bootloader in packages. Its manifest_path field contains the local path to the Cargo.toml of the bootloader.
  2. Run the following command in the source code directory of the bootloader dependency to create the bootable disk images:

    cargo builder --kernel-manifest path/to/kernel/Cargo.toml --kernel-binary path/to/kernel_bin

    The --kernel-manifest argument should point to the Cargo.toml of your kernel. It is used for applying configuration settings. The --kernel-binary argument should point to the kernel executable that should be used for the bootable disk images.

    In addition to the --kernel-manifest and --kernel-binary arguments, it is recommended to also set the --target-dir and --out-dir arguments. The former specifies the directory that should used for cargo build artifacts and the latter specfies the directory where the resulting disk images should be placed. It is recommended to set --target-dir to the target folder of your kernel and --out-dir to the the parent folder of --kernel-binary.

This will result in the following files, which are placed in the specified --out-dir:

  • A disk image suitable for BIOS booting, named boot-bios-<kernel>.img, where <kernel> is the name of your kernel executable. This image can be started in QEMU or booted on a real machine after burning it to an USB stick..
  • A disk image suitable for UEFI booting, named boot-uefi-<kernel>.img. Like the BIOS disk image, this can be started in QEMU (requires OVMF) and burned to an USB stick to run it on a real machine.
  • Intermediate UEFI files
    • A FAT partition image named boot-uefi-<kernel>.fat, which can be directly started in QEMU or written as an EFI system partition to a GPT-formatted disk.
    • An EFI file named boot-uefi-<kernel>.efi. This executable is the combination of the bootloader and kernel executables. It can be started in QEMU or used to construct a bootable disk image: Create an EFI system partition formatted with the FAT filesystem and place the EFI file under efi\boot\bootx64.efi on that filesystem.


The bootloader can be configured through a [package.metadata.bootloader] table in the Cargo.toml of the kernel (the one passed as --kernel-manifest). See the Config struct for all possible configuration options.


pub use crate::boot_info::BootInfo;



Contains the boot information struct sent by the bootloader to the kernel on startup.



Defines the entry point function.



Allows configuring the bootloader behavior.