Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Fix VirtualBox Booting into UEFI Interactive Shell

Ubuntu 6

VirtualBox, a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product, sometimes boots into the UEFI Interactive Shell, which can be quite frustrating. This article will guide you through several solutions to fix this issue and boot your VirtualBox normally.

Understanding UEFI Interactive Shell

The UEFI Interactive Shell is a shell interface accessible from the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) environment. It provides a command-line interface that allows users to navigate the UEFI environment, which includes the ability to script in the UEFI environment, debug UEFI code, and more.

Solution 1: Manually Boot into Grub using the UEFI Interactive Shell

The first solution is to manually boot into Grub using the UEFI Interactive Shell. To do this, you need to enter the command fs0:\efi\ubuntu\grubx64.efi in the UEFI Interactive Shell. This command essentially instructs the system to boot into Ubuntu.

fs0: is the first file system, which usually is the EFI system partition. \efi\ubuntu\grubx64.efi is the path to the Grub bootloader.

Solution 2: Update VirtualBox

If the first solution doesn’t work, you can try updating your VirtualBox to version 5.1 or higher. VirtualBox version 5.1 and higher have improvements that may resolve this issue. You can download the latest version of VirtualBox from the official VirtualBox website.

Solution 3: Create a startup.nsh Script Manually

Another solution is to create a startup.nsh script manually. This script will set the boot path to Grub and skip the UEFI Interactive Shell on startup. Here are the steps to do it:

  1. Mount the EFI partition by running the command sudo mount /dev/sda1 /mnt. This command mounts the first partition of the first hard drive (usually the EFI system partition) to the /mnt directory.
  2. Change to the mounted directory by running cd /mnt.
  3. Create the startup.nsh script by running sudo sh -c "echo '\EFI\ubuntu\grubx64.efi' > startup.nsh". This command creates a file named startup.nsh that contains the path to the Grub bootloader.

Solution 4: Change the EFI Boot Directory

You can also try changing the EFI boot directory. To do this, copy the grubx64.efi file to /EFI/boot/bootx64.efi. VirtualBox will use this file to boot. However, note that this method may require manual updates if grubx64.efi is updated in the future.

Solution 5: Disable EFI in VirtualBox Settings

The last solution is to disable EFI in VirtualBox settings. To do this, right-click on the virtual OS in VirtualBox, go to System, and uncheck the “Enable EFI” option under Extended Features. This will allow the virtual machine to boot without using UEFI.


The solutions provided in this article should help you fix the issue of VirtualBox booting into the UEFI Interactive Shell. Remember, some solutions may require additional steps or adjustments based on your specific setup. It is recommended to try each solution and see which one works best for your situation. Always ensure that you have a backup of your data before making any changes to your system.

How do I access the UEFI Interactive Shell in VirtualBox?

To access the UEFI Interactive Shell in VirtualBox, you can press the F12 key during the VirtualBox boot process. This will bring up the boot menu, where you can select the UEFI Interactive Shell option.

Can I use these solutions for other virtualization software?

The solutions provided in this article are specifically for VirtualBox. However, some solutions, such as updating the software or disabling EFI, may be applicable to other virtualization software as well. It is recommended to consult the documentation or support resources for your specific virtualization software for more accurate instructions.

What should I do if none of the solutions work?

If none of the solutions provided in this article work for you, it is recommended to seek further assistance from the VirtualBox community or support forums. They may be able to provide more specific guidance based on your unique situation and configuration.

Will disabling EFI cause any issues with my virtual machine?

Disabling EFI in VirtualBox should not cause any major issues with your virtual machine. However, it is important to note that some operating systems may require EFI for certain functionalities or features. If you experience any issues or changes in behavior after disabling EFI, you may consider re-enabling it to ensure optimal compatibility with your operating system.

How can I backup my data before making changes to my system?

To backup your data before making any changes to your system, you can create a snapshot of your virtual machine in VirtualBox. A snapshot captures the current state of your virtual machine, including all files and settings. This allows you to revert back to the snapshot if any issues arise during the troubleshooting process. To create a snapshot, right-click on the virtual machine in VirtualBox, go to Snapshots, and select "Take Snapshot." It is recommended to give the snapshot a descriptive name and make a note of its creation date for easy reference.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *