The main reason is that you may discover problems before committing to a full install. Some of the issues you may find include the install of live USB not working with your Mac graphics card. This is one of the more common problems Mac users face when installing Linux. You may also find out that your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth isn't operating. Most of these issues can be corrected after the install, but knowing about them ahead of time lets you do a little research from your familiar Mac environment.
You can track down the issues and possibly acquire needed drivers or at least know where to get them before the installation. Before you try booting to the live USB drive you created, there's a bit of preparation to perform. The changes you just made are not saved. They're used just this one time. Should you need to use the Try Ubuntu without installing option in the future, you'll need to edit the line once again. Adding nomodeset is the most common method of correcting a graphics issue when installing, but it's not the only one.
If you continue to have display issues, you can try the following:. Determine the make of the graphics card your Mac uses. You can do this by selecting About This Mac from the Apple menu. Look for the text Graphics , make a note of the graphics being used, and then use one of the following values instead of nomodeset:. If you're still having problems with the display, check the Ubuntu forums for issues with your specific Mac model.
Now that you have a live version of Ubuntu running on your Mac, check to make sure your Wi-Fi network is working, as well as Bluetooth, if needed. You can click on any of the OS icons to select the operating system you want to use. If after restarting you have issues, such as missing or nonfunctional devices Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, printers, or scanners , check with the Ubuntu community for tips about getting all your hardware working.
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You need several things before you can start:. A recent backup. Use Carbon Copy Cloner or a similar utility to clone an external bootable drive that includes a copy of the Recovery HD volume. After you have a working clone, disconnect it from your Mac to ensure that the clone backup isn't accidentally erased during the Ubuntu installation. These are the bare minimums; more RAM and faster processor speeds or additional processor cores are helpful.
The installation described here is on a inch Retina iMac running macOS Sierra , but the process should work for any Mac released after If you plan to use an older Mac, you should still be able to install Ubuntu, but you need to pay attention to how the boot process works for older hardware.
If you have problems getting your older Mac to work with Ubuntu, stop by the Ubuntu forums and search for install guides for your Mac model. The flash drive is used as a bootable Ubuntu installer that contains not only the basic installer but also a live version of Ubuntu that you can run directly from the USB flash drive without modifying anything on your Mac. This is a great way to test whether your Mac and Ubuntu can get along. A USB keyboard and mouse. You need a USB-based keyboard and mouse because it's highly likely that the Ubuntu Bluetooth drivers will need to be installed or updated before a wireless keyboard or mouse can work.
This is the minimum size recommended for the desktop version of Ubuntu; more space to work with can be a benefit. Ubuntu This is the current stable version of Ubuntu that was available when we started this project. Later versions should work as well. Check the release notes for any specific changes that may affect installation or use on your Mac. The following process completely erases any data you have on the USB flash drive. Locate the flash drive in Disk Utility's sidebar. Select the actual flash drive and not the formatted volume that may appear just below the flash drive's manufacturer name.
Click Erase in the Disk Utility toolbar. Click Erase. When the process is complete, click Done. Before you leave Disk Utility , make a note of the flash drive's device name. You should see the device name, such as disk2s2, or similar. Write down the device name. You need it later. Quit Disk Utility. The utility downloads as a disk image, with the name unetbootin-mac The actual number in the file name may change as newer versions are released.
Locate the downloaded UNetbootin disk image. It is probably in your Downloads folder. Double-click the.
The UNetbootin image opens. The app works just fine from within the disk image. Launch UNetbootin by right-clicking on the unetbootin app and selecting Open from the popup menu. Use this method to launch the app because the developer isn't a registered Apple developer, and your Mac's security settings may prevent the app from launching.
This method of launching the app bypasses the basic security settings without having to go into the System Preferences to change them. Your Mac's security system will still warn you about the developer of the app being unrecognized and ask if you really want to run the app. Click Open. A dialog box open, saying osascript wants to make changes.
Enter your administrator password and click OK. The UNetbootin window opens. Do not choose the ISO option.
2. Create Your Ubuntu Installation Drive
It can, however, properly create the bootable USB drive when it downloads the Linux files from within the app. Make sure Distribution is selected and then use the Select Distribution drop-down menu to pick the Linux distribution you want to install on the USB flash drive. For this project, select Ubuntu. Use the Select Version drop-down menu to select Some early Intel Macs used bit architecture, and you may need to choose the This can be helpful if you have issues with the live USB running correctly on your Mac or with drivers such as Wi-Fi, Display, or Bluetooth not working.
The Type menu should be populated with USB Drive , and the Drive should match up to the device name you made a note of earlier when you were formatting the USB flash drive. UNetbootin downloads the selected Linux distribution, creates the live Linux install files, creates the bootloader, and copies them to your USB flash drive.
Click the Exit button. If you plan on using an entire drive for Ubuntu, use the formatting guide:. In the Terminal window that opens, enter the following: csrutil disable Press Enter or Return. Restart your Mac.
When the download completes, you can find it in a folder named refind-bin The number at the end of the folder name may change as new versions are released. Open the refind-bin Arrange the Terminal window and the refind-bin Drag the file named refind-install from the refind-bin In the Terminal window, press Enter or Return. Press Enter or Return. Close Terminal. Shut down your Mac. Do not restart. Use the Shut Down command. Another of the common issues is missing Bluetooth drivers, which prevent your wireless keyboard and mouse from being used.
If possible, connect your Mac to your home network via a wired Ethernet port. This is for the same reason as the wireless keyboard or mouse. The Wi-Fi drivers may need to be updated or added to get your wireless network working. If you're ready, let's give it the boot. Shut down or restart your Mac. If you installed rEFInd, the boot manager automatically appears.
How to install Linux on a Macintosh and dual boot with macOS
See this table to check your hardware and what versions of Windows are supported on it. Now that you have an Apple-supported dual-boot system running macOS and Windows 10 presumably , it's time to perform the Linux installation. For the purposes of this article, I'm going to install Kali Linux, that's what I used, but installation with ANY version of Linux should work the same way.
I also have an SD card mounted. After the Volume shrinking process is completed, it's time to download some files to perform the installation; however, you probably want to do this under macOS, so first boot back to your macOS volume and the download them both:. For all macOS versions starting with El Capitan This security feature of macOS prevents changes to various areas of the Operating System including System-owned files. In order to install rEFInd you will have to boot into Recovery. Make sure the rEFInd files are available on a drive that macOS can see and use, then follow these instructions:.
Full installation instructions can be found on the rEFInd site.
How to Install and Dual Boot Linux and Mac OS
You may also want to theme rEFInd to look more "mac-like". Test that rEFInd is installed and operational. Just reboot and you should be taken to the rEFInd boot menu, from there you should be able to boot into either macOS or Windows Note: rEFInd will automatically find what it believes to be bootable volumes.
They probably all won't be bootable, through trial-and-error you should be able to find the correct macOS and Windows 10 volumes. You can then configure rEFInd to ignore some volumes, but save that for after you have everything working properly. Alternatively, if you want a graphical imaging process, you can use UNetbootin as documented here for Ubuntu just use Kali or whatever image you want. You're now ready to install Linux. However, if you reboot now, you'll see the rEFInd boot menu.