This is a tutorial I wrote that should explain how to install linux mint on any mac, but I know this works for sure on a macbook pro 9,1 with mac os 10.9. If there is anything that is unclear, feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer. I'm no linux expert, but this is what I ended up with after playing around with installing linux mint on a macbook pro.
- I just installed mint 16 on a macbook along side 10.9. I used refind, because that is what all of the instructions said to use. However, if you install things right, you don't need refind.
- What I would suggest is using Disk Utility in Mac OS to create a partition for linux mint, go ahead and format it the default Mac OS Extended Journaled. You will have to reformat it later, but that seems to be the quickest format that disk utility can do.
- That being said, from there, boot into the mint live cd by holding down option at boot up. When you get to the screen that allows you to select different boot devices put the cd in. If you put it in before this it will spit it out for some reason. Once you put the CD in it will show up after a few seconds. Choose the one that says Windows.
Now once linux mint live cd has loaded go ahead and choose to install linux mint from the desktop. Note that wifi will not work until you enable proprietary wifi drivers so I would plug into a ethernet cable for the install and setup if possible.
- When doing the install, you want to choose something else. Choose the partition you want to install linux mint to. Identify it by size, as in you know what seize you made the linux mint partition so install linux mint to the partition that matches the size. There will be a few partitions on there that don't show up under disk utility, don't worry about them. You want to format your linux partition as ext4 and have it mount as "/". You can get to these options by selecting the linux partition and then clicking on "change".
- Now THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR THIS TO WORK: choose to install the boot loader (GRUB2) to the same partition as the linux mint installation NOT "/dev/sda" but rather the linux specific one such as "/dev/sda3" if your installing linux to "/dev/sda3". This allows you to use apple's boot loader to boot into GRUB2 which then boots into linux. Its a bit inefficient, but it works and it IMHO the simplest and least intrusive way to do it.
- Once the install is done, you can boot to linux mint at any time by holding option at the "dong" and selecting "windows" to boot to. It should then pull up GRUB2 at which point you can wait or just press enter to boot into linux mint.
- Note: when you do the install, it will gripe about GRUB not being on its own /boot partition and not having SWAP space. You can use Disk Utility to make a small 1GB partition and use that as swap space if you want, but I have been find without SWAP. The boot loader normally would need to be on the boot partition, but since you're using Apple's own EFI loader, you don't need to do that.