Installing Mint 16 along side Mac OS 10.9

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Installing Mint 16 along side Mac OS 10.9

Postby computerwhiz1 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:36 pm

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.
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Re: Installing Mint 16 along side Mac OS 10.9

Postby desdoulas on Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:37 pm

computerwhiz1 wrote: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.



this worked great for my 2011 macbook pro on mavericks this will NOT work for my macbook air 2013 not sure why, i have tried different methods for about 2 weeks with no luck
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Re: Installing Mint 16 along side Mac OS 10.9

Postby computerwhiz1 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:56 pm

The above mentioned method will install linux mint in a BIOS emulation mode. I've learned a lot more about EFI since I did this, and I would recommend selecting EFI boot from the cd when you hold down option to boot into the live cd. This will boot the live CD in EFI mode instead of BIOS mode. By doing this you can install everything else like normal. It will install the EFI version of grub, but that shouldn't make any real difference as far as the installer is concerned. I think the simplest thing to do is to put the boot loader on the same partition as linux mint. This keeps things cleaner in my opinion and makes for a smoother removal later should you decide to go back to just Mac OS. That being said, the technically correct thing to do would be to mount your EFI partition (probably /dev/sda1) to "/boot/efi". This will put the boot loader on the EFI partition. Personally I like it being on the linux partition because I want things to be as separate from the Mac system as they can be. One other important note is that for some reason Disk Utility seems to delete the recovery partition if you mess with things enough (this might be a bug?). It isn't that big of a deal, but just something to be aware of.
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Re: Installing Mint 16 along side Mac OS 10.9

Postby jjmk1 on Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:57 pm

please remember that all new mac's DO NOT HAVE CD DRIVES so usb thumb drive method is the only way for many. R.i.p cd's
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Re: Installing Mint 16 along side Mac OS 10.9

Postby JoeJoh on Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:12 am

Just a heads up. Linux allows you to create a swap file. Once you create it and set it up, Linux will stop complaining about the swap partition.

I found some instructions for Linux Mint here, and rather than copy and paste instructions, I'll just link to it. http://twigstechtips.blogspot.ca/2011/0 ... -file.html
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Re: Installing Mint 16 along side Mac OS 10.9

Postby lupinaddams on Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:49 am

First post... and it's to thank you.

I followed your instructions after a couple of annoying days trying to duel-boot on a MBA through other means and everything worked first try. Cheers.
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