Running Windows on Mac is only the beginning. Choose from hundreds of supported operating systems, from cloud-ready Linux distributions to the latest Windows 11 on Intel or Apple Silicon Macs, all without rebooting.
Whether you need a customizable operating system or a better environment for software development, you can get it by dual booting Linux on your Mac. Linux is incredibly versatile (it's used to run everything from smartphones to supercomputers), and you can install it on a MacBook, iMac, Mac mini, or any other kind of Mac.
With a dual boot system, both macOS and Linux are installed on your Mac. You can just hold Option while your computer boots up to choose which operating system to use. The main difference between a dual boot system and a virtual machine is that you can only use one OS at a time while dual-booting, but you get better performance.
Despite what we've said above, installing Linux isn't currently possible if your Mac uses an Apple silicon chip, whether it's an M1, M1 Pro, or M1 Max. Your only option for running Linux on an Apple silicon Mac is to use a virtual machine such as Parallels or UTM. Alternatively, you can run Linux from a bootable Linux USB, but the performance won't be as smooth.
If you plan to dual boot your Mac with Linux, you also need to make sure you have enough free storage. Open the Apple menu and go to System Setting > General > Storage to check that you have at least 25GB free (but preferably more).
If you plan to replace macOS with Linux, rather than creating a dual-boot system, use a service like Carbon Copy Cloner to back up your macOS Recovery partition. This makes it far easier to revert to macOS again in the future.
In fact, to dual boot Linux on a Mac, you need two extra partitions: one for Linux and a second for swap space. The swap partition must be as big as the amount of RAM your Mac has. Check this by going to Apple > About This Mac and looking at the Memory.
The standard boot manager on your Mac doesn't always work with Ubuntu. This means you need to install a third-party boot manager instead, which will let you easily choose between macOS or Linux when you start up your computer.
Thus, your next step is to download rEFInd, which is the boot manager we recommend. To install rEFInd, you need to temporarily disable System Integrity Protection. This is an important security feature for macOS, so make sure you enable it again after.
Restart your Mac while holding Option and reinsert the USB flash drive directly into your computer. When the boot loader appears, use the arrow keys to select the Boot EFI option and hit Enter.
In 2018, Apple introduced the T2 security chip to new Macs. This advancement might stop you from booting other operating systems on your machine. If you experience any boot issues, follow Apple's instructions to disable the T2 chip.
Now identify your SWAP partition, which should also have fat32 in the name. Double-click it and choose to Use as: swap area, then click OK. Open the Device for boot loader installation dropdown menu and select your UBUNTU partition again. The name should match what you selected for it from the table above.
Congratulations! You successfully installed Linux on your MacBook Pro, iMac, or Mac mini! If you chose to dual boot Linux on your Mac, hold Option while booting up to choose between macOS and Ubuntu.
Try directly on a pc,but will erase your current osor you can partition hard disk and get dual boot,or installon different internal or external hd(linux can run on usb devices,of course usb3,usb2 works but is really slow)
Help is appreciated: I recently purchased a MacBook Pro that has MAC OS 11.x. I am trying to install CentOS 7.4 to be able to dual boot from CentOS and MAC OS. I shrunk the partition size of MAC HD by 40 GB to make room for the new OS. I created a bootable USB flash drive from CentOS iso image. I turned off Apple's T2 (security) chip to be able to install a non MAC OS. I held Options key when restarting MacBook Pro. CentOS installation started. I selected, language, time, keyboard type. Then I got the following message:
Question 1: I am wondering whether in MAC OS I can format an external drive (connected via USB 3.0) to be GPT-formatted, then install EFI System Partition on it. I need to be able to boot from CentOS. Virtual Machine wouldn't work for me.
You may need to be careful installing Linux even to an external drive. I've heard reports that some more recent Linux installers will default to installing the Linux bootloader onto the internal drive instead of on the external drive (I think Ubuntu may have done this as it may no longer ask which drive should have the bootloader, but I may be wrong on this point -- if true it is another reason I'm glad I switched to Debian). It isn't a big deal as it won't hurt macOS as it is just a single folder on the hidden EFI/ESP partition, but it would mean the external Linux boot drive won't work on another computer until the Linux bootloader was installed to the external drive (maybe this is what you wrote about in an earlier post).
I was finally able to setup dual boot from Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (a Linux distro) and Mac OS Big Sur on my Macbook Pro 2019. I found Ubuntu having better online support documentation than CentOS (or perhaps I didn't look around well enough). Note that I had to boot Ubuntu from an external drive. My attempts to setup dual boot from the Mac internal SSD (with device name nvme01) have not been successful so far. You need to have a back up or your data on the MAC. You also need the following (besides the Macbook):
to create a Ubuntu installation USB flash drive, disable Apple T2 chip and SIP protection. Do not bother with installing EFI boot manager as pressing the Options button after power up will provide the boot options. Also, do not bother with partitioning the external USB drive yet.
5- After preboot screen comes up, don't select "Install Ubuntu" yet. Click on "Try Ubuntu". This will run the operating system from the flash drive instead of installing Ubuntu OS on MAC. After Ubuntu comes up, right click the mouse, open terminal.
9- The installation will continue until you see the message: "Executing 'grub-install /dev/sda' failed. This is a fatal error". At this point grub is broken. Click on OK to proceed with the rest of the installation. You will be asked to remove the installation media, push enter. When Ubuntu screen appears, power off (upper right hand side of Ubuntu desktop). At this time, if you try to boot from the external drive, "grub" prompt appears. Therefore, I recommend the following:
10- Power up the computer again with the installation USB flash drive and external drive that is supposed to hold the root directory for Ubuntu still connected. Choose to boot from installation USB flash drive.
to load boot-repair tool. The repair tool will fix the grub issue. After the repair tool is done, DO NOT attempt to install Ubuntu again. Just power off the computer from upper right hand side screen of Ubuntu desktop.
2- I found out that if I try to boot from external drive while the external drive is not connected, that breaks grub. I will need to go to "Try Ubuntu" from instillation USB flash drive to fix it with the repair tool. However, I didn't need to go through the whole Ubuntu instillation again.
Thanks, appreciated. Actually, the Ubuntu installer (a link to which is given in the links in my comments above) does ask which device the user wants to install the boot loader on. I successfully installed it on an external USB HDD and also one external USB SSD. At the boot, one has to be careful which EFI is selected though.
The flash drive is now ready to be used as a boot device. You can continue with Booting the Installation on 64-bit AMD, Intel, and ARM systems on AMD64 and Intel 64 systems or Booting the Installation on IBM Power Systems on IBM Power Systems servers.
IF you do not have AFNI set up on your computer system atall, then please see the step-by-step instructions (whichoptionally include installing the Bootcamp data, so then you willbe all set):
I tried doing a bootable usb on Mac with the terminal commands and after it copied and ejected, the usb disappeared completely. It does not appear as bootable device, it does not appear in the disk utility app. Also I am beginner at working with terminal, but from what I can see, the stick as I know it (16gb) does not appear either.[IMG] [/IMG]Any clues?
Yes, I found that using the disk name + partition in the dd command (eg, disk2s2) is not creating a bootable drive that will work on the intended PC-The dd does complete ok though. Tonight I am going to try just referencing the primary disk identifier (eg disk2) to see what happens.
LINUX: For making Linux installers from ISO files, I like unetbootin, which can streamline the process of downloading the ISO of your choosing and burning it to the destination of choice for an installer.
I used unebootin and found not all files loaded, does not work all the time, and created endless frustration and many hours. It seems for no issues dd is the only way to be certain of success. Would not load gnome through unebootin 2b1af7f3a8