Friday, August 17, 2012

Installing Linux on Mac Mini

I finally decided to install Linux on Mac Mini 2009. It runs Intel Core 2 Duo and has around 1GB RAM + 100GB+ HDD storage. Yes, not a decent specs. I also planning to upgrade the RAM but since it's using DDR3 which is quite rare to find it in Lowyat, I decided to stay with the specs.

1) Since Mac is advanced enough and not relying to normal BIOS, we have to do some workaround with its EFI. What we need to do is by using rEFIt. You can use the command line installation or install by using Mac's DMG file.

2) First of all, we need to repartition the hard disk. Use bootcamp (Application->Utilities->Bootcamp). Like in my case I need to use DiskUtility as well to segregate the partition. If you plan to use GParted, you need to insert your installation CD first then reboot, after that go to your live CD session and use GParted to repartition your Mac HDD

3) Then install. For my Mac Mini, it was painfully slow. But with some patience(actually.. a lot!) I managed to install Linux Mint Maya on my Mac Mini. However, unlike Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, it does not come with Wireless Driver (I guess, propietary). Hence we need to use Ethernet cable to install it or in my case I use my phone through USB tethering. You will also noticed during the installation you need to create at least 2 partitions. One small partition, 1MB for grub installation. Another one is for your root.. and you may create your swap partition as well. In my case I created:

  • partition for Grub/BIOS
  • / (root) partition
  • /home (in case I want to change to other distro.. I can just wipe my / partition and retain this
  • swap

4) The rest is pretty straightforward.

Intel Core 2 Duo is equivalent to 64 bit architecture. If nothing was wrong you could see two processors append in /proc/cpuinfo 

You can also mount you Mac partition from your Linux. Mac is using HFS+ filesystem. If you want to automount, just edit your /etc/fstab. In the filesystem type use "hfsplus" for the filesystem option.


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