Installing Linux on the Mac Mini

From Bashlinux
Jump to: navigation, search

How to install Linux from the CD/DVD drive

  • Boot with OS X installation CD. Don't forget to press "c" key to boot from CD.
  • On initial screen go to the top bar and choose "HDD Tools"
  • Choose the current HD and select "Partition" tab
  • Select "1 Partition", system type Unix
  • IMPORTANT: Click in "options" and select boot from MBR in order to allow CentOS boots on Mac Mini.
  • Save and reboot
  • Press "F12" to eject the OS X CD and insert CentOS DVD
  • Reboot
  • Press "c" to boot from DVD
  • Do the installation following instructions on screen
  • When the installation finish, just click on reboot button.
  • Press "F12" to eject CentOS DVD to avoid boot again on installation DVD

How to boot the Macmini from the network

To get this done is necessary to boot it up using an EFI image.

  • DHCP configuration to boot the Macmini from Linux using NetBoot
ddns-update-style none;
ddns-updates off;
ignore client-updates;
allow booting;

class "AppleNBI-i386" {
  match if substring (option vendor-class-identifier, 0, 14) = "AAPLBSDPC/i386";
  option dhcp-parameter-request-list 1,3,17,43,60;
  if (option dhcp-message-type = 1) { option vendor-class-identifier "AAPLBSDPC/i386"; }
  if (option dhcp-message-type = 1) { option vendor-encapsulated-options 08:04:81:00:00:67; }

  # The Apple Boot Loader binary image.  This file will in turn TFTP the kernel image and extension cache.
  filename "macnbi-i386/booter";

  ## JJM Root FS DMG on HTTP Server:
  # option root-path ""; 

  ## JJm Root FS DMG on NFS Server.
  # (Note the placement of the second ":"  This indicates where /var/netboot is mounted on each client.
  # The Resources folder should be in the folder indicated by the :, /nbi in this instance.    

  # option root-path "nfs:";

  ## NOTE: Try to keep the root path as short as possible.  I copy the DMG files to /nbi and export that folder.
  #option root-path "nfs:";

  ## Bashlinux path
  option root-path "nfs:";

subnet netmask {
  pool {

  default-lease-time 7200; # 2 hours
  max-lease-time 86400; # 1 day

  option domain-name "";
  option routers;
  option subnet-mask;
  option domain-name-servers;
  option broadcast-address;
  option time-offset -18000; # EST
  allow unknown-clients;

How to boot the Mac Mini from HD

Linux boot process in an Intel Mac Mini is a bit tricky

The gptsync tool provided by refit packege must be enough in order to boot Linux on an Intel Mac Mini.


  • Ensure the bootable partition has the boot flag set.
# fdisk /dev/sda
  • Install needed packages
# apt-get install gptsync grub-pc
  • Install grub in MBR
# gptsync
# grub-install /dev/sda
# update-grub