How to Install Linux on Mac: A Comprehensive Guide


Are you a Mac user who wants to explore the world of Linux? Installing Linux on a Mac might seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite achievable with the right tools and guidance. In this article, we’ll show you how to install Linux on your Mac in 12 easy steps, along with some useful tips and tricks. So, let’s get started!


Step 1: Create a bootable USB drive

The first step in installing Linux on your Mac is to create a bootable USB drive. You’ll need a USB drive with at least 4GB of storage, and a Mac running OS X 10.7 or later. Download the Linux distribution of your choice and use a tool like UNetbootin or Etcher to create a bootable USB drive.

Tip 1: Choose the right Linux distribution

Before you start, make sure to choose a Linux distribution that’s compatible with your Mac. Some popular options include Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora.

Step 2: Backup your data

Before proceeding with the installation, it’s important to backup all your data to prevent data loss if anything goes wrong. This can be done using Time Machine or any other backup tool of your choice.

Tip 2: Keep your backups updated

Regular backups are crucial to avoid losing important data. Make sure to keep your backups up-to-date.

Step 3: Partition your hard drive

Next, you’ll need to partition your hard drive to make space for Linux. Open Disk Utility, select your main hard drive, and click the Partition button. Create a new partition and allocate enough space for Linux (at least 20GB).

Tip 3: Be careful when partitioning your hard drive

Partitioning your hard drive can be risky if not done properly. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully and backup your data before proceeding.

Step 4: Disable SIP

System Integrity Protection (SIP) is a security feature in macOS that prevents unauthorized access to system files. To install Linux, you’ll need to temporarily disable SIP by booting into Recovery mode and running the following command: csrutil disable.

Tip 4: Re-enable SIP after installation

After you’ve installed Linux, it’s important to re-enable SIP for added security. Boot back into Recovery mode and run the command: csrutil enable.

Step 5: Boot from the USB drive

Connect your USB drive to your Mac, restart your computer, and hold down the Option key to enter the boot menu. Select the USB drive and hit Enter to boot from it.

Tip 5: Learn the boot menu shortcut for your Mac

The boot menu shortcut can vary depending on your Mac model. Make sure to learn the correct shortcut before proceeding.

Step 6: Install Linux

Once you’ve booted from the USB drive, you can begin the Linux installation process by following the on-screen instructions. Select your preferred language, partition, and installation type, and wait for the installation to complete.

Tip 6: Choose the appropriate installation type

There are different installation types to choose from, such as “Erase disk and install Linux” or “Install alongside macOS”. Make sure to choose the appropriate installation type for your needs.

Step 7: Install boot loader

The boot loader is responsible for loading the operating system when you turn on your computer. You can install the GRUB boot loader during the Linux installation process.

Tip 7: Learn how to use the boot loader

The boot loader can be used to choose between different operating systems during startup. Make sure to learn how to use it before proceeding.

Step 8: Reboot your Mac

After the installation is complete, you can reboot your Mac and choose Linux from the boot loader menu to start using it.

Tip 8: Practice using Linux first

Before fully switching to Linux, take some time to practice and get used to the operating system.

Step 9: Install drivers and updates

After installing Linux, you’ll need to install any necessary drivers and updates to ensure compatibility and security.

Tip 9: Keep your system up-to-date

Regularly installing updates and security patches is crucial to protect your system from vulnerabilities and exploits.

Step 10: Transfer your files

If you need to transfer files from your macOS partition to your Linux partition, you can use a tool like HFSExplorer to access your macOS files from within Linux.

Tip 10: Keep your files organized

Maintaining a organized file system can help you avoid confusion and lost files.

Step 11: Prune unnecessary files and programs

To ensure optimal performance, you can uninstall any unnecessary programs and files that are taking up space on your hard drive.

Tip 11: Regularly clean up your system

Regularly pruning unnecessary files and programs can help improve system performance and free up storage space.

Step 12: Enjoy your new Linux system

Congratulations, you’ve successfully installed Linux on your Mac! Now you can explore the world of open-source software and enjoy the freedom that comes with it.

Tip 12: Join the Linux community

There is a large and supportive Linux community that you can turn to for help and advice about anything related to Linux. Join forums and IRC channels to connect with other users.


In this article, we have explained how to install Linux on a Mac in 12 easy steps. We started by creating a bootable USB drive, backing up our data, partitioning our hard drive, disabling SIP, booting from the USB drive, installing Linux, installing the boot loader, rebooting our Mac, installing drivers and updates, transferring files, pruning unnecessary files and programs, and finally enjoying our new Linux system. We also provided some useful tips and tricks to help you throughout the process, such as choosing the right Linux distribution, keeping your backups updated, being careful when partitioning your hard drive, and re-enabling SIP after installation.


In conclusion, installing Linux on a Mac might seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite achievable with the right tools and guidance. By following the 12 steps outlined in this article, you can easily install Linux on your Mac and enjoy the many benefits of open-source software. Remember to keep your backups updated, be careful when partitioning your hard drive, and regularly clean up your system to ensure optimal performance. Welcome to the world of Linux!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Installing Linux on Mac


1. Linux is free and open source, meaning it’s completely customizable and flexible.

2. You can run two different operating systems on the same machine, which allows you to choose the one that’s best for the task you’re working on.

3. Linux is known for being fast and reliable, with fewer crashes and glitches than other operating systems.

4. Linux offers a wider range of software options, including many free applications that are not available on other platforms.

5. Linux can be installed alongside Mac OS X, which means that you can switch back and forth between the two operating systems as needed.

6. Linux is great for developers, as it comes with many programming languages and tools built-in.

7. Linux is secure, with built-in encryption and other security features that can help protect your data.

8. Linux is highly customizable, with a wealth of ways to tweak the way it looks and functions.

9. Linux is lightweight and doesn’t require as much system resources as other operating system.

10. Linux is constantly being updated and improved, meaning that it’s always getting better and more efficient.


1. Linux may require more technical knowledge to set up and operate than other operating systems, which can be intimidating for some users.

2. Some software and hardware may not be compatible with Linux, which means that you may need to search for alternatives or workarounds.

3. Linux may not have as much support available as other operating systems, meaning that you may need to rely on online forums and documentation to solve problems.

4. Some programs may be more difficult to install and update on Linux, especially if they are not available through the default software repositories.

5. Linux may not have the same level of commercial software options as other operating systems, which can be a problem for some users.

6. Linux may require more maintenance than other operating systems, as updates and patches need to be installed manually.

7. Linux may not have the same level of compatibility with popular file formats as other operating systems, which can be a problem if you work with specific types of files.

8. Linux may not have the same level of corporate support or recognition as other operating system, which may impact your ability to use it in corporate environments.

9. Linux may have a steeper learning curve than other operating systems, especially if you’re used to another platform.

10. Linux may not be as widely supported by hardware manufacturers, which means that you may need to search out open source drivers or workarounds to get hardware to work properly.

Overall, the decision to install Linux on a Mac is a personal one that should be based on your specific needs and preferences. While Linux offers many benefits and advantages, it may not be the best fit for every user. By considering the advantages and disadvantages outlined above, you can make an informed decision about whether Linux is right for you.


1. Is it possible to install Linux on a Mac?

Yes, it is possible to install Linux on a Mac. You just need to follow a few steps.

2. What are the benefits of installing Linux on a Mac?

Installing Linux on a Mac can give you access to a wider range of programs and tools that are not available on Mac OS.

3. What do I need to install Linux on my Mac?

You will need a compatible Mac computer, a USB drive or DVD, and a Linux distribution.

4. Which is the best Linux distribution for Mac?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but popular options include Ubuntu, Fedora, and Mint.

5. How do I create a bootable USB drive or DVD for my Mac?

You can use a tool like Etcher or Rufus to create a bootable USB drive or DVD for your Mac.

6. Can I install Linux alongside Mac OS on my computer?

Yes, you can dual boot your Mac computer and install both Linux and Mac OS.

7. Will installing Linux affect my Mac warranty?

Installing Linux may void your Mac warranty, so it’s important to consider this before proceeding.

8. How much disk space do I need to install Linux on my Mac?

The amount of disk space required will depend on the Linux distribution you choose and the programs you install, but at least 20GB is recommended.

9. How do I access the boot menu on my Mac?

You can access the boot menu on your Mac by holding down the Option key when you turn on your computer.

10. Can I access my Mac files from Linux?

Yes, you can access your Mac files from Linux using a tool like Paragon or HFSExplorer.

11. How do I uninstall Linux from my Mac?

You can uninstall Linux from your Mac by deleting the Linux partition and restoring the original boot loader.

12. Are there any risks involved in installing Linux on a Mac?

There is always a risk when making changes to your computer’s system, so it’s important to backup your files before installing Linux.

13. What resources can I use to learn more about installing Linux on a Mac?

There are many online resources available, including forums, tutorials, and YouTube videos. Some popular resources include Macintosh Garden, AskUbuntu, and ArchWiki.


In conclusion, installing Linux on your Mac is a great way to expand your operating system options and utilize the capabilities of both systems. While it may seem daunting at first, by following a few simple steps, you can successfully install Linux on your Mac and enjoy the benefits of this powerful system.

Whether you’re looking to experiment with a new operating system or just want to try something new on your Mac, installing Linux is a great option. With its wide range of customization options and powerful capabilities, Linux is a great choice for anyone looking to get the most out of their computer.


Thank you for taking the time to read through this article on how to install Linux on your Mac. We hope that you found it informative and helpful, and that you’re now ready to try installing Linux on your own system.

If you have any questions or concerns about the installation process, or if you would like more information on Linux or other operating systems, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help, and we’re always happy to share our knowledge and experience with others.

Once again, thank you for reading, and we wish you the best of luck with your Linux installation!