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Installing Linux on an iMac

L

LedMatrix

Guest
I posted this on a couple of other forums I frequent and wanted to share here.

I finally managed to get Linux (Mint 18) installed on my iMac. An iMac A1418 21.5" Desktop - ME086LL/A (2013) to be precise.

Getting Linux on it was a bear but worth the trouble. I started off following a youtube tutorial but about half way through it the commands he was running was bombing for me. Fortunately I found a tool (Mac Linux USB Loader) that helped me finish the job. The current tool has a few distros it can download and prepare automatically, including Zorin, Ubuntu and Mint 17.3, but you can also start the process with the tool and during step 2 of the process point it to an iso you downloaded. In my case Mint 18.

On my particular Mac Linux is SO much snappier than OS X El Capitan was.

Below is a link to a video I used to get me started. I used the video tips for installing REFINED and disabling SIP, then used the MAC Linux USB Loader tool for the rest. Someone else may be able to follow the video all the way through. Just didn't all work for me.

 


MacgyverPT

Member
I installed Ubuntu 19.* on my MacMini 2009
 

SnickleFritz

New Member
This is a bit of a cross post from a more active thread on a different site, but I thought i'd put it here too.

TLDR Macfanctld! Install it.

Linux Mint 19.2 is running fine on my 2008 iMac 8,1 2GB.


So here's a quick summary:

-Created Linux Mint installation DVD (I've also had success with a USB created using RUFUS from Windows Box)
-Booted installation media in compatibility mode (as it avoided using fancier video/wifi/apci drivers that seemed to have inconsistent results from live cd/usb distro to distro)
-Manually partitioned with an 201MB EFI partition at the beginning of the drive (I don't think this has to be dead on, I've heard 300MB elsewhere, but to the best of my understanding you need SOME kind of EFI part at the beginning), about half the remaining space ext4 mount point '/', and the rest of the space for ext4 mount point '/home'. I forgot to specify some room for a swap - but that's okay, because for some reason linux mint created its own swap. I still have no idea where it is physically located - perhaps it's in a virtual file system (a swap partition inside a file on one of the other partitions) - I'd love some clarification from anyone in the know.
-I accepted use of 3rd party software
-I IMMEDIATELY ran 'apt update' and then 'apt install macfanctld' ***I suspect this is very important for heat mgmt***
-Once installation was complete I went to the driver manager and enabled the broadcom wifi driver. I could see my 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WiFi networks, but still had no luck connecting to the 5Ghz. The 2.4Ghz is also a bit buggy - perhaps it's trying to use 5Ghz functionality in addition? Not sure, more research required.
-Bluetooth works, was able to connect to set of BT speakers I use for the kitchen.


So that's pretty much it. I still have a few qualms:

-Window dragging is delayed, probably due to some hardware acceleration that might not be enabled or handled correctly by the 'radeon' driver module being used for the AMD Radeon HD 2600 PRO that I've read is in this iMac
-Was getting a little bit of full screen tearing watching youtube vids, I'm using chromium now and it seems better, I also visited 'chrome://gpu' and listed a ton of errors bugs and told me that I was using hardware acceleration, then headed to 'chrome://flags' and Enabled the "override software rendering list" flag and restarted browser - it seems a little bit better but still not 100%
 


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