How to Install Linux on Mac: Step-by-Step Guide

Are you ready to give your Mac a new life with Linux? It’s a fantastic way to explore a whole new world of open-source software and customization. But don’t worry, installing Linux on your Mac doesn’t have to be a tech nightmare. In this article, I’ll guide you through the process step by step, so let’s dive right in!

Step by Step Tutorial: Installing Linux on Mac

Before we get started, let’s talk about what you’ll achieve by following these steps. You’ll end up with a dual-boot system, meaning you can choose to start your Mac with either macOS or Linux. It’s like having two computers in one!

Step 1: Check Compatibility

Firstly, ensure your Mac is compatible with Linux.

Not all Mac models play nice with Linux, so it’s crucial to check that your Mac is compatible. A quick Google search with your Mac model followed by “Linux compatibility” should give you the answer.

Step 2: Backup Your Data

Always back up your important files before making significant changes to your system.

You can use Time Machine or any other backup method you’re comfortable with. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Step 3: Create a Bootable Linux USB Drive

Download the Linux distribution of your choice and create a bootable USB drive.

You’ll need a USB drive with enough capacity for the Linux distribution. Tools like balenaEtcher can help you create the bootable drive easily.

Step 4: Partition Your Mac’s Hard Drive

Use Disk Utility to create a partition for Linux on your Mac’s hard drive.

This step is like creating a separate room in your house for Linux. Be sure to allocate enough space for your Linux needs.

Step 5: Restart Your Mac and Boot from USB

Hold down the Option key while restarting your Mac and select the USB drive.

This is how you tell your Mac to start up from the Linux USB drive instead of its regular hard drive.

Step 6: Install Linux

Follow the on-screen instructions to install Linux on the new partition.

The Linux installer is typically user-friendly, guiding you through the process. If you’re unsure about a step, the default option is usually a safe bet.

Step 7: Set Up the Boot Loader

Configure the boot loader to manage the dual-boot between macOS and Linux.

This step ensures that you can choose which operating system to launch when you start your Mac.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a Mac that can boot into either macOS or Linux, based on your selection at startup. It’s like having the best of both worlds!

Tips for Successful Linux Installation on Mac

  • Ensure your Mac’s firmware is up to date before starting the installation.
  • Opt for a Linux distribution that is known for good Mac compatibility, such as Ubuntu or Fedora.
  • Use a wired internet connection during installation if possible, as this can be more reliable.
  • If you’re not comfortable with partitioning your hard drive, consider seeking help from someone who is, or researching further before attempting.
  • After installation, take the time to explore the Linux community for Mac users. There are many resources and forums available to help you get the most out of your new setup.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my Mac is not compatible with Linux?

If your Mac is not compatible, you might want to consider running Linux in a virtual machine instead of installing it directly.

Can I remove Linux if I change my mind?

Yes, you can remove Linux by deleting the partition and restoring the space to macOS.

Will installing Linux void my Mac warranty?

No, installing Linux will not void your Mac’s warranty. However, any damage caused by software issues may not be covered.

Can I access my macOS files while in Linux?

Yes, you can access your macOS files from Linux, but you may need to install additional software to read the macOS file system.

Do I need to know how to code to use Linux?

No, you don’t need to know how to code. Many Linux distributions are designed for general computer users.


  1. Check your Mac’s compatibility with Linux.
  2. Back up your data.
  3. Create a bootable Linux USB drive.
  4. Partition your Mac’s hard drive.
  5. Restart your Mac and boot from the USB.
  6. Install Linux on the new partition.
  7. Set up the boot loader.


Installing Linux on a Mac can seem daunting at first, but with the right guidance, it can be a smooth and rewarding process. Whether you’re a developer looking for a more flexible environment, or just curious about alternative operating systems, Linux offers a rich ecosystem of free, open-source software. It’s a great way to breathe new life into your Mac, especially if you’re concerned about the longevity of your current macOS version.

Remember, the key to a successful installation is preparation. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to exploring the vast world of Linux, all while keeping your beloved Mac environment just a reboot away. And if you ever feel stuck, the Linux community is incredibly supportive and full of resources to help you out.

So why not take the plunge and install Linux on your Mac today? You might just find that it’s the fresh start you’ve been looking for.

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy

Categories Mac