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How To Install Ubuntu 20.04 on Mac mini 2020 with UEFI Bootloader

Ubuntu 11

In this article, we will guide you through the process of installing Ubuntu 20.04 on a 2020 Mac mini using a UEFI bootloader. This process can be a bit complex, but we’ll break it down into manageable steps and explain each one in detail.

Quick Answer

To install Ubuntu 20.04 on a Mac mini 2020 with UEFI bootloader, you need to disable Secure Boot in the Mac mini’s firmware settings, create a bootable USB with Ubuntu using a tool like Etcher, and then install Ubuntu by selecting the USB stick from the Startup Manager. If the installer fails during the GRUB installation process, you can try manually installing it.

Prerequisites

Before we begin, ensure that you have the following:

  • A Mac mini 2020 model
  • A USB stick with at least 4GB of storage
  • A copy of Ubuntu 20.04 ISO file, which you can download from the official Ubuntu website

Step 1: Disable Secure Boot

The first step is to disable Secure Boot in the Mac mini’s firmware settings. Secure Boot is a feature that prevents unauthorized software from running during startup, which can interfere with the Ubuntu installation process.

  1. Restart your Mac and hold down the Command + R keys to enter Recovery Mode.
  2. Once in Recovery Mode, select Utilities > Startup Security Utility from the menu bar.
  3. Choose No Security and allow booting from external media.

Step 2: Create a Bootable USB with Ubuntu

Next, we’ll create a bootable USB stick with the Ubuntu 20.04 ISO file. For this, we recommend using a tool like Etcher, which is available for macOS and is very easy to use.

  1. Open Etcher and click Select image. Browse to the location of your downloaded Ubuntu 20.04 ISO file and select it.
  2. Insert your USB stick and click Select drive. Choose your USB stick from the list.
  3. Click Flash! to start the process. Etcher will format the USB stick, copy the Ubuntu files, and make it bootable.

Step 3: Install Ubuntu

Now, we’re ready to install Ubuntu on the Mac mini.

  1. Restart your Mac and hold down the Option key to enter the Startup Manager.
  2. Select the USB stick from the list of startup disks and press Enter.
  3. You’ll be greeted by the Ubuntu welcome screen. Choose your language and click Install Ubuntu.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to choose your keyboard layout, connect to a Wi-Fi network, and set up your user account.
  5. When asked about disk partitioning, choose Erase disk and install Ubuntu. This will delete all data on your Mac’s hard drive and install Ubuntu. Make sure you have a backup of your data before proceeding!

Step 4: Manually Install GRUB

If the installer fails during the GRUB installation process, you can try manually installing it. GRUB is a bootloader that allows you to choose which operating system to boot.

  1. Boot into the live USB and open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T).
  2. Mount the Ubuntu partition with the command sudo mount /dev/nvme0n1pX /mnt, replacing X with the appropriate partition number.
  3. Mount necessary directories with the following commands:
    sudo mount --bind /dev /mnt/dev
    sudo mount --bind /dev/pts /mnt/dev/pts
    sudo mount --bind /proc /mnt/proc
    sudo mount --bind /sys /mnt/sys
    sudo cp /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/etc/resolv.conf
  4. Enter the Ubuntu installation environment with the command sudo chroot /mnt.
  5. Install GRUB with the command apt-get install grub-efi.
  6. Install GRUB to the EFI partition with the command grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=ubuntu --recheck --no-floppy. This command installs GRUB to the EFI partition (the --efi-directory option), sets the bootloader ID to “ubuntu” (the --bootloader-id option), and forces a check to ensure that everything is set up correctly (the --recheck option).
  7. Update the GRUB configuration with the command update-grub.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Ubuntu 20.04 on your Mac mini 2020 using a UEFI bootloader. If you encounter any issues, don’t hesitate to seek help from the Ubuntu community forums or Apple support.

Can I install Ubuntu 20.04 on a Mac mini 2020 with UEFI bootloader?

Yes, you can install Ubuntu 20.04 on a Mac mini 2020 with UEFI bootloader by following the steps outlined in this guide.

Do I need to disable Secure Boot before installing Ubuntu?

Yes, it is recommended to disable Secure Boot in the Mac mini’s firmware settings before installing Ubuntu. This can be done by following the steps mentioned in Step 1 of the guide.

How much storage space do I need on my USB stick to create a bootable USB?

You will need at least 4GB of storage space on your USB stick to create a bootable USB with Ubuntu 20.04.

Can I use a different tool to create a bootable USB instead of Etcher?

Yes, there are other tools available to create a bootable USB such as Rufus or UNetbootin. However, in this guide, we recommend using Etcher as it is easy to use and available for macOS.

Will installing Ubuntu erase all the data on my Mac’s hard drive?

Yes, when choosing the "Erase disk and install Ubuntu" option during the installation process, all data on your Mac’s hard drive will be deleted. Therefore, it is important to have a backup of your data before proceeding with the installation.

What should I do if the installer fails during the GRUB installation process?

If the installer fails during the GRUB installation process, you can try manually installing GRUB by following the steps outlined in Step 4 of the guide.

Where can I seek help if I encounter any issues during the installation process?

If you encounter any issues during the installation process, you can seek help from the Ubuntu community forums or Apple support. The Ubuntu community forums can be accessed at https://ubuntuforums.org/ and Apple support can be reached at https://support.apple.com/mac.

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