Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Install Ubuntu on a Mac Mini

Ubuntu 1

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of installing Ubuntu on a Mac Mini. This process involves creating bootable USB drives, partitioning your hard drive, and setting up the bootloader.

Preparing the USB Drives

Firstly, you will need to create two partitions on an external USB drive. You can do this using the Disk Utility on your Mac.

  1. Open Disk Utility and select your USB drive.
  2. Click on the ‘Partition’ button.
  3. Create two partitions, format them both as MS-DOS (FAT), and name the first partition “BOOT” and the second partition “UBUNTU”.

Extracting the Ubuntu ISO File

Next, you will need to extract the contents of the Ubuntu ISO file. You can do this using a program like Keka, which is a free file archiver for macOS.

  1. Download the Ubuntu ISO file from the official Ubuntu website.
  2. Open Keka and drag the ISO file into the Keka window.
  3. Extract the contents of the ISO file to a location of your choice.

Transferring the Ubuntu Files to the USB Drive

Once you have extracted the ISO file, you will need to copy its contents to the “BOOT” partition on the USB drive.

  1. Open Finder and navigate to the location where you extracted the ISO file.
  2. Select all the files and folders, right-click, and choose ‘Copy’.
  3. Navigate to the “BOOT” partition on the USB drive, right-click, and choose ‘Paste’.

Creating a Live Disk

You will now need to use the dd command to create a live disk on the “UBUNTU” partition. The dd command is a Unix utility that converts and copies files.

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Type the following command:
sudo dd if=/path/to/ubuntu.iso of=/dev/diskN bs=1m

In this command, if stands for ‘input file’ and of stands for ‘output file’. Replace /path/to/ubuntu.iso with the path to your Ubuntu ISO file and /dev/diskN with the identifier for your “UBUNTU” partition. bs=1m sets the block size to 1 megabyte, which can speed up the copying process.

Installing Ubuntu

Now that you have prepared your USB drive, you can proceed with the installation.

  1. Reboot your Mac Mini and hold down the option key.
  2. Select “EFI Boot” and then choose “Install Ubuntu” to start the installation process.

Setting Up the Bootloader

After the installation finishes, you should not reboot immediately, as it may cause issues with the bootloader. Instead, follow the instructions provided by Purinda Gunasekara’s tutorial to ensure that GRUB is recognized as the default bootloader.

Conclusion

Installing Ubuntu on a Mac Mini can be a complex process, but with careful preparation and attention to detail, it is entirely achievable. We hope this guide has been helpful. If you encounter any issues, don’t hesitate to seek help from the Ubuntu community or the Apple support forums.

Can I install Ubuntu on a Mac Mini without erasing macOS?

Yes, it is possible to dual-boot Ubuntu and macOS on a Mac Mini. During the installation process, you will be prompted to choose the installation type. Select the option to install Ubuntu alongside macOS, and the installer will take care of partitioning your hard drive accordingly.

Can I use a different program to extract the Ubuntu ISO file?

Yes, you can use other file archiver programs like The Unarchiver or WinRAR to extract the Ubuntu ISO file. The process will be similar to using Keka as mentioned in the guide.

Can I use a different USB drive for the installation?

Yes, you can use a different USB drive as long as it has sufficient storage capacity. Make sure to format the USB drive and create the necessary partitions as mentioned in the guide.

Can I use a different command instead of `dd` to create the live disk?

Yes, there are alternative commands you can use to create a live disk on the "UBUNTU" partition. One popular alternative is the etcher command, which is a graphical tool for creating bootable USB drives. You can download and install it on your Mac Mini, then use it to write the Ubuntu ISO file to the "UBUNTU" partition.

Can I uninstall Ubuntu and revert back to macOS?

Yes, you can uninstall Ubuntu and revert back to macOS. To do this, you will need to remove the Ubuntu partitions and restore the macOS bootloader. You can use the Disk Utility on your Mac to delete the Ubuntu partitions, and then follow online guides or seek help from the Apple support forums to restore the macOS bootloader.

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