This Document is Currently being worked on and is considered unreliable.
How to install Linux on a Mac Mini without a cd drive.
This little mini tutorial should help get you up and running with Arch Linux on your mac mini 2011 sans-cd drive. This guide can be used for any distro of your choice, just make sure you have a good understanding of the packaging/installation system. I have had no joy getting a dd'd usb device to boot on the mac mini, which is why I have created this guide. If anybody has any pointers as for ways to get FREE BSD running in this manor I would love to hear from you! Drop an email to nathanbaxter at pixelmasochist.net
Use this guide at your own risk. I can not be held responsible for any damages or loss of data caused should you decide to attempt this installation.
You will Need.
- You have an understanding of the Linux/UNIX command line.
- Your machines are connected to the internet
- You are currently running Arch Linux
- You have the means to view online documentation while you install Linux on your mac mini.
- There is only one drive connected to the machines which means the usb stick is on /dev/sdb
From the Linux machine
Create a usable base Arch Linux system
- Create a partition table on the usb stick
- Format the partition as ext2
- Mount the device
mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt
- Get the arch install scripts
pacman -S arch-install-scripts
Use pacstrap to create a base Linux system on the usb device
Most of this information has been lifted from the arch wiki.
There are a lot of configuration options that have been omitted due to the different hardware for the machines.
pacstrap /mnt base
arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash
pacman -S gptfdisk arch-install-scripts
If you're going to need to ssh into the machine, now is the time to pick openssh up.
ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/[Region]/[Timezone] /etc/localtime
hwclock --systohc --utc
echo arch-install > /etc/hostname
If the usb stick is the only other device on your mac (besides the main hd) it should be safe to do the following. Otherwise, change /dev/sdb1 to the next device in the list.
echo "/dev/sdb1 / ext2 defaults,noatime 0 1" > /etc/fstab
passwd [to create a root pass word, can be skipped if you don't plan on keeping the os on the usb]
Logout and umount /mnt
Now that we have a basic system set up it's over to the mac.
- Use the OS X partition tool to create a new partition. Might be an idea to name it something you'll remember so that when it comes to removing that partition after step 7 it will make life easier for you. something like arch-install.
Use fuse-ext2 to mount your linux usb drive
sudo mkdir /Volumes/arch
sudo fuse-ext2 /dev/sdb1 /Volumes/arch
Now mount the mac's EFI partition
It should be on /dev/disk0s1, but to check this simply type
and look for the type name "EFI".
Then create the directory for the Arch Linux boot files.
sudo mkdir /Volumes/efi
sudo mount -t msdos /dev/disk0s1 /Volumes/efi
sudo mkdir /Volumes/efi/EFI/arch
Copy the Linux kernel and initramfs files
cp /Volumes/arch/boot* /Volumes/efi/EFI/efi/arch/
mv vmlinuz-linux vmlinuz-linux.efi
Create the refind configuration file in the /Volumes/efi/*/arch directory
[$EDITOR] refind_linux.conf and add the following
"Boot to console" "root="/dev/sdb1 ro rootfstype=ext2 systemd.multi-user.target"
- Reboot. You should be presented with the refind menu system and Arch Linux should now be present.
Login as root and get your network up. I'd recommend starting of with the wired en* device and deal
with the wireless when you have set up the installatoin on the mac.
ip link list
ip link set [device] up