Trying to install Loki (aka elementary 0.4) on a mac mini. The experience is proving rather less straightforward than the installation instructions.

The machine is a mac mini (Macmini4,1 - mid 2010) running OSX El Capitan (10.11.3). I want to dual boot osx & loki.

Steps so far:

  1. Shrunk the main partition (Macintosh HD), creating 80GB unformatted space
  2. Tried to install rEFInd. It stopped with warning that System Integrity Protection was on, so install not recommended. Tried again from the recovery partition (as advised), same result. So didn't install.
  3. Booted loki into 'try it out' mode from USB drive anyway by holding down alt during boot.
  4. Launched installer. However, it doesn't detect the osx installation. So only choices are clean install or manual partition.

I'm not averse to manual partitioning, but process so far doesn't give me a lot of confidence. Any advice appreciated. For example:

  • Do I need rEFInd? Strange that it's not mentioned in the official docs.
  • Any reason why the installer isn't seeing the OSX partition (does it need rEFInd installed first?)
  • If I have to manually partition, what's required? Is it as simple as a single root partition + swap @2*RAM?

If I do it manually, should the bootloader go on /dev/sda or /dev/sda1?


1 Answer 1


I run elementary on a mini. I've run dual boot and just elementary. I've always had more luck with refind than with just grub. It can be installed but you have to disable system integrity protection. OS X daily has a tutorial. http://osxdaily.com/2015/10/05/disable-rootless-system-integrity-protection-mac-os-x/

As for partitioning. A root partition and a swap is enough, but a /home partition can be helpful as it allows you to reinstall the os, reformat the root partition without wiping the home folder. I let the installer decide for me and it set up one root partition and a swap at 8GB. Swap seems a bit larger than I'd normally chose, but I'm not dual booting right now and not pressed for space so it's not an issue. May be more of an issue when dual booting.

  • Thanks. Went with it, and used manual partitioning. It went fine - though boot loader install overwrote rEFInd. Install worked, though sadly crashes on awake from suspend mean I've reverted to osx for now.
    – sfinnie
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 22:00

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