I am trying to get Loki to dual boot on the same HD as my OSX 10.10.

I have tried starting the install as per the instructions by booting from the iso on a thumb drive. This loads the installer, but I'm only given the option to blow my OSX installation away.

I have also tried installing refind 10.4 (I was following this guide http://forlearning.com/dual-booting-elementary-os-and-osx/).

Question 1: Without using refind, is there a method in the installation wizard to install elementary on the same boot HD as OSX? There appears to be nothing in the wizard to allow me to do so. I only get the ‘erase’ option.

Question 2: If it is not possible to do this, if I use a boot manager such as refind is it possible to do so? I have tried following the instructions here (http://forlearning.com/dual-booting-elementary-os-and-osx/ and I expect to see an option for ‘install alongside osx’) but when I a) choose the ‘legacy’ option in refind (furthest right) it cannot find the bootable volume b) choose the ‘linux’ option, the elementary install wizard loads but again it does not detect the presence of OSX on the drive and I still don’t get the ‘install alongside OS X’ option and only see the erase option.

A few years back I installed Luna on a Macbook using refit and saw the ‘install alongside OSX’ option. I was able to successfully install.

  • so i had a similar issue and this helped solve me installing eOS on my mbp but now refind is not giving me the option to boot into macOS. Please help. It just boots into eOS. EDIT: Runinning refind from mac recovery solved the issue.
    – fpigeonjr
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 21:31

4 Answers 4


Refind is a boot manager. It is a handy way of choosing what OS to boot into, but won't help with your question.

Resize your partition in OS X then boot from the thumb drive. Here is a video showing how to resize your partition on Yosemite. Be careful with this. Apple makes it pretty easy, but if things go wrong you can lose data.

You'll have to decide how much space you want for OS X vs Loki. Think about how much you need for apps and media then add about 8gb. Linux uses a swap file and Loki's default size for that is 8gb. Set aside as much as you want for Loki and leave it as Free Space. The elementary installer can format it and partition it for Loki.

  • Thanks for the answer. Specifically I am trying to create a DUAL BOOT set up where I run OSX and Elementary on the same HD using two partitions. I have already repartitioned my disk, got my thumb drive correctly set up. Without using refind, when I reboot, hold down alt and choose the bootable thumb drive and go through the elementary install wizard I am given no option to 'install alongside osx'. If I DO use refind, I still see no option. I will clarify my initial post with more detail. Thanks
    – Rob Brown
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 11:38
  • Ah, if you already have free space then that is odd. It should show a install alongside option. Do you see the do something else option? You could set it up manually. Use the free space to create one partition that is 8gb and make it the swap, and create an ext4 partition out of the rest of the free space and make it "/"so it will be your root partition. Just don't touch the OS X partition and elementary installer will leave it alone. Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 16:06
  • Thanks, I thought I was going crazy. After reading your comment more I re-looked at my partitioning settings. When I create a partition in OS 10.10.5 I can choose a format (e.g. HFS+), which is what I originally chose and had no success to see the 'install alongside' option. So I then tried erasing my linux partition and try again using 'Free Space' as format option. However when I choose that and continue, the partitioning seems to go ahead but no separate partition appears in disk utility. I can try your manual steps also later. The elementary documentation is lacking for dual boot. Thanks
    – Rob Brown
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 19:24
  • 1
    Hmm, this ubuntu documentation may do the trick. help.ubuntu.com/community/MactelSupportTeam/… . I could use the 'try' option install of 'install' when I boot from my USB stick, then erase the HFS+ volume, create a swap, then use the rest for the linux partition. I will give that a go
    – Rob Brown
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 19:41
  • This seemed to work, I am in!
    – Rob Brown
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 3:13

This is the best guide I have found to get dual-boot working. https://github.com/aroman/elementary-on-a-mac/tree/2017-updates

  • Answers should not just include a link, they should adequately cover the question.
    – Lewis Goddard
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 1:10

You can use rEFInd, but don't have to. I simply installed elementary alongside my mac OS on a separate partition without.

Elementary then installs GRUB and boots by default, however one can hold down the OPTION button upon startup and choose mac OS instead.

So while rEFInd is not necessary (and I like to keep things vanilla), it will give you advantages regarding configuration and speed (timeouts).


I installed elementary os on a macbook air 6,2 and the only thing that does not work is the camera, the thunder bolt, and some keyboard issue. i will wait for an update/upgrade to the hardware. unless someone find out the way around thank

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