I had to reset the PRAM on my MB Pro the other day. I had elementary OS installed, and it would automatically boot to it (still hadn't figure out how to get the GRUB screen up). I would have to hold down the option key to get the choice to boot El Capitan.

Anyway, after the reset it automatically boots into OS X. I thought i had erased elementary OS but when I attached the USB stick in order to reinstall it, it noted that elementary OS was already on the machine. I didn't install and took a look at GPARTED, and sure enough there it was, with the swap file and everything. In OS Disk Utility it showed the mac partition and the other partition for elementary OS, but was called 'unidentified.'

So to my mind there has to be a way to be able to boot into elementary OS, but I don't know how to do this. Can someone help me out here? If you need more info let me know.

Here's what I can tell you so far after some replies:

I just turned on the mac after inserting the usb stick with elementary OS on it (i think its an iso file). When I hold down the option key I get either the mac partition or the usb stick (which is called EFI boot). I choose that one, and now I'm looking at the GNU Grub screen, with the the choices to

  • Try elementary OS without installing
  • Install elementary OS
  • OEM install (for manufacturers)
  • Check disc for errors

There's no rescue here (which i've been advised to try) obviously. So if I choose install, which I think is what you mean, then I get the welcome screen with a language choice

Then when I click continue I get the preparing to install elementary OS; i click continue with a choice to download updates while installing and one to download third party software for graphics and wi-fi hardware, etc. I don't choose either and just click continue.

Then I get the installation type window. at the the top oft he window there is a message saying that elementary OS is already install the computer.

I choose the "something else" option, rather than erased the disk, or encrypt the new elementary installation for security, or the use the LVM with the new elementary OS installation.

Then I get the installation type with all the the partitions on the SSD:

  • /dev/sda1 efi
  • /dev/sda2 hfs+ (the mac partition]
  • /dev/sda3 hfs+ (mac recovery partition or disk)
  • /dev/sda4 hfs+ (another mac recovery disk)
  • /dev/sda5 ext4 (the elementary OS partition)

There is also the linx swap file

There is also "device for boot loader installation" with the name of the SSD in the mac

There are no mount points for any of these partitions, if that makes any difference.

If a cancel the install I get the desktop, and when I open gparted it shows all the partitions, but the only one that has a flag is the EFI System Partition. none of the other partitions have any flags, and I'm not sure of that means anything.

2 Answers 2


Hi I use the rEFInd bootloader on my Mac to boot Linux and OSX rEFInd

Simply download on OSX unpack the Zip file the open the Terminal cd into the refind-bin folder and run: sudo ./refind-install This will install the bootloader then reboot the Mac and from the menu choose elemantary OS.

  • Tried that, but it won't let me -- got a message saying the SIP may be enabled. Told me to reboot with command+r, then choose terminal and cd togo to the directory and run the file.
    – Straitsfan
    Dec 19, 2016 at 17:02
  • And If you reboot thers no boot menu?
    – user7713
    Dec 19, 2016 at 18:57
  • Heres a link to install it with SIP enable but be careful.
    – user7713
    Dec 19, 2016 at 19:04
  • 1
    rodsbooks.com/refind/sip.html#sip_enabled DON'T ABORT INSTALL BY POWER DOWN OR SUCH STUFF DO IT ONLY IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DO... ABORTING INSTALL PROCESS CAN KILL PRAM and your Mac is in expensive paperweight nothing more
    – user7713
    Dec 19, 2016 at 19:06

You can eventually try to use some Linux live from usb stick, install on this usb live Linux boot repair - look for in Google how to and run this tool. Eventually it may need additional small partition mounted as /boot for Elementary OS.

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