Linux Mint MacBook Air Setup

August 16, 2020

I don’t like the idea of throwing away old or outdated tech (within reason), so I try to find a new purpose for some of my “retired” devices. This article will cover how to switch over a mid-2011 model MacBook Air to utilize Linux Mint.

Important: This setup will completely wipe your existing disk and create a fresh install of Linux Mint on the SSD. You have been warned.

The Specs

My old MacBook Air has a pretty decent spec sheet:

And let’s take a look at the basic system requirements Linux Mint suggests:

We are looking pretty good!

Step 1: Download Linux Mint

For this setup we will be using the latest, stable version (at this time of writing) of Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” - Xfce which is 20. You can download the necessary files here:

Step 2: Flash Linux Mint to USB Stick

Next we just need to flash the Linux Mint OS to a USB storage device. If you need to purchase some, you can easily find them on Amazon (affliate link):

Once installed, open Etcher do the following:

  1. Select your downloaded Linux Mint ISO file
  2. Select your USB stick/device as the media
  3. Flash media
  4. ???
  5. Profit!!

Step 3: Boot from USB

After this you will boot into a “live session” of the Linux Mint operating system.

Step 4: Installing Linux Mint

Linux Mint makes it very easy for you to install it’s OS step-by-step (similar to most other Linux distros). Simply double-click on the “Install Linux Mint” CD icon on the main desktop.

Conclusion

Linux Mint is not only a great operating system, but it is also an excellent starting point for newcomers to Linux in general. It’s stable enough to be used as a daily driver and popular enough that most minor issues can be solved with a quick internet search.

Hopefully this inspires others to try “recycling” their older Apple products instead of tossing them away or having them collect dust.

As always, I'd love to read your feedback in my public inbox!