Install Debian on a Macbook Pro

How to install Debian 9 on an old-ish Macbook Pro.

In the future, everybody will run Debian – the universal operating system. Don’t resist. It’s way cooler than macOS. Install Wayland and Sway.

Re-install macOS. Partition the drive and give macOS about 40GB space. Keep the rest for Linux.

Get the Debian ISO: debian-mac-9.0.0-amd64-netinst.iso Note: you may want to download the one with non-free firmware. I just used the standard one.

Prep USB drive:

hdiutil convert debian.iso -format UDRW -o target.img
diskutil list
diskutil unmountDisk /dev/diskN
sudo dd if=target.img of=/dev/diskN bs=1m
diskutil eject /dev/diskN

Download rEFInd binary zip file. Unzip and run the refind-install script on the Macbook Pro. You should now have a nice boot menu.

With USB drive in the laptop, reboot and hold down the Alt key.

Follow the Debian install process, and make sure you select the Linux partition you created, in my case it was /dev/sda4.

Use the Ethernet port and connect to the internet. You may need to install the wifi firmware:

apt-get install firmware-b43-installer

2 thoughts on “Install Debian on a Macbook Pro

  1. Cool! I’ll get some popcorn so long for your follow-up posts where you call Debian muppets for various reasons.

    Glad that you’re still using Debian, I thought you were OSX only these days. :)

    1. I was waiting for Wayland (-:

      Mostly macOS desktop and Ubuntu for servers… but I figure Debian is the more pure option.

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