System Requirements for Mac Linux USB Loader

The following is required to download and run Mac Linux USB Loader:

  • A Mac running OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) or later
  • A USB drive containing at least 2 GB of free space (> 3 GB recommended)
  • A compatible Linux distribution

The following is required to boot USB drives created with Mac Linux USB Loader:

  • A Mac or PC with 64-bit UEFI firmware (any Mac made since 2007 should work)
  • Firmware with Secure Boot disabled (this doesn’t apply to Macs since they don’t have this feature anyway)
  • A video card that works with Linux on your hardware (Intel cards generally have the least number of issues) — the new MacBook Pro with the touch bar might not work!

Please note that rEFIt, rEFInd, and similar boot managers are not required to boot USB drives created with Mac Linux USB Loader. You do not need to modify your system or install anything on your system to boot a USB drive created with Mac Linux USB Loader.

Please note that support for newer Mac models is not always available or complete, and some features may be missing or exhibit incorrect behavior. Once the Linux® kernel is loaded, support for your Mac model depends on your distribution. While we have made every effort to lobby our supported distributions to maximize compatibility with different Mac models, the lawyers ask us to clarify that we cannot guarantee that Mac Linux USB Loader will work in every situation. While we believe that critical problems are rare, possible issues may include a lack of WiFi (especially on older models), lack of support for USB mice and/or keyboards, video problems, including a black screen, and freezes. Support for your hardware depends on what drivers are included with your distribution’s Linux kernel.

Booting USB drives created with Mac Linux USB Loader on a PC requires a PC that has a 64-bit UEFI and which has secure boot disabled. Whether or not you can disable secure boot on your PC is solely dependent upon your manufacturer. We highly recommended that you check your PC manufacturer’s documentation before purchasing Mac Linux USB Loader.

Compatible Linux Distributions

Mac Linux USB Loader generally works with the following Linux distributions, though things may change or vary somewhat as new versions are released. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and it is not necessarily complete or up-to-date, and your results may vary. For the latest version of a distribution that Mac Linux USB Loader supports, please check the distribution downloader.

  • Ubuntu — pretty much any version
  • Linux Mint — recent versions have been tested and are known to work
  • Elementary OS — Freya should work, Luna should work as well
  • Kali Linux — version 2.0 and later has been demonstrated to work on compatible Macs
  • TAILS — not tested, but believed to work