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Modèle A1312 / Mid-2011 / processeur 2.7 & 3.1 GHz Core i5 ou 3.4 GHz Core i7, ID iMac12,2

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Is it too old to convert to Linux OS?

If it's possible …or realistic… I'd like to convert or add a Linux OS to my beloved iMac desktop. I LOVE this piece of hardware!! It's great! But generally, philosophically, politically, as, open-source kinda-girl… it really !#^&@! me off that there are no options for this awesome piece of equipment…b/c of Apple’s bogus proprietary OS stuff.   grrrr    I stopped by my small, local computer shop yesterday and they told me that they do install Linux for people… but they wouldn't even consider doing it on a machine this old!  :(    It's a mid-2011, 27”, 3.1 GHzm Intel i5, 16 GBm 1333 MHz DDR3, AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1024 MB.   It’s MORE than adequate for my needs.  It says it’s running OS X El Capitan  but I’m pretty sure the guy I bought it from told me he had upgraded it to High Sierra.  But apparently, according to the technician at the computer repair store yesterday…it’s just too old to be worth it…in his opinion.  So, I thought I’d see about getting a second opinion here.  I believe in reusing stuff as much as possible. And budget constraints limit constantly buying new devices.

I’d probably need to hire / pay someone to do this, as it think it would likely be beyond my ability. I have a friend who has Linux on his laptop…and it doesn’t seem difficult to use. But, my experience is pretty limited with Linux, mostly to his, which I’ve rarely used. I used Windows 1994-2004, switched to Mac at that time, stayed with Mac, but occasionally had to bounce around between Mac and Windows, I’m not especially tech-smart. Although I learned how to FTP files back in early 2000’s. I can usually manage some simple stuff. I’ve heard LOTS of people say -over the years- “Don’t do this, unless you are very tech savvy…Linux will be too problematic for you.” Which is always disappointing…b/c I like to think I’m reasonably intelligent. Any thoughts, or feedback?

Répondre à cette question J'ai le même problème

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Do you want to do a dual boot or just run linux?


@andrewsawesome I'm not sure. I used to run Windows on my Mac with something called Parallel...Or something like that. Can't remember at the moment. I remember it being a bit of a hassle to boot up in that program, and the display was weird. So I ended up not using it much. But I'm sure things have progressed a LOT since then. And maybe it would be easier, more seamless now to run both (which I assume is what you mean by 'dual boot.') It would be great (easier) for me to continue to be able to use my Mac as I'm used to it....while I get familiar with the new Linux OS. And then I could slowly ease into that as the primary. So, I think that would probably be my preference...unless it makes things more complicated or glitchy. Thanks for responding to my question :) Have a Beautiful Day...


Hey there, I totally understand where you're coming from! I totally agree with your philosophy of reusing stuff as much as possible.


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Gerry Frederich it’s the perfect machine for it. Still uses fairly standard hardware so there will be no issues with Linux not recognizing something. Lots of folks have done it so no reason for you not to give it a try. As for the OS, there are so many different versions of Linux that I am confident you will find one that is acceptable to you. Looks like Mint does well on your machine and it’s not to command line heavy. Check things like this or from the Linux perspective on here to see the issues others experienced while doing this “conversion. Screw proprietary software and lets rock this “conversion”.

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@oldturkey03 Thanks for the encouragement! Now I just need to find someone who can help me with it! :)


Gerry Frederich you can do it. No need to wait on anybody. There are so many online instructions that will guide you step-by-step. I would suggest that for now you find a Linux Version that you are comfortable with. Do a little bit of research on that. It'll make it easier to convert once you know what "flavor" Linux you are going to use. It'll be fun! Go for it


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I don't know if the OP has done a Linux setup with their Mac yet, so I'll explain how to do that here for anyone interested. You may want to use a wired keyboard and mouse for this guide.

Making a bootable USB stick:

  1. Download Etcher here (make sure to download the macOS version) and install it.
  2. Choose your distribution; you will probably want a lightweight one. Two that I found were antiX (download) and Bunsen Labs (download).
  3. Plug in the flash drive. If it has personal files on it, back them up, as the drive will be wiped.
  4. In Etcher, choose the iso file you just downloaded, and choose the flash drive you plugged in, them select "Flash" and wait for it to finish. Once it is done, close the program and eject the flash drive.

Mqking space for the Linux partition:

  1. Open Disk Utility
  2. Find the Macintosh HD (or similar) partition on the drive
  3. Shrink the partition so there is at least 20 GB of free space on the drive

For MacOS El Capitan or later:

  1. While booted into MacOS, download the rEFInd binary .zip file and unzip it with the built-in MacOS tools or with a 3rd party program like Keka. Keep the unzipped folder in your desktop folder. Take note of the folder name, including any dots or dashes. This folder name will be referenced throughout the rest of this guide as [folderName]
  2. Shut down your Mac
  3. Reboot your conputer into Recovery mode by pressing the power button, then holding Command+R until you see a window with "MacOS Utilities"
  4. Select Utilities>Terminal from the menu bar
  5. Enlarge the terminal window a little bit
  6. Type df -h into the terminal. This will generate a list of volumes. If you named your main hard drive something different than Macintosh HD, replace the "Macintosh\HD" part of the command in the next step with your main hard drive's name, replacing any spaces with a backslash (\)
  7. Type cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Users/rodsmith/Desktop/[folderName]
  8. Type ls and check for refind-install. If it is not present, try typing cd [folderName] , then typing ls again and checking for a refind-install
  9. Type ./refind-install into the terminal and wait for rEFInd to install itself.

For more ways to work around SIP (Systen Integrity Protection) on macOS, check out this guide

rEFInd is now installed.

Installing Linux:

  1. Shut down the computer
  2. Plug in the USB drive
  3. Power the machine up. You should see a rEFInd menu. Choose the icon with a penguin.
  4. You should be able to follow the prompts from there tl install. Use the free space for the new partitions.
  5. If the computer only boots into Linux, open the terminal and type sudo apt install refind . After refind is installed in linux, you can simply type sudo refind-mkdefault into the terminal whenever the computer boots into Linux instead of the rEFInd bootloader.

Other helpful links:

REFInd guides index

A few different types of rEFInd packages

What to do when your computer doesn't boot into rEFInd

Installing rEFInd

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Hey there, I totally understand where you're coming from! I totally agree with your philosophy of reusing stuff as much as possible. I think it's great that you're looking into adding a Linux OS to your beloved iMac. I've had a similar experience with my own iMac. My local computer shop told me that it was too old to convert to Linux, but I didn't let that stop me! I did some research and found a website called Tuxcare ( that provides extended support for when CentOS 7 goes end of life in 2024. I was able to install Linux on my iMac and it's been working great ever since! So don't let anyone tell you that your iMac is too old to convert to Linux. It's definitely worth a try!

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I believe you can convert any Mac to Linix as long as they use a PowerPC or Intel processor.


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Gerry Frederich sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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