Installing Zorin OS on a 2009 Mac Mini running El Capitan

Hi - this is my first message and I would be grateful for some assistance. I am trying to Install Zorin OS on a MacMini. I am typing this having made the boot USB and I now have the desktop before me. It is pretty :slight_smile:
What I want to do is install it as a dual boot on my SSD. I have previously partitioned my SSD using the disk utility under El Capitan so that there is a 25 GB partition for Zorin. I have called this partition ‘Linux-SSD’. I also have partitioned my 1 TB Hard disk so that it has a 250 GB partition called ‘Linux-HD’

Now on the desktop I can see these drives. I can also mount them. But when I start to install then they disappear and I cannot see how to tell Zorin to convert the partition called “Linux-SSD” into the boot partition.

Alistair KELMAN
www.safecast.global

OK - I have taken some screen shots of the installation process. I have reached a point and have then quit the installation so that I could ask you for help

Which of these represents Linux-SSD where I want to install Zorin?

Screenshot_2020-10-10_13-21-45

My guess here was that sda2 is ¨Linux-SSD¨ and so I have selected ¨change"which has produced this pop-up and then used the pull downs to select these options.

But have I selected the correct options and is this the correct setting?

When I got to this stage I could have installed - but was this the correct choice?

This is the screen I started with - note the partitions listed on the left hand side

@AliKelman. Welcome to the Forum. I am sorry to be the first to reply to you as I do not use Mac, so cannot give you much help myself. I suspect Mac converts to Zorin may be in the mirority here, so you may have to search Ubuntu and other Linux forums to find similar installation questions for MacMini.
I did find this one item on the old Zorin Forum, which may or may not help you.

I assume from your last screenshot that you have stopped at the point of running Zorin Lite from USB and have not proceeded to install.

Is it true you have created a EXT4 partition on your SSD. I think you need a non-journaling FS for a SSD. I expect others here will advise on that. (Edit: Format EXT2 to save wear to your SSD)

Also. Have a look at Swarfendor’s unofficial Zorin 15 Manual here:

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Hi

I assume from your last screenshot that you have stopped at the point of running Zorin Lite from USB and have not proceeded to install. <<

That is correct.

Is it true you have created a EXT4 partition on your SSD. I think you need a non-journaling FS for a SSD. I expect others here will advise on that. (Edit: Format EXT2 to save wear to your SSD)<<
I will await additional posts as other Zorin users come into this thread

I suspect Mac converts to Zorin may be in the minority here, so you may have to search Ubuntu and other Linux forums to find similar installation questions for MacMini.<<

I think this is worth pursuing. I am a member of the Low End Macs group on Facebook. The way Apple is going everything is locked down, proprietary and expensive. I like being able to fix things and work co-operatively in fixing stuff. Putting Zorin in as a dual boot on a old desktop Mac could put new stable life in the old hardware and then create an upgrade path to take advantage of Zorin Grid when this arrives. I use a mix of computers in my activities - Windows 10, A MacMini, An iMac and an 11 inch Macbook Air laptop. Plus a Windows 10 phone and an Android phone. I used to use Ubuntu but I needed to make use of programmes and drivers which could only run under Windows

I will take a look at Swarfendor’s unofficial Zorin 15 Manual

Many thanks - I hope I will be able to get the Zorin Mac installation done tomorrow. Then I plan to replace the Ubuntu partition with Zorin on my dual boot Windows 10 desktop

This is some slightly edited information on my MacMini

Hardware Overview:

Model Name: Mac mini

Model Identifier: Macmini3,1

Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo

Processor Speed: 2 GHz

Number of Processors: 1

Total Number of Cores: 2

L2 Cache: 3 MB

Memory: 8 GB

Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz

Boot ROM Version: MM31.0081.B06

SMC Version (system): 1.35f0

Serial Number (system):

Hardware UUID:

Available: 787.38 GB (787,384,119,296 bytes)

Capacity: 999.35 GB (999,345,127,424 bytes)

Mount Point: /

File System: Journaled HFS+

Writable: Yes

Ignore Ownership: No

BSD Name: disk1s2

Volume UUID: 306E6C01-5834-3B0A-8D05-EB8FC735289A

Physical Drive:

Device Name: HGST HTS721010A9E630

Media Name: HGST HTS721010A9E630 Media

Medium Type: Rotational

Protocol: SATA

Internal: Yes

Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)

S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified

SSD:

Available: 18.05 GB (18,048,860,160 bytes)

Capacity: 119.69 GB (119,690,149,888 bytes)

Mount Point: /Volumes/SSD

File System: Journaled HFS+

Writable: Yes

Ignore Ownership: No

BSD Name: disk0s2

Volume UUID:

Physical Drive:

Device Name: OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSD

Media Name: OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSD Media

Medium Type: SSD

Protocol: SATA

Internal: Yes

Partition Map Type: GPT (GUID Partition Table)

S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified

Apple Bluetooth Software Version: 4.4.6f4

Hardware, Features, and Settings:

Name: ALISTAIR’s Mac mini

Address: 00-25-00-F7-31-D3

Bluetooth Low Energy Supported: No

Handoff Supported: No

Instant Hot Spot Supported: No

Manufacturer: Broadcom

Transport: USB

Chipset: 2046

Firmware Version: v208 c521

Bluetooth Power: On

Discoverable: On

Connectable: Yes

Auto Seek Pointing: Off

Remote wake: On

Vendor ID: 0x05AC

Product ID: 0x8216

HCI Version: 2.1 (0x4)

HCI Revision: 0x209

LMP Version: 2.1 (0x4)

LMP Subversion: 0x21D0

Device Type (Major): Computer

Device Type (Complete): Mac Desktop

Composite Class Of Device: 0x380104

Device Class (Major): 0x01

Device Class (Minor): 0x01

Service Class: 0x1C0

Auto Seek Keyboard: Off

As far as partitioning, maybe this helps: Partition Scheme for Zorin (and removing Windows 10) ?

I was about to create a journaling FS but I held off doing so in the hope of hearing back from people in this forum. Should I create a non-journaling FS for the SSD.

@AliKelman. As per edit to my last post. I previously had a look at other posts on here about FS to use on SSD and EXT2 was suggested as is non-journaling, wheras EXT4 is journaling. I think if you also search the Forum you will find that same result.

Have a look at this post by @swarfendor437

You will also need to setup TRIM for your SSD as is not done automatically.

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Thanks - later today (or tomorrow) I will get down to work on this. I have been spending my time working on an ACER Aspire laptop moving it from Windows 8 to Zorin. It has been interesting :slight_smile:

Please excuse my ignorance but what is TRIM?

Explained here: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-configure-periodic-trim-for-ssd-storage-on-linux-servers

In the link on the post that zab linked.

Hmm - I’m going to try to install Zorin OS this Friday on the 2009 MacMini. I will set the partition to Ext2. By the look of things I also appear to need to open Terminal and insert a script so that the computer can run TRIM periodically. I understand that Zorin OS 15 is based on Ubuntu 18.04. But having skim read this article I am now very confused as to what I need to do.

That article confused me, too.
However, TRIM is included in the OS; it needs only be enabled. Perhaps this article can help reduce the confusion by warp factor 6:

Thanks Aravisian - I was getting quite bogged down with this stuff. I am now quite curious in how well Zorin is going to run on my 2009 MacMini.

It is funny that when I started out I never went near Apple computers but stuck with real computers. Apple Macs are Fisher-Price activity toys whereas real computer allowed you to get into the heart of things. If your program wouldn’t compile you would rip the cover off and put some freezer spray directly on the CPU to cool it down so it would complete the task without bombing out.

Now, after more than 40 years, there is a chance that a second life could be given to old Macs by Zorin. Modern Apple stuff is completely locked down - if you buy a new MacBook like this one


you will never be able to leave the Apple ‘walled garden’ when Apple decides it is at its “End of Life”. This is because it has the Apple T2 Security Chip. So if you like the look and feel of a MacBook Air you will always have to buy a new Apple device unless you can get an old MacBook Air which pre-dates the modern era and convert it to run something else.

That something else just might be Zorin.

Right Today’s the day when I try to put Zorin on the MacMini. Will I brick it and, if not, what is it going to be like ?

  1. I have put the USB in a spare port, held down the Alt-Option key during the reboot, set up my wifi so that it remained connected and started to boot Zorin from the USB . The USB is flashing nicely and the Zorin logo is pretty on the screen occasionally flashing. I know that if I use the cursor keys I could see what it was doing but I prefer to remain in blissful ignorance.

  2. So far I have waited half an hour for it to load with the USB flashing away. I suspect that it is taking this long because I selected the third option - to have it load with the extra Nvidia drivers. I don’t know if this computer has them but there was no harm in loading them in any event. 45 minutes in the logo disappeared and a bit of code appeared on the screen. Then the screen went blank with the USB still blinking away. Five minutes later the mouse cursor has appeared on the screen. Five minutes after than the bottom line with the Zorin logo at the left hand side of the screen has appeared and now the Zorin desktop is there for me. Total time 50 minutes to get to this point

Have now clicked on “Install Zorin OS 15.3”. The Welcome window has appeared. I select “English”, wait a few seconds until it asks me which English. I select “English UK”, use the “Detect Keyboard Layout” option to ensure that it understands my keyboard. It has decided that my keyboard is English UK (which it is - it is actually Apple LogicKeyboard, Video Editing USB Keyboard, Model: A1048, UK QWERTY) It is now showing me “Updates and other software” in a window. I press continue

Now the “Installation type” window. I tell it to Erase disk and install Zorin OS. I select the advance partitioning tool, click on “/dev/sda2 hfs+”, click change and then in the Edit partition window use the pull-down to Use as Ext2 file system. I also change the Mount point to /

Having said “Continue” I get the warning “Write the changes to disks?” I say “Continue”

It has now asked me “Where are you” and shows me a world map. I confirm that I am in London
Now it says “Who are you” I

Having said “Installation crashed” - and has set out the Traceback

I am now back on the original desktop screen - no trace of the error log

So what have I done wrong :frowning: