Issues with Random Restarts on a 2012 iMac


I have a 2012 iMac that was running Windows as its sole OS but I've decided to make the jump to Linux. However, there's been some unwanted behavior in this; my computer is unstable and will reboot randomly after some seemingly arbitrary time.


  • CPU: i7-4770K
  • GPU: Nvidia GTX 780M Mac Edition (GK104)
  • RAM: 24GB DDR3
  • SSD: 1x 1TB OWC, 1x 3TB SATA HDD
  • WiFi: Intel AX210

All OS installs have been on the OWC drive.


I've tried two distros for this. The one I wanted to install, Zorin 17 Pro, I picked for its newb friendliness. I chose the Nvidia drivers and experienced the shutdown during installation. It completely borked, so I reinstalled it, and it went successfully, then the shutdowns began. They were to the point I genuinely thought it was a hardware issue, but since nothing changed following the upgrade to the 1TB OWC and other upgrades, I decided to swap distributions. Installing POP!_OS was smoother, but eventually, the problem reappeared.

Behaviors most likely to trigger the restart are updating the system with Gnome's built-in tools, moving windows, and other basic systems tasks. WiFi doesn't seem to be the issue, as I can run tests that push the WiFi module.

Another thing of note is that the display driver thinks the display is a 90hz panel when it's a 60hz. So, I think some software or firmware shenanigans are going on.


Steps done:

I've done the following to isolate a cause, hardware or software:

  • Swapped distros
  • Poured over system logs to determine if there were obvious issues. I've found logs related to the Nvidia driver not matching the hardware and something related to "HDY_CAROUSEL_BOX"
  • I found items in the logs related to Apple EFI and Linux not liking it, but it seemed to boot normally, though it's complaining about ACPI. It could be related, but I am unsure.
  • Attempted multiple purges and reinstalls of the Nvidia Driver set. Both attempt to use the open-source and proprietary 390 and 418 Server drivers. I've attempted to purge them and then it errors out on the compute and dkms modules. Error 1.

Things I've not done:

  • Tried another PSU (Unlikely to work since Windows had no issues)
  • Try another kernel (Arch, Fedora, etc.) (This could be more stable, but I doubt efficacy due to this likely being an underlying driver issue)
  • Try another OS entirely (OpenIndiana, Haiku, etc.) (I want to avoid the issue if possible. I don't mind returning to Windows, but I would prefer something more likely to get support in the future.)

Thanks for your time.

TL;DR- I tried to install Linux on a Mac, and now it reboots randomly. I think it's a software issue based on behavior.

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