Linux Mint MacBook Air Setup

The full process of recycling an old MacBook Air to run Linux Mint

Linux Mint 20

I don’t like the idea of throwing away old or outdated tech (within reason), so I try to find a new purpose for some of my “retired” devices. This article will cover how to switch over a mid-2011 model MacBook Air to utilize Linux Mint.

Important: This setup will completely wipe your existing disk and create a fresh install of Linux Mint on the SSD. You have been warned.

The Specs

My old MacBook Air has a pretty decent spec sheet:

And let’s take a look at the basic system requirements Linux Mint suggests:

We are looking pretty good!

Step 1: Download Linux Mint

For this setup we will be using the latest, stable version (at this time of writing) of Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” - Xfce which is 20. You can download the necessary files here:

Step 2: Flash Linux Mint to USB Stick

Next we just need to flash the Linux Mint OS to a USB storage device. If you need to purchase some, you can easily find them on Amazon (affliate link):

Once installed, open Etcher do the following:

  1. Select your downloaded Linux Mint ISO file
  2. Select your USB stick/device as the media
  3. Flash media
  4. ???
  5. Profit!!

Step 3: Boot from USB

After this you will boot into a “live session” of the Linux Mint operating system.

Step 4: Installing Linux Mint

Linux Mint makes it very easy for you to install it’s OS step-by-step (similar to most other Linux distros). Simply double-click on the “Install Linux Mint” CD icon on the main desktop.

Conclusion

Linux Mint is not only a great operating system, but it is also an excellent starting point for newcomers to Linux in general. It’s stable enough to be used as a daily driver and popular enough that most minor issues can be solved with a quick internet search.

Hopefully this inspires others to try “recycling” their older Apple products instead of tossing them away or having them collect dust.