News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Linux Mint on an old Mac laptop?

    Posted on LHiggins Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems Linux – all distros Linux Mint on an old Mac laptop?

    Viewing 2 reply threads
    • Author
      • #2287554 Reply
        AskWoody Plus


        I have a question about possibly installing Linux Mint on an older Mac laptop. I “may” have the opportunity to get an older (not sure how old), very inexpensive (or even free?) Mac laptop that I’d want to put Mint on. I have very little experience with Macs and really no idea what to consider as basic system requirements to do that – or if it would even be a good idea at all. My thought is to just replace the Mac OS with Mint and make it a single boot machine, so I’m really most interested in the hardware that would be important, and capability to connect to the internet, of course.

        I would appreciate any suggestions as to what I should find out about an older Mac if I wanted to try this, since I really don’t know where to start in asking the right questions. Or ideas on whether this is even something I should spend time on, or just continue to look into a refurbished Windows machine instead.

        Thanks so much!

      • #2287568 Reply
        Da Boss

        If the Mac boots, in the menu at the top left, click on the “Apple logo” then “About this Mac.”

        The information on the “Overview,”, “Displays,” “Storage,” and “Memory” tabs would be helpful (screenshot).
        Also, on the “Overview” tab, click on “System Report.” The information on the “Hardware Overview” would be useful.
        With this information, there is a general look at the compatibility of the hardware.



        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2287574 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          Thanks – that is helpful! I don’t have it yet – and in truth, it may not work out, but I wanted to be prepared ahead of time to ask the right things about it, especially if there is going to be a small fee for it.

          So – looking at those two lists, I should be able to “compare” to a Windows machine as far as RAM, hard drive size, etc.

          Is there a way to know what type of wireless capabilities it would have? I see the ethernet card choice listed in your example, but I connect via a wifi hotspot, and would need that capability. Can that be checked ahead of time as well?

          Also – how might a printer work or be figured out from the list of hardware?

          And if the hardware is “right” – would wiping the hard drive and just installing Mint be a good idea?

          Thanks so much! This definitely gives me somewhere to start if indeed this is something viable.

          • #2287577 Reply
            Da Boss

            The System Information is the equivalent of msinfo32 on a Win machine. It has all the hardware/software information you could want.

            If the wireless card is compatible with Linux (ie, you can get drivers for it) you should not have problems connecting to the printer wirelessly. The information on whether Linux has drivers for the printer (to make it print right) or not should be answered if you are able to use the printer on another Linux installation.

            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2287585 Reply
              AskWoody Plus

              Thanks! I guess I’ll actually need to get my hands on it, if it does turn out to be a possibility.

              My current Linux Mint install does print wirelessly to my Canon printer, so it should then work with this type of install.

              Thanks so much – I feel much better about at least knowing what to check before I consider doing this!

              Thanks again!

      • #2287576 Reply
        AskWoody MVP

        Once the forthcoming mac hardware is established and listed here,
        then the next step is what Linux Mint flavor of distro?
        Linux Mint have four: Cinnamon, LXDE Cinnamon, XFCE and MATE spins.
        Both versions of Cinnamon are a bit more demanding of hardware for the aestheic values (the system runs slightly hotter and the cooling fans work more)
        XFCE or Mate versions, on the other hand, run cooler with MATE being an optimal version whereas XFCE (in my experience) gets bloated and slower over prolonged timescale use.

        Here is a link on what to expect: or

        Win8.1 Pro x64 + Linux Hybrids x86/x64 + Win7 Pro x86/64 O/L
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2287587 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          Great links – thanks! Looks like I have a lot to read up on, but it does sound like it is feasible.

          I currently use Mint Cinnamon 19.2 but I have been having issues with it, thus looking for some hardware alternatives. Mint is now installed on an external USB SSD and runs from there, and I’ve still been having suspend issues that I can’t resolve. If I am able to get the Mac, I would like to try to have Cinnamon on it, if that would work, but MATE is also a possibility.

          Thanks for the information and links!

    Viewing 2 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Linux Mint on an old Mac laptop?

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.