From Mac to Penguin!

From Mac to Penguin!

Do you have an old computer lying around and do not know what to do with it? Is it really old and not really worth anything? Before you throw it out in the garbage, try giving it a second life!

I happen to have a bunch of old things around. Among them, an old 2nd generation Mac Mini. They were released right when Apple started transitioning to Intel CPUs. They’re, in theory, a 64 bit processor, which is still supported nowadays.
(In case you don’t know what 64 bits is, we’ll call it the size of the CPU. There’s 32 and 64 bits, the former is not very common these days.
Here’s a link for a better explanation:

Now why would I want to do that? Mac OS 10.6, Snow Leopard, is what is currently installed on it. It is old. Mac OS 10.7, Lion, is the last supported OS on it. Mac OS is currently on 10.15, about to move on to 11. To give you an idea, it is so old that they’ve stopped naming the new OSes after cats and have moved on to naming them after Californian locations!

I have had to try about 7 different flavours of Linux to run and most failed due to the Mac Mini being a bit ‘special’.

This is a good guide to follow to install in general:

These are the guides I followed:

As notes, I recommend trying to install Ubuntu 16 and trying to find a i386 version if yours is very old like mine due to some driver issues (my second guide link). I also recommend trying to install by using a CD and not a USB key.

Now if you don’t have an old Mac Mini but want to join the party, don’t worry! You can install Linux on any* machine!
*if you try harder enough as it took me a few attempts to get it working.

Now you have some options with your new Linux OS. For one, you can learn how to use it! Once you get comfortable with it, you can create a multimedia (Plex) server for your home or even your own personal “cloud” storage. While it has caveats to be discussed in a different post, it is an interesting option.