How to use Linux Mint without installing on a Mac

In the previous tutorial I explained how to create a Linux bootable usb drive in macOS. As already explained one of the many incredible features of all Linux distributions is the ability to boot a distribution directly from the USB stick you created, without the need to install Linux and affecting your hard drive and the current operating system on it. It is not necessary to perform a complete installation to first use or try out Linux. This tutorial will explain how to boot from the just created Linux usb drive so you can use Linux Mint without installing on a Mac. In an equivalent next article I will explain how to use Linux Mint without installing on a PC

Start a Linux Mint Live session

Okay, so you have the Linux USB drive now. If not than first follow all the steps in my tutorial How to create a Linux bootable usb drive in MacOS.

The nice thing of having this magical fresh Linux bootable live drive is that you can try Linux now on whatever 64 bit Apple computer you want (or make a 32 bit Linux bootable USB drive if required), like MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Mini. Well, of course it needs to have a working USB slot to be able to use it, but that is basically it.

To be able to boot into the usb drive, you’ll need to hold the option (alt) key while you boot your macBook. So let’s start.

1) If you have not already done so, first shut down your Mac computer.
2) Then put the Linux USB stick into a free USB slot.
3) Hold the option key.
4) Start your Mac computer while holding the option key, and wait.

If everything went well you see a screen with graphical presentations of at least your internal drive and the Linux Mint usb drive (presented as EFI boot).

5)You can let go of your option key now.

If you don’t see the usb drive, unplug it and plug it in again while this screen is visible. Now the usb drive should pop up in this same screen.

6) Select the usb drive (EFI boot) and hit Enter.
7) Now a menu with some options will be presented. Choose the option “Try Linux Mint without installing”.

A live session of Linux Mint will be created, ready for you to use and test without actually wiping your hard drive.

Now that Linux Mint has been booted into a live session the real fun can begin. If everything went well you will see a desktop environment that probably looks something like the screenshot below.

Final words

Now you are being able to have some first looks at this Linux Mint distribution. Just browse around and try things out. In next tutorials I will show you the basic elements of the Linux Mint distro and go much more deeper in specific functionalities of this operating system.

About John Been

Hi there! My name is John Been. At the moment I work as a senior solution engineer for a large financial institution, but in my free time, I am the owner of,, and author of my first book "Linux for the rest of us". I have a broad insight and user experience in everything related to information technology and I believe I can communicate about it with some fun and knowledge and skills.

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