Running Arch Linux on iMac late 2013 (27 inch)

What did I do with my iMac

Finally, I got bored with macOS.

I bought my first Mac computer in March 2014, which is an iMac 27 inch. I liked it, so I bought another Macbook Pro, and I’ve been using macOS since, until about a week ago.

I installed Arch Linux on my iMac, and here are some highlights:

The installation process

It was challenging and fun

I am not going to list a step-by-step guide, as the way I did it may not be the way you want your system to be, and I believe as an Arch Linux user you are not expecting a step-by-step guide, are you?

To be able to install them properly, I would suggest you read carefully on the Arch Linux wiki pages about these few things:

Also you may want to learn a little bit more about ZFS before you start,

The idea is like this

  1. You want to use rEFInd to boot to a FAT32 partition, looking for a config file /boot/refind_linux.conf.
  2. The config file will tell dm-crypt that this is an encrypted drive, so the kernel will load dm-crypt and you will be asked to enter your password.
  3. Then after dm-crypt maps the drive to a virtual device like /dev/mapper/something, ZFS will start to import the pool, and mount different partitions accordingly based on mountpoint settings.
  4. After the ZFS mounts your root, your system will then boot successfully.

The result

In general it’s pretty good.

Only one thing before I can say it’s perfect:

In conclusion

I know I am running Arch Linux (lovely rolling release distro) on an iMac (super Linux “friendly” hardware), but I’ve got ZFS, so if the update ruins anything, zfs rollback ....