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Pop!_OS & macOS, dual boot, same HDD, UEFI Only

Using the Ubuntu based distros (Pop!_OS in my case) give us some sort of magic powers, otherwise hard or even impossible to be obtained on other OS's. Some spells, for example, allows us to easily add and manage multiple operating systems on same hardware, same Disk (HDD/SSD).
But how's that? Well, in order to install multiple OS's on same machine, especially on same disk, we need the ability to easily create a GPT (GUID Partition Table) Disk, to free up disk space for neighbors and to use a larger EFI partition. The spell used for that is called Gparted.

I have used GPT scheme and a custom size EFI partition since Ubuntu has started to offer support for that, and that's some time ago, so the only remaining task is to free up some disk space, where to install macOS. Using Gparted we can easily resize already used space and create new partitions on disk without fear of data loss. GPT and a larger EFI can be created at the Ubuntu/Pop!_OS installer, using manual partitioning, otherwise by using Gparted from a live Linux USB. Beware that this can be a dangerous operation that can put your already stored data at risk.

Before we start, as for any major PC OS's outhere (Windows, Linux, macOS) we must have a compatible hardware to run macOS on it, and that's more true for laptops where we can't just switch hardware components until all goes right.
That being said, I'm running Linux (Pop!_OS) at full speed on my ThinkPad T420 laptop and found some well maintained custom drivers (kext) that should allow me to run macOS on this laptop.

The macOS version that I'll gone install along side Pop!_OS is macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Preparation:

  • a compatible Intel laptop (ThinkPad T420 ?)
  • hands on an Apple MacBook Pro (or a hackintosh or a macOS running on a virtual machine)
  • one piece of a 16GiB USB drive
  • macOS drivers (kexts) for you hardware/laptop
The entire tutorial consist on 3 processed video files. The video(s) was recorded using multiple techniques, starting with QuickTime on a MacBook Pro, SimpleScreenRecorder on Pop!_OS, VNC screen recording from Intel vPro AMT KVM, QuickTime on the T420 Hackintosh. The main video file does contain subtitles to guide you through the process and below is a list of main steps taken in order to achieve this Hackintosh guide.

/step/1: create the macOS Mojave Installer USB

Video file not embedded, you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/eJdhcMK0y_I, beware that the kext used in this video are hardware specific (ThinkPad T420/X220)

/step/2: prepare the disk for the new in house OS, macOS

we will use for that, of course, our primary Linux OS, Pop!_OS

/step/3: boot laptop from the macOS Installer USB Disk

check your UEFI-BIOS hotkey for boot select (F12 in my case), follow the installer until the reboot

/step/4: boot laptop from the macOS Installer USB Disk

this time select boot from Clover, MACOS, finish the installation

/step/5: clean UEFI-BIOS NVRAM entries

remove "Mac OS X" from UEFI-BIOS boot (access BIOS using hotkey, F1 in my case), boot up from Pop!_OS and add the macOS boot entry using efibootmgr

step6: ThinkPad T420 macOS after install

Video file not embedded, you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/t8nKRLPcEXo, hardware specific (ThinkPad T420)

Final words

Maybe macOS on a desktop computer may be a deal (you can build a much cheaper, hight performance macOS compatible PC and Apple will not care*) but when it comes on using macOS on a laptop, even on an somehow advertised as compatible ThinkPad I don't think it is a deal (no iMessages, no faceTime, no SD/MMC card reader support, no fingerprint support). For now, between Windows (10), macOS (10.14) and Pop!_OS, for me, Pop!_OS is miles away on how the laptop is running and what I can do with that OS.

* I almost forgot :), so why Apple does not care? By installing macOS on a non Apple hardware for sure we are breaking the macOS installer EULA. What do I think? First, Apple will remove Intel from the game quite soon (they will use ARM based CPU's in the near future, so goodbye hackintosh). Second, why to not allow peoples to try macOS, maybe they will enjoy it and they will buy Apple hardware afterall and of course, after that, they will pay for atmost every single piece of software needed in order to be able to use a computer (even for a free ftp client or for LibreOffice).

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