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Thread: Installing Kali to a Macbook 12" 2016 Using USB Drive

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Installing Kali to a Macbook 12" 2016 Using USB Drive

    Hi, I would like to share my experience on installing Kali to a MacBook 12" 2016, so that you would not be wasting your time, one week, as I did. As the very first step you should forget about it because it is not possible at this time without extreme effort.

    Before we start if you do not know MacBook 12" has only one USB-C port so a USB drive is my only option to install Kali. I have installed rEFInd, a masterpiece by Roderick W. Smith.

    Perhaps you have already tried to get it done by using this guide,, and ended up looking for solutions. Which ever method you will try it won't work if it contains dd command, it is that simple. You may naively go after converting .iso to .dmg/.img file because some people argue that .isos are not fully recognised by Apple, approx. 45mins of your life will be wasted, if you do not use dev/rdiskN command. If you are insistent feel free to try;

    Another false lead to follow would be the Ubuntu's guide to create bootable USB disk for Mac;
    as you guessed UNetbootin does not work for Mac, it even warns you at the end of the process; it says you cannot boot from this stick on Macs but for reasons Ubuntu suggests you to do so. Alternatively you may go for which looks more detailed but would not work at the end.

    After digging around a little bit more you may come across with replacing vesamenu.c32 with menu.c32 in syslinux.cfg which you can find in EFI/BOOT file of the USB stick that you have created with dd command, well bad news it does not work; gets stuck.

    The closest you can get to see the Kali wallpaper is by using Mac Linux USB Loader with advanced kernel config; noapci, nomodeset. But than you will be amazed when you notice that your touchpad and keyboard are not working. You may be okay with using external keyboard/mouse with a USB hub connected to USB-C to USB adaptor or you may switch between them when you need one.

    Of course if you are dedicated enough you may go for integrating the input drivers to your iso ,, building Mac Linux USB Loader from its source code or paying 5$ to Sevenbits for his excellent work, looking out for the commands that you included for the startup, especially noapci, and hoping for it to work. This is the point I gave up, lets suppose everything went flawlessly and you have a Kali working on your Mac with touchpad/keyboard apparently you won't be having internet connection until you fix the driver issue related with wireless adapter. Furthermore probably Murphy will get you after you fix all these issues, and with a update on the Mac side all of your effort can fly away.

    I see three options for us Kali fans, first we can go for a raspberry pi at least it has built in ethernet port, second hope for big guys to develop a proper EFI structure with a tool to enable newbies like me to install Kali to a Mac using a USB Drive without dealing with basic driver issues, probably to much to ask but, third beg Apple for official Linux support in user-friendly Bootcamp Assistant.

    In the mean time if you want to fight, here are the links I found worth for looking;

  2. #2
    I feel your pain. Ive been trying with the same results and path you went down to try to get a bootable live USB to work on my MBP 15 that I got 4 months ago. The only way Ive been able to use it was with Virtual Box. I want this to work too since the MBP has a hefty graphics card for when you are using tools that can utilize the graphics card. I tried so many times to get the USB to boot since I saw hope only 2 times that it actually booted in that I could use it, that I had to recover my MBPs ability just to boot. I cant remember what it actually called, as I am new to both Linux and MacOS.

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