Apple Intel Mac mini support on FreeBSD

Support status

Model

Id

Family

Architecture

Last known working FreeBSD release

Highest bootable OS X/macOS Version

A1176

macmini1,1

early 2006

Intel

?

Snow Leopard 10.6.8

A1176

macmini1,1

late 2006

Intel

?

Snow Leopard 10.6.8

A1176

macmini2,1

mid 2007

Intel

12.0-RELEASE i386**

Lion 10.7.5

A1283

macmini3,1

early 2009

Intel

12.0-RELEASE amd64

El Capitan 10.11.x

A1283

macmini3,1

late 2009

Intel

12.0-RELEASE amd64

El Capitan 10.11.x

A1347

macmini4,1

mid 2010

Intel

9.0-RELEASE ???

High Sierra 10.13.x

A1347

macmini5,1

mid 2011

Intel

12.0-RELEASE amd64

High Sierra 10.13.x

A1347

macmini5,2

mid 2011

Intel

12.0-RELEASE amd64

High Sierra 10.13.x

A1347

macmini5,3

mid 2011

Intel

12.0-RELEASE amd64

High Sierra 10.13.x

A1347

macmini6,1

late 2012

Intel

?

Mojave 10.14.x (current)

A1347

macmini6,2

late 2012

Intel

?

Mojave 10.14.x (current)

A1347

macmini7,1

late 2014

Intel

?

Mojave 10.14.x (current)

A1993

macmini8,1

late 2018

Intel

?

Mojave 10.14.x (current)

** Source upgrade from 11.2-STABLE i386; 11.2-RELEASE i386 installable from CD-ROM. See Notes below.

Outstanding PRs

Installing FreeBSD as the only operating system

Macmini2,1 - FreeBSD 11.2-RELEASE i386

Before you start

You will need:

Be aware

Recipe

/!\ /!\ These instructions will erase your computer's internal hard disk. This is not a dual-boot OS X/FreeBSD installation /!\ /!\

  1. Insert the FreeBSD installation CD/DVD in the internal CD/DVD drive and turn on the Mac Mini while holding down the ALT/Option key until a Windows CD Icon appears. Choose that icon to boot into the FreeBSD installer.

  2. In the FreeBSD installer, make your own choices until you reach the disk setup.
  3. Choose Guided Disk Setup.
  4. Select Entire Disk.
  5. Choose MBR and not GPT.
  6. Accept the suggested partition layout or adjust for your own preferences.
  7. Continue with your own choices until you reach the Choose Services section. Here you should at the very least enable powerd(8) for power saving and heat reduction.

  8. Continue with your own choices until the installation is finished, but do not reboot yet.
  9. Insert the OS X installation disc into the external CD/DVD drive.

  10. Reboot. The system will shutdown gracefully but fail to reboot, so you will need to power the machine off manually.
  11. Power on the machine while holding down the ALT/Option key - you will eventually be presented with three boot options: The OS X installation disc, a Windows disc (FreeBSD disc) and a Windows hard disk (FreeBSD). Choose the OS X disc.
  12. From the OS X installation menu, choose Utilities -> Terminal.

  13. Eject the FreeBSD disc using diskutil eject /dev/disk1 in the terminal.

  14. In the terminal, bless the FreeBSD hard disk partition using the following command: bless --device /dev/disk0s1 --setBoot --legacy

  15. In the terminal, reboot with the command reboot

The system should reboot into the FreeBSD installation on the hard disk. If it chooses the OS X installation disc, power off, power on while holding the ALT/Option key, choose the Windows hard disk option which will boot into FreeBSD. After logging into FreeBSD, camcontrol eject cd1 will eject the OS X installation disc.

Macmini3,1 - FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE amd64

Before you start

You will need:

Recipe

/!\ /!\ These instructions will erase your computer's internal hard disk. This is not a dual-boot OS X/FreeBSD installation /!\ /!\

  1. Insert the USB memory stick and turn on the Mac Mini while holding down the ALT/Option key until a Windows USB Icon appears. Choose that icon to boot into the FreeBSD installer.
  2. In the FreeBSD installer, make your own choices until you reach Distributions to Install - here make sure to select the src component as you will need to rebuild the kernel later to get wireless working.

  3. Continue making your own choices until you reach the disk setup.
  4. Choose Guided Disk Setup.
  5. Select Entire Disk.
  6. Choose GPT.
  7. Accept the suggested partition layout or adjust for your own preferences.
  8. Continue with your own choices until you reach the Choose Services section. Here you should at the very least enable powerd(8) for power saving and heat reduction.

  9. Continue with your own choices until the installation is finished, but do not reboot yet. Note: the BCM4321 wireless device will not be found in network configuration -- see below.

  10. Remove the USB memory stick.
  11. Insert the OS X installation disc into the internal CD/DVD drive.
  12. Reboot while holding down the ALT/Option key - you will eventually be presented with two boot options: The OS X installation disc and an EFI hard disk (FreeBSD). Choose the OS X disc.
  13. From the OS X installation menu, choose Utilities -> Terminal.

  14. In the terminal, bless the FreeBSD boot file using the following commands:
     mount -t msdos /dev/disk0s1 /Volumes
     bless --mount /Volumes --setBoot --file /Volumes/efi/boot/BOOTX64.efi --shortform
     umount /Volumes
     reboot

The system should reboot into the FreeBSD installation on the hard disk. If it chooses the OS X installation disc, power off, power on while holding the ALT/Option key, choose the Windows hard disk option which will boot into FreeBSD. After logging into FreeBSD as root, camcontrol eject cd0 will eject the OS X installation disc. Reboot and it should startup from FreeBSD on the hard disk.

Macmini4,1 through Macmini7,1 - FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE amd64

Before you start

You will need:

Recipe

/!\ /!\ These instructions will erase your computer's internal hard disk. This is not a dual-boot OS X/FreeBSD installation /!\ /!\

  1. Insert the USB memory stick and turn on the Mac Mini while holding down the ALT/Option key until a Windows USB Icon appears. Choose that icon to boot into the FreeBSD installer.
  2. In the FreeBSD installer, make your own choices until you reach the disk setup.
  3. Choose Guided Disk Setup.
  4. Select Entire Disk.
  5. Choose GPT.
  6. Accept the suggested partition layout or adjust for your own preferences.
  7. Continue with your own choices until you reach the Choose Services section. Here you should at the very least enable powerd(8) for power saving and heat reduction.

  8. Continue with your own choices until the installation is finished, but do not reboot yet.

  9. Remove the FreeBSD installation USB memory stick.
  10. Insert the OS X/macOS installation USB memory stick.
  11. Reboot while holding down the ALT/Option key - you will eventually be presented with two boot options: The OS X/macOS installation USB memory stick and an EFI hard disk (FreeBSD). Choose the OS X/macOS installation option.
  12. From the OS X/macOS installation menu, choose Utilities -> Terminal.

  13. In the terminal, bless the FreeBSD boot file using the following commands:
     mount -t msdos /dev/disk0s1 /Volumes
     bless --mount /Volumes --setBoot --file /Volumes/efi/boot/BOOTX64.efi --shortform
     umount /Volumes
     reboot

The system should reboot into the FreeBSD installation on the hard disk. If it chooses the OS X installation USB memory stick, power off, power on while holding the ALT/Option key, choose the EFI hard disk option which will boot into FreeBSD and it should startup from FreeBSD on the hard disk.

Consult the IntelMacMini#Model specific information for further advice.

Macmini8,1 - FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE amd64

Be aware

FreeBSD cannot be installed on the 2018 Mac mini's internal SSD because there is no FreeBSD driver for the Apple T2 chip which contains among other things the SSD controller, so FreeBSD cannot detect the internal SSD.

It may be possible to install FreeBSD onto an externally attached hard disk/SSD if you:

However, I had no success. The USB memory stick image (also tried the ISO image dd'd to a USB memory stick, and a CD drive image) gets as far as the "BOOTING" message and the monitor loses the video signal. This may be related to the ongoing 2018 Mac mini monitor issues (see the Apple Forum).

Google suggests that some Linux distributions do boot (but, of course, cannot install on the internal SSD drive), so there may be some hope.

Model specific information

Mac mini 1,1

Mac mini 2,1

Notes:

Mac mini 3,1

Notes:

Mac mini 4,1

Notes:

Mac mini 5,1

Notes:

Mac mini 5,2

Notes:

Mac mini 5,3

Notes:

Mac mini 6,1

Notes:

Mac mini 6,2

Notes:

Mac mini 7,1

Mac mini 8,1

Notes:

asmc notes

asmc(4) is the FreeBSD device driver for the Apple System Management Controller (SMC). The variables related to the SMC are exported via sysctl(3) under the device tree dev.asmc and, for the Mac mini, report fan speeds and temperature sensor readings.


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IntelMacMini (last edited 2019-05-16 05:07:06 by TrevorRoydhouse)