PureOS on Macbook?

Etcher does not mess up the USB - Linux uses a file system (ext4) that macOS does not understand, so it thinks the USB disk is messed up. This shouldn’t prevent it from actually booting, as once you manage to get the USB disk recognized by the Mac’s boot selector and boot from the USB, Linux will be running and Linux can read the contents of the disk.

I’m not sure what an “iOS bootable disk is” since iOS does not run on a Mac…

I see that you flashed PureOS on an sdcard. Not sure if that will work. In my experience you need an actual USB stick/hard disk/ssd, not an sdcard in an sdcard reader, whether that sdcard is USB or integrated in your Mac.

I think the boot partition is fat32 anyway. I agree with trying an actual UDB drive.

Might not be the issue. but on my MBP after one power ups the computer, i hear the chime, hold down option key but for a very long time like over two minutes for all the boot options to show up…

I tried both, the USB and SD card. Neither works.
I made a bootable iOS USB and it showed up as an option to boot from when I hold down the option key at start up.
It looks to me like the apple boot routine does not recognize whatever Etcher flashes onto the USB.

Today I got a brand new hard drive with a USB adapter cord. I plugged it into my MACbookPro and flashed this brand new hard drive with Etcher. Then I shutdown the Mac and pulled its original hard drive and installed the brand new hard drive with the PureOS flash on. I started the Mac and it booted from the new hard drive and asked me if I wanted to install PureOS. Not knowing what I was doing I chose the fail safe version and installed PureOS.
I am writing this reply on my Mac running PureOS.
The problem I am having right now is, that PureOS cannot find the built in wifi adapter the Mac has. Any ideas how to get it going?

Well, I have been wrestling with something similar off and on for several weeks. In my case installing Debian to a mid 2009 MBP. Pure is based on Debian. As you probably know, Debian concentrates on being free software only. Although some folks provide some of the other proprietary firmware “blobs” for some devices. I have read and tried a lot of suggestions as to how to get a Broadcom Wireless device to work. It is still not working. I started taking time off trying several weeks ago.

This one might work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW0f3NOjWys


This might be more helpful, near the end is what you want.


I suspect it might be interesting to ask my question of how to install the driver on Reddit or somewhere else. James Bond is a nice guy, but he, like a good techie person, is really busy.

For more amusement.


I may work on my version of the same problem this week.

I also have bought what the fellow on the Debian board suggested, I bought another laptop that is reputed to work more easily with Linux. I have work to do with getting that one working. I am hampered in that I do not have an 'At Home" internet connection, and my usual contact with the internet is at McDs, which blocks Linux, freeware downloads. My other option is our public library, which does not open again until Tuesday, and I think they are about to start restricting folks from using main power.

Keep in mind that some have said that Broadcom Internet processors do something to make it easier for the Internet Provider to watch what you do, where you go. I dunno about that.

One of my solutions is to buy a USB Linux WiFi adapter, preferably one that is pre installed in the base Linux everywhere.

Please let me know what your outcome is.

@purple, I’m a bit late and have no experience with MacBookPro8,X or MacBookPro9,X but if it uses Broadcom BCM4331 it needs broadcom-sta-dkms package as well. @Ralf, please read this link also. And (just opinion), up to your approach (not as described above and not as usual one with USB flash drive, something external) by using failsafe things might look or, sort of, work well, but to me, at the moment, it looks like you are running Live PureOS instance on your MBP. It is interesting that your GbEthernet works out of the box, but, as already recommended, installing/using Debian 10.3.0+nonfree.iso image might be easier way to get-to-know my MBP and by learning few more things from there (as a starting point).

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I did not find the module, firmware for Broadcom on the Debian plus nonfree. but I think that was on the previous iso.

I wonder if I should install the regular PureOS instead of the fail safe version?
I don’t know what the difference is.

AFAIK, DebianInstaller from nonfree.iso will find adequate drives alone, by itself. dpkg -i broadcom-sta-dkms will in addition need: dkms wireless-tools (at least), if linux-compiler-gcc-8-x86 linux-headers-amd64 linux-headers-common linux-headers-amd64 linux-kbuild already installed. Therefore is easier and better to use: apt update, apt install broadcom-sta-dkms after editing SourcesList and adding debian buster non-free (if PureOS.iso was used to create install media). If debian buster non-free repo stays enabled (to get future updates) or not someone needs to decide alone. Another tip might involve firmware-b43-installer package (if another BCM43XX) as well, I don’t know (we don’t know which MBP), as my replay was more toward failsafe installation.

Whoa Qarnero
Slow down a little please. I am totally new to Linux and what you wrote there is more like Chinese to me.
Thank you.

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Kind of on safe side, not to damage your bootloader. To test your hardware (and it works hopefully, just trying to imagine). Please prepare/put your PureOS.iso on USB flash drive (external USB drive) that is not bigger than 8GB in order to install everything to your new internal drive. If “holding down the Option key during startup will show you a boot screen with all bootable devices listed”, I’m not sure, but you’ll find the way.

Please download your first Debian installation file from here.

It appears to me that he option key only works with apple ios. When I have my apple hardrive in and apple USB the option key lets me choose in between the two.
As soon as one of the two options is not apple I don’t get an option.
If the only thing available is the pureOS hard. Drive then it boots from there to pureOS live but then I cannot install a full version anymore.

If there was a way, once pureOS live is running to get it to use the USB for installation, that may be a way.

I understand your point, but cannot help here further as not familiar with MBP. I hope that there is another try and error way, like using Live unofficial alternative build from Debian that you (again) boot/run from internal HDD (maybe by loading Live build into memory) and make install on a whole or just free space part of it. This is your initiative/research and I wish you good luck. Before rebooting to your new OS maybe to run update-grub within Linux command line might help. Another way, maybe better one, would be to leave iOS inside your hardware, boot USB flash drive (Linux install media) and install Debian (PureOS) directly onto the new external HDD, before you built this new HDD (again) inside MBP. Linux bootloader should be put on new HDD and not to iOS drive (sorry but now I’m out of my time here).

I think the live installation requires only 8 GB, yes? You could create an 8 GB partition on your hard drive, put the live image on it, boot off of that in your mac, and then have it install pureos onto the remaining unallocated space. After that, delete the live partition. It may not work because of where the second boot partition could end up (this isn’t something I’ve ever done), but it’s worth a shot.

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Yes, you can write within Terminal: sudo dd bs=4M if=pureos-9.0-gnome-live_20200126-amd64.hybrid.iso of=/dev/sdX status=progress oflag=sync (will result in what @Gavaudan proposed, with any drive used, excluding current one, the one in use). By adjusting MBP (so called) BIOS (if helps), try to reboot computer from such USB flash drive. But using some other way/combination might lead to solution, as said, just throwing one or two ideas based on your question, without having experience with MBP. Also, if you are able to boot MBP from prepared installation media/USB drive (perhaps after removing internal drive) and install Linux on your new HDD (connecting it afterwards over USB cable to MBP, but before starting with PureOS/Debian Installer). Whatever method you choose, please take a look here and read the bottom text of the very last slide … make sure you understand this one (Install boot loader) pretty good. I might be wrong but it looks like you want to have MBP with Linux only running on it, anyway it is your turn now. And, I have no clue if using Linux on such hardware (without BIOS) might bring some security issues with it but this was not your question either.
P.S. “How to select a different startup disk

I had no problem using a live USB (Linux Mint) on my Mac Mini from 2011. I didn’t use Etcher though, I don’t think that will matter - but if you wanna close that suspicion: I used UNetbootin.

This person had similar problem as you on a macbook mid-2014, he resolved it with rEFInd, unfortunately he didin’t get into much details and it might be challenging for you? But according to the rEFInd webpage it’s not that difficult, more or less just download and run the ./refind-install script. (But at least give this chapter a read-through)

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I used rEFInd to install Trisquel on an old iMac 4,1. Super easy to install it.