Mac mini recycling

Hello soup,

just a question on older hardware. I have several Mac minis from 2011. The latest macOS to be installed is 10.13 aka High Sierra. Since most of them have a decent setup (SSD upgrade, 16GB RAM) and have hosted FM Servers for testing I would like to keep them in the rack for the same purpose. But FMS 19 wants newer OS versions.

Has anybody set up one of these with a Linux Ubuntu Server 18.04 for testing? Does it work? How does it behave?


I'm pretty sure that you'll succeed. There is a how-to on the ubuntu site and they also have a forum devoted to Apple Hardware.


Moin Holger,

maybe you wanna try to install macOS Mojave or Catalina with the corresponding patcher from this site:
I've used these patches on several MacBooks and they work pretty well (FMP / FMS not tested).


Hi Thomas,
thank your for the link, the 2011 Mac minis with AMD Graphics are declared to slow for Catalina. I will try to set up a dualboot system or a Linux-only mini. The Sites, @Malcolm linked to show promissing possibilities

Very interesting thread ! I have a Mac Mini Late 2012, with only 8 G memory, the poor guy is having a hard time doing anything. I would also like to find a use for it. When I will have time I will start a new thread with my specific project.

we got good expierience with ubuntu/FMS running under parallels - but we got no heavy load (and I decided to leave linux for FMS due to problems with parallels- or ubuntu updates...

If there is a version of parallels available for that Mac...

our Mac's are more powerfull - but mine was running 24/7, partialli under heavy load and paralles allocated 2 or 4 GB RAM

I personally don't like personal virtualizers for server testing. Plus: the machines cannot be run on a macOS version that does get security patches. Thus the intention to directly boot into Linux via EFI modification etc.

agreed. Further, parallels can be a differen beast (parallels tools, restarting, updates,)

MacMini 2011 should run Ubuntu without issues. I had a MacMini 2010 (still external power adapter) running with centos for FMS tests. A bootloader update unfortunately rendered it useless;-)

Regarding "personal virtualizers" parallels pro and vmware fusion can run vms perfectly headless, have this running for years without issues at 2 clients.


Well if you decide to retire them I’d scavenge the RAM for my 2018 mini bought in 2019 which has 6 cores but only 8G RAM :smirk:

Edited to correct year. Mini is 2018. Car is 2017. :woman_facepalming:

Mini Mac late 2014 til 2018 uses PC3-12800 1600 MHz LPDDR3 memory and the minis from Mid 2011 PC10600 1333MHz which can't be used therefor.

I'm pretty sure Cecil knows the memory can not be changed/upgraded in that line (Mac mini late 2014), that is why I have only one of those, they are fast if bought with the Apple SSD but otherwise a dead end, same as the M1 line-up, buy one for testing and wait for better ones to come

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Thank you for the chivalrous comment Holger. I am unfortunately going to burst your bubble: i am a Windows expat. I barely find my way around my mini after two years. I constantly have to google shortcuts and don’t understand much about apple hardware. I configured my mini by putting in what seemed the best affordable solution for my needs and got skimpy with memory because someone told me I could add generic compatible RAM later, which I never got around to do. In contrast, my windows machine had 32g RAM :crazy_face:


Far easier than I first thought:
Booted the Mac mini 2011 from its HD, put in a bootable USB-Stick, prepared with balenaEtcher, restarted with opt-key pressed, choose EFiBoot, stepped through the Ubuntu install (nice one: ssh-server is an opt-in in the process), rebooted and ... got my promt, connected via iTerm from my Mac, next will be setting up the FMS now