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Is it possible to create a Mac-bootable thumb drive containing gparted or Parted Magic without installing a full Linux distribution?

I tried several methods like

  • unetbootin (some blogs suggest this though the unetbootin site explicitly mentions that it isn't possible)
  • sudo dd if=/.../.iso of=/dev/rdiskx

which both failed.

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You need to use an alternative boot manager such as rEFInd, then either method will work.

Note that you also need to use a USB keyboard and mouse (or built-in on a laptop) for initial installation/use — Bluetooth pairings that work within the EFI boot manager won't persist once you boot Linux.

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The following steps have been tested on macOS Mojave 10.14.6 and I confirm I was able to boot GParted on a 2019 MacBook Air (with secure boot disabled). That being said, the keyboard and trackpad didn’t work as drivers are not yet available on live distros. Also, the new T2 chip currently prevents live distros from accessing the SSD (another driver issue).

Step 1: Open Disk Utility.

Step 2: Click on View (upper left) and select Show All Devices.

Step 3: Select your thumb drive and click Erase.

Step 4: Select MS-DOS (FAT) as Format and GUID Partition Map as Scheme.

Disk Utility

Step 5: Click Erase.

Step 6: Download the latest gparted-live-1.0.0-3-amd64.zip.

Step 7: Double-click on gparted-live-1.0.0-3-amd64.zip to unzip folder.

Step 8: Copy all files from gparted-live-1.0.0-3-amd64 to your thumb drive.

You now have a bootable version of GParted that should work on your Mac!

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