I'd like to install a Linux distribution alongside OS X on my 2014 5k iMac with a 3TB Fusion Drive (128GB SSD + 3TB HDD).

Most guides about dual-booting Linux I've found focus on regular partitioning, that is, no Core Storage, and I couldn't find one that helped.

I want to keep OS X in case I have to use software that isn't available on Linux, like XCode or PhotoShop.

My goal is to use Linux as my main system, and I want the root (/) partition to live on the SSD to speed up boot, and the home partition to be on the HDD.

Here's the potential solution I found (haven't tried yet):

  1. Split the Fusion Drive
  2. Download and install OS X El Capitan on the SSD from the recovery partition
  3. Boot into El Capitan
  4. diskutil cs revert <UUID> on the Logical Volume which should be marked as Revertible in diskutil cs list
  5. Resize the HFS+ OS X partition to around 60 GB
  6. Install a Linux distro (Ubuntu, at first) on the free space
  7. Create another partition on the HDD for /home
  8. If it's possible, assign both partitions to a volume group using LVM

Is this possible, or have I missed something that will make it fail?

  • Which Linux do you intend to install? Do you intend to have a LVM for Linux? Oct 21, 2015 at 12:17
  • @DavidAnderson Ubuntu at first, but if I can install it, I should be able to switch distros by installing the new one on the root partition while keeping my /home, right? As for the LVM - I don't think it's essential. If it's significantly more complex than a regular partition scheme, then no, but retaining the ability to change later on would be a plus. Oct 21, 2015 at 12:19
  • Actually, I just read up on LVM, and it would make later changes much more convenient. So if it's possible, I will have a LVM. Oct 21, 2015 at 12:32
  • @DavidAnderson I edited my question to clarify it. Oct 21, 2015 at 12:59


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .