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On my Mac, can I simply create a new partition in Disk Utility, install an Operating System to it, such Arch Linux, and then boot from it by holding alt/option during boot (Startup Manager)?

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Yes, except the last one:

and then boot from it by holding alt/option during boot

Only Mac operating systems and sometimes Windows will show up in the menu. Instead I would suggest installing rEFInd. I have used it to dual boot Kali Linux and macOS Sierra on my MacBook Pro.

Very simple to install and use except you will need to turn off SIP for the installation process. You can turn it back on after.

To Disable SIP:

  1. Reboot your Mac into Recovery Mode by restarting your computer and holding down Command+R until the Apple logo appears on your screen.
  2. Click Utilities > Terminal.
  3. In the Terminal window, type in csrutil disable and press Enter.
  4. Restart your Mac.

Install rEFInd

Enable SIP

  1. Reboot your Mac into Recovery Mode by restarting your computer and holding down Command+R until the Apple logo appears on your screen.
  2. Click Utilities > Terminal.
  3. In the Terminal window, type in csrutil enable and press Enter.
  4. Restart your Mac.
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    It should be noted you can just install rEFInd from recovery mode itself, without ever having to disable SIP. EDIT: See rodsbooks.com/refind/sip.html – BaconDuctTape Apr 23 '18 at 22:17
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    @BaconDuctTape Yes, I totally forgot about that. Can you edit and provide instructions? I'm not exactly sure how to go about doing this. Or can you provide a link and I can edit it myself. – JBis Apr 23 '18 at 22:19
  • Don't you have to wait 30 seconds or something with rEFInd? – anonymous Apr 23 '18 at 22:48
  • @keeganjk Not in my experience. It should immediately pop up when you boot and then boot into the OS when you make a selection. Can you provide a link to somewhere where it talks about this? – JBis Apr 23 '18 at 23:00
  • Just installed rEFInd and not having this problem. I think it meant that it starts after 30 seconds. – anonymous Apr 24 '18 at 0:02
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I don't think so. On my Mac, even though I don't have OS X (I think its all the same though) you don't have to use option to boot into Ubuntu, but any other OS like OS X you will have to use Option to boot into it. EDIT : Ubuntu or anything like Linux WILL NOT show up in the Option menu. It just boots straight away to Ubuntu.

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