Is it even possible to dual boot macOS without using rEFInd? In my system, I have a EFI, APFS and Ext4 partitions storing ESP, macOS (either Mojave or Sierra) and Debian. I used to be able to dual-boot, but some grub update killed my setup. I can now successfully boot directly into grub2 then Debian. But grub2 does not detect the APFS partition so cannot boot it, neither does pressing Alt while powering on brings up macOS disk/drive. Without being able to boot into macOS, I cannot "bless" anything either.

1 Answer 1


If macOS does not appear as an option from the Mac Startup Manager (i.e. holding down the alt key at startup), then you have something wrong with the macOS installation. This problem would be independent the installation of Grub and Debian.

You have not specified which version of macOS is installed. With the latest versions of macOS, the bless command can not set a default startup unless SIP is disabled. So, most users execute the bless command from macOS Recovery. You have not indicated if the internal macOS Recovery is bootable on your Mac. If not, then your model Mac can access macOS Recovery over the internet.

It would be helpful if you could boot to macOS Recovery and post the output from the command diskutil list. Of course, you should choose a version of macOS Recovery that can support APFS.

Most versions of Linux can be booted from the Mac Startup Manager by default or by copying certain Grub files to the EFI/BOOT folder in an EFI partition. Here the boot file needs to be renamed to BOOTX64.EFI. The problem with copying files is when Grub is updated, then most likely the copied files will not be updated. This is why many users prefer to install rEFInd to the EFI/BOOT folder instead.

  • I couldn't boot into macOS for a while but I clearly recall having to disable SIP and bless so I could install Debian without refind by manually editing ESP. I'll look up macOS Recovery over the internet and post back more details.
    – hyiltiz
    Oct 17, 2020 at 2:23
  • I just tried booting into macOS network recovery but couldn't drop to the command line. Apple's Recovery Mode page doesn't mention it either. How do I get diskutil list? Also, with how limited Recovery Mode is, any recommendation on how to getting the output out to here?
    – hyiltiz
    Oct 17, 2020 at 6:54
  • 1
    Does this image help you find the command line? Oct 17, 2020 at 12:51

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