DietPi on a 2012 Mac Mini

I am wondering if it is possible to install Dietpi on a Mac Mini or if there is a guide on this. I did do some looking around and it looks like it is possible to install Debian on a Mac Mini so I would assume it is possible with DietPi.

I want to turn this old Mac Mini into a home server, I would also like it to be the main OS on the device.

Please let me know if this is possible and where I can find a guide or a build I can use. This is mainly directed at MichaIng .


many thanks for your message. If you are able to install Debian, you could have a look to the PREP script

is there a certain post I should go off of in that thread or just the top one?

First post contains instructions to be done.

The regular x86_64 UEFI image should work: > Install on native PC (UEFI)
Otherwise, a more current documentation about DietPi-PREP:

I just tried booting off the x86_64 UEFI but I get ‘No bootable device’ error when attempting to boot off the USB stick.

Background, wanting to install DietPi on a 2011 MacMini (Core i5, 8GB RAM, 1TB SSD).

I used ApplePi Baker to flash a USB stick with the x86_64 UEFI ISO file. That completed successfully. Holding down ‘alt’ to select a boot drive shows the Mac can see a partition on the USB key called ‘Windows’ but its not bootable.

Maybe you can try to install plain Debian (NetInstall) directly on your MacMini. Once completed use PREP script to install DietPi on top

Agreed - I’ll be following this

I completed this install this afternoon and it went through pretty smooth. The Prep scripts worked very well. The only thing I struggled with (and gave up on) was taking an image at the end of the prep script. Dietpi-imager couldn’t unmount the source drive to take the image as the source drive was also the boot drive.

Installed all my optimised software and the only thing that didn’t work was installing unbound. I submitted a bugreport using the built in report feature.

All up and running now and working great in a headless config on a 2011 MacMini! Many thanks Devs.

Would be great if we could get an image for this.

Best way to do a backup/image is to boot a livecd linux that will boot on the machine…then run the command to image the drive
Clonezilla should be able to create an image of the drive and it does have a livecd version

I recommend doing it asap…because if something borks, you have to go thru ALL that again to rebuild your dietpi

However…that is very very cool that you got dietpi running on a mac mini…believe it or not it will be a pretty good little server box

regarding unbound
I would recommend to wait on next DietPi release 6.35. We will introduce quite some improvement on unbound

Good to know - I shall await its release and try again.

FWIW, my 2011 MacMini is much faster than my overclocked Pi4 despite the Geekbench score being roughly the same. In real world usage its not very noticeable except in more intensive apps like NextCloud. Content loads much faster than on the Pi4 and I was running mine off an SSD too.

Just to be sure, the image you’re running now has GPT partition table, i.e. UEFI, right? fdisk -l /dev/sda | grep Disklabel
We already use the most compatible CloneZilla “alternative” version for the installer image, so not sure how it can be made bootable on that Mac Mini then :thinking:. Strange that it shows a “Windows” partition, as it was built on a Linux (DietPi) system, however the naming should not play a role as long as bootloader, partition table and EFI partition is fine.

Yep, its GPT. The current Debian & Ubuntu 20 images both booted fine from USB. I wonder what the difference is?! :thinking:

WarHawk Great idea, thanks for this. I’m going complete the build with all the software and then image using your method.