Boot from USB on MAC

I tried to boot Slax on a MAC computer from USB stick long time ago and I wasn't successful, it seemed that MAC computers don't boot from USB at all. Few weeks ago the makeuseof website published an article about making a Linux distro bootable from USB on MAC. The article is here:


I'm not able to test this myself, since I don't have MAC (and definitely will not buy one in near future), so I would appreciate if there is anybody who has MAC computer and is willing to give it a go and try to boot Slax from USB on MAC, with or without the help of the utility mentioned in the article. I'd be mostly interested in how to make an USB drive with Slax which could be universal to boot on both MAC and regular PCs, that could be beneficial for all Slax users. I'll be happy for you suggestions! :) Thank you.

User comments
Mark De Silva 2013-07-08 12:55

Hi Tomas, Slax has been able to boot from Intel based Macs for some time? My bioinformatics distro has been used by students to boot from their Macs. There were issues with drivers (had to make lzms specifically for the Macs) but other than that I don't recall any problems. This was with Slax 6 by the way, haven't tried with 7 as yet.

Martin Pavlik 2013-07-09 09:09

Hi Thomas,
today I've tried to boot MB air via usb created by copying slax on usb and running the batch file on windows machine. That did not work.

So I've tried the tutorial you posted, but the tool for mac just created empty efi directory on the flash drive :(

I am willing to do more tests if will have a clue how to proceed.

Guilherme Mendes 2013-07-15 09:56

hey tomas, have you heard about this https://github.com/SUSE/hackweek/wiki/Lightweight-KDE-based-desktop ?

Barry Hoffman 2013-07-24 08:22


I can confirm that Slax boots successfully on the latest Mac versions (built Winter 2012 or more recently). I was able to get it to work with EFI as well which eliminates to need to run bootinst.bat. With the Linux Foundations UEFI boot loader, it even works on Windows 8 machines that have Secure Boot enabled.

Best regards,

The Doctor 2013-07-26 02:45

Project Byzantium worked around this problem by using the isohybrid utility from syslinux to turn the ISO into a hybrid ISO. It was then dd'd onto a USB key and booted from a couple of relatively modern Macbooks (MacBook Air and MacBook, both manufactured in early 2013). Here's a writeup of everything that went into the effort:


Антон Кочков 2013-07-28 23:29

It is possible even without additional loaders, just put built kernel efi image into /EFI/BOOT/BOOTX64.EFI on FAT32 usb flash - then most of UEFI computers should run automatically this image. No need additional bat or sh scripts - just unpack archive into your flash, and boot!

Igor 2013-07-30 07:22

Where else is loaded Slax-weirdly interesting.
It does not load after 7.05-this is bullshit.
7.09-gamma should be checked up on the washing machine.

Oscar Sosa 2013-08-11 15:52

Hi, try booting slax from a computer but the monitor does not take me, I think it may be the monitor, turn it down on a notebook, from a friend, with windows 7 and I tried it was wrong, but when I move to my pc, the stay in black screen, I can see when it loads but when it comes to the desktop everything is black exept the pointer, if the monitor is old but before I could use,
In? Change the drivers?

Oscar Sosa 2013-08-11 15:55

A note antrior.I do Booting from USB

Porter Fish 2013-08-20 05:08

If someone could open a discussion of this in the forum and post an example of a working setup for Macs that would be greatly appreciated.

Dewayne Eddie Cozart 2013-08-23 13:45

The instructions for putting Slax on usb, hdd, don't work. Always can't find kernel. Please update instructions.

Rohitasch 2014-01-24 19:33

Install rEFIt on a Mac and reboot twice. Plug in any USB boot drive (with Slax on it) and reboot. At the new boot screen installed by rEFIt, choose Slax.

Rohitasch 2014-01-24 19:35

Here's rEFIt:

Luana Gustavo BRAZIL 2014-06-04 18:25

Save Friends! guys .. I loved the site, including the OS plus stable .. slax is comfortable for me .... I'm new to linux, and here too. help me please ... can not install from the conventional apt-get much less in the other packs ... not to mention the difficulty I have when I open my pen drive in slax, and does not recognize when I insert other usb on pc. = / Sorry for the ignorance, "but thank you very much for your help ... a hug! Grateful now.

Andras Kovacs 2015-06-04 16:22

I've managed to make the slax-English-US-7.0.8-x86_64.zip distro to boot on a Mac mini (late 2012). What I had to do:

1) format the (16 MB) USB stick with FAT32 (on Ubuntu Linux)
2) using parted, set the boot flag on the FAT32 partition
3) unzip the slax distro onto the USB stick
4) because the bootinst.sh can't be made executable with chmod (due to the filesystem being FAT32), I've copied bootinst.sh over to bootinst.bat (which already had executable bit set), then renamed bootinst.sh to bootinst0.sh, then renamed bootinst.bat to bootinst.sh
5) ran # sudo ./bootinst.sh

and after that I was able to boot using the USB stick on the Mac.