Problem installing on a Mac mini

Ok I followed the steps in the generic x86 install to install HA on a SSD via Balena Etcher. I put it back into my 2012 Mac mini and turned it on and it boots up to the Mac OS log in screen but thats it.

How do I configure UEFI boot mode on a MAC?

Not clear from your description if you are :

‘Option (⌥) or Alt: Start up to Startup Manager, which allows you to choose other available startup disks or volumes.’

after boot chime?

Using Alt after boot up chime gives me these options.

If I choose recovery it takes ages to boot and I end up with this once it’s finished loading.

If I boot with an Ubuntu usb and load Ubuntu I see 2 folders called HASSIO XXX (can’t remember exactly) But I don’t know if that’s in Ubuntu or on my drive?

Im assuming the HA install onto the SSD didnt work although when I looked at the disc in Disk utilty I saw all of these sort of drive partitions with ds2 ds4 etc (I think thats what they were called)
Can you please point me in the direction of maybe installing it via the ubuntu usb? Do I have to first install Ubuntu onto the ssd?

Yes, I think you went down a different direction with the image than I did.

I just flashed the latest Ubuntu desktop image to the USB thumb drive. Booted the installer from that and installed Ubuntu to the Mac Mini HD. Should boot to Ubuntu from the HD from then on. I let the Ubuntu installer wipe the complete HD partition and let it have the whole HD, no MacOS other anything else left.

I then used Docker installed on Ubuntu to run my Home Assistant docker image and other Docker images like Mosquitto MQTT, Zigbee2MQTT and my custom python and bash stuff.

How to put the Home Assistant OS image thing (I forget what it is called) is something I never tried. Even if you go that way and get it working, it might be worthwhile to do as I did, just install a Ubuntu image on the HD and play around with how to get video, network and stuff working. Good to be comfortable with that stuff. Then try your HA OS image direction of you want.

Good hunting!


Yeh Ok ill do that then, I know absolutely nothing about Ubuntu but Ill see how I go with it. Im not a total noob with no idea and have installed Debian etc on Rpis in the past so should be ok with it.

When you say “just install a Ubuntu image on the HD and play around with how to get video, network and stuff working”

Does it not all work straight up? And if Im running HA on it will I not be able to access it via a browser until I get network up and running? I assumed plugging it into my router via ethernet would work straight up?

Thanks for the help

So, up front, I never installed the HA OS on what they call ‘bare metal’ aka your Mac Mini with a blank disk drive. So I’m not going to be any help to you there, however there are lots of folks on the forums that have experience with this.

I am just saying Ubuntu, because that is where most of my experience is on Intel machines. If you have setup a Raspberry Pi with Debian, go the Debian image route on the Mac Mini if you feel more experience.

The new Linux Desktop images (pick your flavor) are pretty friendly. But like any OS, it is just good to get a handle on how to change from a DHCP IP setup to a static IP setup, and also how to get video resolution set (although as you say, I am not sure the Home Assistant OS supports on board video. Also good to know how to setup ssh terminal access to a linux machine. So I guess you find it (Home Assistant OS) via one of the TCPIP discovery systems in your browser. If you do some googling and Youtube searches, I think you will find plenty of guides for these basic items. They are good to have in your quiver of knowledge.

Good hunting!

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So I installed Ubuntu on the Mac mini, installed docker and installed HA then go to install the esphome add on only to find that you can’t install add ons because there is no supervisor. What a complete waste of time this has been. I should have just bought a raspberry Pi 4 like I was going to. very frustrating.

Sorry to hear of your frustration.

Yes, the different install methods and types of hardware is hard to navigate for Home Assistant. While, as I said I have not used it, the HA OS does seem to be a nice ‘package’ for HA if you don’t want to get more into the weeds of Linux. But since HA OS is ‘just’ linux, you should be able to do everything via the other install methods that you can via HA OS.

My understanding is that Home Assistant ‘add ons’ are docker containers that are packages to install with Home Assistant is a easier path than standard docker containers. That said, if I understand this correctly, you should be able to install pretty much anything that is a HA ‘add on’ in a docker container. Yes, you have to find the equivalent docker container image. The HA add on path does seem easier. Were you not able to get Home Assistant OS on the Mac Mini?

I use HACS within my HA docker container to get those added functions with no issues. My understand is that these HACS ‘packages’ are python and javascript modules that run within the ‘walled garden’ of the HA python environment, this is kind of a parallel system to the HA ‘add ons’ containers. They are per se less ‘powerful and featured’ than something running in a full container (whether a HA ‘addon’ or a traditional docker container).

EspHome seems another whole animal, since I’ve not used espHome via the HA OS route, I don’t know what I am missing. That said, I have have a number of espHome devices running with my docker install route. I create my espHome devices via a docker container and use the espHome docker container for ‘management’ of the devices. I’m guessing this a ‘more work’ path vs. the HA OS based path.

However you get to a running Home Assistant system, hope you get there quickly and without too much more pain. Though, I have found messing around with Home Assistant a good reason for increased :beer: and :wine_glass: drinking :wink: .

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Haha. Yes well there was plenty of :beer: and watching the football elimination final last night whilst waiting for installs etc to happen. Then I managed to work out that my Mac mini has 2 drives and it was probably still trying to boot to the second drive which is why I think the original plan of adding HA via etcher to the ssd didn’t work.

So Im now wiping this 500gb drive in Ubuntu. Then I will take the SSD out, flash it again with HA and hopefully it now boots up to HA like everyone else seems too. Thanks again for your help…


After I put my two SSD drives in my Mac Mini, I never had to open it again. Not sure if I understand why you have to take the drive out to image it. That seems a PIA.

I was able to create the Ubuntu installer image on a USB thumb drive using Etcher and just stick it in one of the USB sockets and they power on the Mac Mini with the key down after the gong and it would give me the option to boot from USB stick. No need to remove the SSD to image.

Good hunting!

I was able to boot to a ubuntu usb but in order to flash HA with etcher I had to remove the ssd as I didnt have a Thunderbolt 2 to thunderbolt 4 cable to set it up as an external drive.