How to Install rEFInd 0.10.4 on Mac OS Sierra

In my last article, I explained how to create a bootable USB thumb drive for Kali Linux that actually works with the new MacBook Pro 13,2 (Late 2016 with Touch Bar), however you can’t just simply boot it with Apple’s boot manager by holding down the Option/Alt key while booting, so we’ll also install rEFInd to allow booting from USB.

To successfully boot Kali Linux from your USB drive, you need to install rEFInd as well, which is going to be your default boot manager from now on. Unfortunately, the official Kali Linux documentation only describes how to install rEFInd in version 0.8.3 which doesn’t work on MacBooks running OS X Yosemite or newer due to a few changes Apple introduced back then. In addition to those changes, the rEFInd setup itself changed as well somewhere between version 0.8.3 and the current version 0.10.4 which I used while writing this tutorial.

Disabling Apple’s System Integrity Protection (SIP)

Now let’s get to it. The first thing you want to do is disable Apple’s System Integrity Protection (SIP) by pressing  + R while booting your MacBook Pro. This is causing your MacBook to boot in recovery mode, allowing you to disable SIP. Since my usual tools are not available there, I don’t have any screenshots to show you, but that’s not a big deal. All you have to do is open up a terminal, which you can find under Utilities > Terminal in the top menu there and enter the following command to disable SIP.

csrutil disable

Download & Install rEFInd 0.10.4

Once that’s done, restart your MacBook and download rEFInd from http://sourceforge.net/projects/refind/. At the time of this post, the current version was 0.10.4, but I assume that the following steps are going to be similar or identical with future versions as well.

After downloading the ZIP file, open up another terminal and run the following commands to unzip and install rEFInd.

cd Downloads
unzip -q refind.zip
cd refind-bin-*/
sudo ./refind-install

Enabling Apple’s System Integrity Protection (SIP)

That’s it! You’ve successfully installed rEFInd on your MacBook Pro and can now enable Apple’s System Integrity Protection again if you want to. Same as before, hold  + R while rebooting and open up a terminal window. Enter the following command to enable SIP again.

csrutil enable

Once you reboot again, you’ll immediately see your new boot manager and if you followed my tutorial on how to create your bootable Kali Linux USB thumb drive, you’ll be able to boot Kali from it (with a few restrictions and issues I’ll explain it in one of my other posts). Also, be aware that your screen is going to look slightly different than the one you can see in the picture below, since I already modified my rEFInd theme.

You should see something like this. If there is no bootable device attached to your laptop you should only see the Mac OS icon (the one on the left in the picture above). For more information on how to modify the rEFInd theme, and on how to proceed in order to install Kali Linux on your MacBook Pro, or run it from your USB thumb drive with persistence, check out my other posts.

If you’ve have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Also feel free to show your gratitude by supporting us here.

Updated on 20th of July, 2017: Added Subheadings and link to support us page.


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