In the intel mac era this has become fairly easy and you can use standard linux Distros. There are a few little tweaks which I will mention. I am using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64bit for this example.
You will need to acquire a standard (non-mac) iso from ubuntu.com, and write that to a usb key using dd on a Linux or OS X machine, or Universal USB Installer on a windows machine.
*** You should also make an OS X Installer USB key incase you wish to restore your mac mini to normal at a later date ***
Once you have your bootable usb, plug it in to the mac mini and power up holding the Option / Alt key until you see the boot choices screen. One of the options will be UEFI – this will be your USB key.
From there on, install Ubuntu as normal. It is safe to remove all partitions – you don’t need to keep any for the mac to boot to Linux.
Once finished, reboot the machine & boot to your USB key as before. This will present you with an option to Rescue your system. Follow those prompts, eventually choosing to boot in to a shell.
At the shell you should be able to run the following:
efibootmgr -bootorder 0000
This tells the efi firmware to look for Linux before OS X. Exit the shell and reboot without holding any keys, and you should finally be in your working Linux system. Enjoy!
Just incase, if you want to remove Linux and put OS X back later on, run the following from your soon-to-be-removed Linux install:
This was a complex social network platform which was heavily based on nested reusable functions. After 5 months of development it was discovered it was no longer what the client was after, and the project was ended.
API hooks with flickr, youtube/google
Advanced templating engine allowing on-the-fly modification of CSS rules
Real-time efficient multiple thumbnail engine from uploaded & linked media
Highly recursive branched functions
Customised tools were also developed for the staff.
Some of the technologies used were:
google / youtube api
php / codeigniter / MVC
Due to the policies of the project manager, no screenshots are available.
Multiple systems administration roles have allowed me to confidently manage & monitor large networks of varying architectures, platforms, & network technologies. Some of the key areas I have had worked with are:
All Mac workplaces, with offsite iPad, iPhone, and Macbook management.
Computer labs – 600+ devices ranging from fixed desktops with domain logons, to tablets & laptops. System imaging & Ghost was heavily used along with image creation.
SANs – Dedicated hardware appliances with multple drives, linux servers with raid, FreeNAS
Servers – Virtualisation (KVM & VirtualBox), Windows server with active directory, Linux servers of varying distributions, OSX Server, Web servers (AWS). High availability clusters with Galera & GlusterFS.
Backups – Automated backup shell scripts, rotating failsafe storage methods, complex rsync scripts using comparisons to use minimal bandwidth.
Dumb terminals – Linux thin clients connecting to a Windows Terminal Server
Data migration – Website transfers, mysql databases, storage upgrades, amalgamation of servers.
Previously to support clients there were a mix of different servers & different support technologies, controlled via a complex set of Shell Scripts which was only available to administrators. This was solved by streamlining all the different technologies in to one simple OpenVPN server based on common hardware with pfSense, with a simple graphically appealing interface for all staff to use from anywhere. This also opened up the ability for staff to work remotely, with the added benefit of drastically reduced technical issues & calls.
A second version was developed but never released, written from scratch in Dojo with mobile in mind. This had a few advantages:
More efficient in regards to loading speeds, as it only loads what it needs at any one time rather than everything.
Mobile-friendly interface, for technicians in the field to get instant feedback on the systems they are working on.
More informative at a glance with data arranged more logical to the workflow of support staff
I was brought in to design, build and support a new Digital Media System that was to replace an ageing and extremely buggy PERL system (iDesign) that was currently in use. FlexiFi was the outcome, written in PHP to be a more solid, supported and easily extendable duplicate of the original system yet with many features implemented that had previously been impossible.
This was successfully sold and deployed to over 100 sites nationwide (200+ systems) which required a custom Intranet development and VPN to keep track of it all.
Each system was a dedicated PC with a highly customised Linux distribution, which contained its own LAMP stack with built in CMS. This allowed it to be updated both remotely by support staff & locally by clients themselves.
The systems themselves were able to display slideshows consisting of customised text, graphics and videos, along with menus that could accommodate multiple prices – all of which could be scheduled.
It was a highly successful product which was replaced a few years later by the far more advanced FlexiFi2 product.
If you are using FlexiFi (or any digital signage system) please visit signagebank.com for pre-made stock slides and animations for your displays.