There are a couple ways to create a bootable USB Ubuntu stick on Mac OSX. Using the command line, using disk utility or the easiest way, using UNetBootin. For the purpose of simplicity, this guide will focus on UNetBootin.
Before we do anything, we need to download Linux. For this guide I will use Ubuntu but you can use any version of Linux that you want, just make sure you download the file with the “.iso” extension. You can get the latest version here. I’ve tested Ubuntu 18.04 and 18.10 on a late 2011 MacBook Pro and it works great. Version 18.10 has shorter support but more up-to-date programs.
1. First you need to download UNetbootin here.
2. Next, install UNetBootin.
3. Insert an empty USB stick. The Ubuntu website says that a 4gigabyte stick will work but as installers get larger each year, an 8gigabyte stick for installers should last you a while.
4. Open the UNetBootin program.
1. When opening UNetBootin you will want to use the Diskimage option. This will let you use the Ubuntu ISO (.iso extension) file you downloaded.
2. Click the “…” button to browser and select the Ubuntu desktop ISO file you downloaded.
3. Your USB stick should already have been inserted and it should show up as the default device, if not, select the USB device now.
4. Click OK.
You should now see a progress bar pop-up, much like the main photo at the top of this article. When finished, you will have a bootable Ubuntu installation stick.