January 20, 2020 1:44 EST PM
I could be wrong but I would venture to say that the Linux installer you are using doesn't understand APFS, so they are not compatible.
In any event, to answer your query I will leave you with two articles by Apple support that should answer all your questions, if not come back.
Consider the following from one of the two Apple supporting articles:
Partitioning a disk divides it into individual sections, each of which acts as a separate volume.
However, with APFS, you shouldn’t partition your disk in most cases. Instead, create multiple APFS volumes within a single partition. With the flexible space management provided by APFS, you can even install another version of macOS on an APFS volume.
Partition a physical disk in Disk Utility on Mac
Add, delete, or erase APFS volumes in Disk Utility on Mac
Might also be a good read.
APFS for Linux
This was my DuckDuckGo search query "partition disk utility site:support.apple.com"
Hope this helps.