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Triple Booting an Intel Mac the Right Way 101

Posted by timothy
from the use-three-boots dept.
Miah Clayton writes "In the past, installing Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows on an Intel mac meant that you were forced into only having 3 usable partition slots due to the MBR/GPT hybrid limitations. Steven Noonan figured out a way to avoid dealing with the MBR partition limit and have a Linux install that isn't performance-crippled by having a swap file instead of a swap partition."
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Triple Booting an Intel Mac the Right Way

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  • by Foolhardy (664051) <csmith32NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday October 31, 2008 @11:03AM (#25584661)
    I was under the impression that modern Linux kernels had negligible performance impact from using a swap file as opposed to a dedicated swap partition.

    Personally, I much prefer using a swap file because it gives me more flexibility in locating, resizing and moving swap.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)

      Quite true. Along that line, who uses physical partitions on a disk for linux installs anymore? Make yourself one physical linux partition, and use LVM to get all the volumes you need. You can even make yourself a swap partition under LVM if you want.

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        Maybe it's technically possible to do this without a /boot partition, but /boot makes it a LOT easier. I'm not even sure if it's possible without a small /boot partition

      • The last time I installed using LVM, you still needed a separate /boot partition. Maybe that's changed, though.

        I used to use LVM religiously. I still love its ability to resize partitions. However, when anything goes wrong with the filesystem, it's really, really painful to try to fix it. I finally quit using LVM because of that.

      • I do. /home belongs all by itself at the very least.

      • I suppose with the proliferation of regular ol' home workstations, standards have lagged, but if you're gonna geek out and go linux, why would you sacrifice its core virtues?

        Using separate volumes is not just the (obvious) question of security, it's one of data integrity and better system performance. IMHO, at the very least, you should isolate /home, /tmp, any archival directories (to the end sectors), of course /swap (don't believe for one second that a swapfile is the same as a separate partition; the fi

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:02PM (#25585679)
      To elaborate on that, the advantage of putting the swap on a seperate disk is that your main HDD can be dealing with real apps and data while the secondary swap disk is working away paging things into and out of RAM, giving a performance boost. Using a swap partition on the same drive as the OS makes absolutely no sense.
      • by Ant P. (974313) on Friday October 31, 2008 @04:27PM (#25589399) Homepage

        I don't have a separate drive to spare on my laptop for swap space, luckily I found a workaround for that by putting the swap on a ramdisk

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I've actually done that (using a ramdisk, albeit, a true SSD, for the job - &, it works)!

          (& it does even BETTER than moving your pagefile.sys to another std. mechanical HDD does (or in the case of Linux, a swap partition, which is how I do that on NT-based OS as well, albeit onto this SSD) which DOES work for better performance by NOT burdening the MAIN disk you house your OS &/or programs on typically!)

          Fact is, I've been stating folks do that for more than a decade now online, first back as far

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sam0737 (648914)

      With 4GB of RAM...My box could hardly use Swap. Or put it in another way, when it does use the swap space, it's slow like hell!

      The 'free' command tell me that most of my ram goes to caching, but I very seldom encounter the case that I need more than 4G.

      When the time comes that I need more than 4G, I would just go out to buy more ram! Paging to the harddisk is far too slow...

      • by Luyseyal (3154)

        IMO, the only point of swap on a modern desktop/laptop these days is to hibernate.

        -l

    • With current memory prices, what is the point of bothering with swap on a laptop?

      It seems like the whole issue becomes moot when the extra memory costs less than a license for one of the OSes that's contributing to the problem.

      • With current memory prices, what is the point of bothering with swap on a laptop?

        For one thing, a motherboard might not be able to take large enough RAM modules to make Windows Vista work efficiently. If each of two slots can take up to a 512 MiB module, you aren't going to get the 2 GB you need for Vista. For another, you need a swap file to back up RAM should your laptop's battery run out while it is on standby.

        • If your mobo only supports 1GB of RAM, then you have no business running Vista in the first place. I'm sure there are still OEMs out there somewhere that are forced to sell a unit like the one you are describing though, unfortunately.
    • by Taxman415a (863020) on Friday October 31, 2008 @01:16PM (#25586979) Homepage Journal

      Indeed it's been a long time since that wasn't the case. Since the 2.6 Kernel came out basically. Here's the lkml thread on it. http://lkml.org/lkml/2005/6/29/11 [lkml.org] and http://lkml.org/lkml/2005/7/7/326 [lkml.org] are the two posts. The latter is more informative, the former is definitive and clearly shows Andrew Morton is the one saying that part too. This is from 2005 folks. Someone notify the submitter. That is of course unless you don't trust Andrew Morton to know what he is talking about. And just because this comes up every once in a while, googling for linux swap file performance finds that post easily.

    • by NekoXP (67564)

      Mod parent up even more :D

      The performance difference between a dedicated swap partition and a swap file (as created by dd or something) is absolutely negligible - within the fractions of a percentage point.

      You may actually see slightly better performance because, when dealing with disk accesses on your / partition, the disk has less of the platter to seek to in order to actually write or read blocks back than sweeping potentially right across the disk to another partition.

      Since the block cache gets used for

  • GPT partitions (Score:5, Informative)

    by c_g_hills (110430) <chaz@c[ ]6.com ['haz' in gap]> on Friday October 31, 2008 @11:15AM (#25584817) Homepage Journal

    Since Windows even now only recognizes the Master Boot Record (MBR) format

    This is untrue. 64bit versions of Windows support GPT, as do versions newer than Vista.

    Also, I don't have a problem using a swapfile. I see no performance difference at all.

  • What is the point? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Friday October 31, 2008 @11:26AM (#25584997)

    As much as this will sound like a trolling post, it's not... what is the point of buying a Mac and then triple booting OS X, Windows, and Linux? It seems to be that Linux and OS X are redundant, not to mention that most things you can run on OS X can be run on Windows as well... why buy the Apple hardware?

    The only reason I can think of is the image of the Mac, honestly. If there were major redeeming qualities of OS X (especially as compared to Linux?), I could understand that as well, but I am not aware of them (granted, I don't use Macs much, but if you're going to install a Unix based OS, Linux, in addition to a Unix based OS, Mac OS... hm!).

    Or am I missing something - i.e., Apple hardware actually is that much better to warrant a higher price tag? Back when they were using RISC based processors, I would readily believe that there might be a difference... but now that even the CPU architecture is the same (Intel...) ... ?

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by gblackwo (1087063)
      There are arguably different pros and cons to all three operating systems, so why not have all three if you have the space? This is slashdot, the question is not why, but why not.

      Also, a lot of people don't just buy macs for the operating system but for the optimized rock solid hardware- please no flamewar.
      • by spud603 (832173)

        There are arguably different pros and cons to all three operating systems, so why not have all three if you have the space? This is slashdot, the question is not why, but why not.

        I was about to talk about my opinion of the various OSs and hardwares, but your point is more succinct and helpful.

      • by morari (1080535)

        Macs do not posses optimized, rock solid hardware. Such stability is simply the result of having a very limited set of hardware configurations to program for. I can almost guarantee you that Windows would also be super stable if you could only use it on one kind of setup.

        • by jo_ham (604554)

          That's not strictly true. While the hardware configurations are far fewer than on a traditional PC, Apple still uses a wide variety of components and manufacturers for their various machines. They have both ATI and Nvidia GPUs for example, and optical drives from several different manufacturers, and sound cards, firewire boards, USB hubs etc from different people that are used in different machines.

          Yes, it's a lot easier than Windows having to accommodate any of 5 billion different sound cards, but it's not

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you're writing portable software, you need to test it on all your target platforms. And, if you want to run Mac OS X legally, then buying Apple hardware is your only option.

      Although, I prefer virtual machines over multi-booting.

    • by Mononoke (88668)

      Apple hardware actually is that much better to warrant a higher price tag?

      You're not only buying the hardware, but the OS and the after-sale service also.

    • by Alinraz (533041) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:04PM (#25585703)

      I agree with your: "what is the point of buying a Mac and then triple booting OS X, Windows, and Linux?" But for totally different reasons.

      I ask: why would you bother with even a double boot, let alone a triple boot? There is nothing you can't do with a Mac, in OSX alone, that you can do with any other OS.

      First, hardware: Apple hardware is clean, reliable, with features that are difficult to find in combination on other systems. Apple hardware works; and when it doesn't they fix it. You don't have to keep fussing with it like you do if you build a machine from scratch. And its price is comparable to similarly equipped PC equipment (there was a recent post here on /. about that specifically). Yes, you can buy a PC for less... but that misses the point doesn't it?

      As for the OS: OSX is like running Linux in many ways. It is solid, never breaks, it performs well, doesn't have virus and worm issues: basically everything that Windows isn't.

      It is based on BSD, and has gcc and other open source tools. It has ssh, bash, tcsh, and X. You can build and run nearly any open-source application or tool.

      What OSX is missing from Linux: fiddlyness. While running a Linux distribution feels good, at the same time it's a fair amount of work. Need to get a new piece of hardware working: compile a new kernel module, add that, and muck with configuration files in /etc. And if you're unlucky, possibly have to muck with device nodes in /dev or monkey around with udev configurations. And that's just one example. Every time you want to add or change something it's rinse and repeat time. Oh and forget Linux on laptops... it's famous for having spotty laptop hardware support.

      But really the question is "why multi-boot"? With VMWare Fusion on the Mac, I really don't know. Just run Windows applications side-by-side with your Mac ones in OSX. Run an entire Linux development server in a virtual box. When you need to compare configurations, clone the sucker and try out a different one. When your Windows VM starts to get a polluted registry, slows down and starts to eat itself, delete and reinstall it...while compiling the Linux kernel in a Linux VM, while writing a software certification test proposal in OpenOffice running directly in OSX. No lost productivity simply because you have to reinstall Windows.

      The real question here is not "Mac vs Linux vs Windows?", it's "why are you still multi-booting?"

      • by lupis42 (1048492) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:49PM (#25586571)
        From gblackwo (1087063):

        There are arguably different pros and cons to all three operating systems

        You say there is no need to multi-boot because OSX does everything perfectly. I submit that OSX does nothing perfectly, but everything well, which makes it useless to me. I have many devices, each for one thing, and OSX doesn't do any of those things better than the alternatives. Why use it?
        Ubuntu Netbook remix is much nicer on the ultra-portable than OSX or Windows, 64 bit Windows is required on the gaming machine, and Linux+XBMC does for the mediaboxen quite well. Macs were never an option there, because the one piece of hardware that has component and TOSLINK out in a small form-factor with no adapters or messy cables, the Apple TV, has no DVD drive and does not allow me to easily put stuff on it (where stuff includes zsnes & and a controller, a DVD drive, and support for all of the stuff I have that's not in a format Apple accepts).

        I wasn't intending to attack OSX here, just to attack the evangelism in the parent suggestion that we should all use X because it does what he needs, and we obviously need the same things. Everyone wants different things from their computers, and there is no single solution that will ever satisfy them all.

        • Ubuntu Netbook remix is much nicer on the ultra-portable than OSX or Windows, 64 bit Windows is required on the gaming machine, and Linux+XBMC does for the mediaboxen quite well.

          You make a good argument for booting into different operating systems on different hardware, depending on usage requirments. What it doesn't address is why anybody would want to boot into different operating systems on the SAME hardware. If the hardware is "good for many things, perfect for none", why not use a single OS that matc

          • by lupis42 (1048492)
            The reason not to use a single os for multipurpose hardware (or to use one) is all about good "enough". A nice 17" mobile workstation with a gaming graphics card is an excellent example: if the os is good enough for gaming, you can game on it. If the os creates a good enough environment to do video editing, or image composition, you can do that. If the os has good enough power management, it can be a portable, for use on the train. The thing is, to use only one OS for all of those tasks, that OS has to
            • by peragrin (659227)

              while I agree completely,one should use the OS for the main tasks required. Giving windows plenty of uses. As well as Linux and OS X. However what feature of OS X makes it unusable for you? Or is it simply you don't like their limited hardware options? A valid reason by itself.

              • by lupis42 (1048492)
                For gaming, there's no question that OSX doesn't work. I like Supreme Commander, Team Fortress 2, Portal, C&C (pretty much the whole series), and most of them just don't work on anything but Windows.
                For the mediaboxen, aside from the fact that they are all commodity hardware and thus cannot run OSX, I really like Amarok. The netbook, obviously, isn't even the right processor architecture, (Atom, not Core 2), and my wife really prefers Ubuntu to OSX or Windows anyway. As for the servers, the fileserver
                • by peragrin (659227)

                  atom is still x86 compatible. RAID,samba, mediawiki, and MYsql all run on OSX but if your family prefers ubuntu, and windows for gaming then that is enough.

        • Everyone wants different things from their computers, and there is no single solution that will ever satisfy them all.

          I really wish people would get this through their heads, and we could stop all of these "[your OS of choice] sucks! [my OS of choice] is awesome!" arguments. I'm typing this in OSX with a dual-boot Linux/Windows desktop next to me, both of which are used to administer both Linux and Windows servers. In each case, the operating system was chosen specifically because it was the best OS to do the tasks that machine was being set up to perform.

          So each has some strengths and weaknesses, and beyond that it fal

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Alinraz (533041)

          Assuming you were actually replying to me (not exactly clear based on your quote and what you said), I'd like to answer you.

          First off, I'm not evangelizing anything. I was merely answering the parent poster when he asked about the benefits to purchasing a Mac over a PC. I was describing why it works best for me; I recognize that other people might want/need other things.

          I've just always thought it ironic that I'm so much more productive developing Linux software on OSX than when I used Linux as my primary

          • by lupis42 (1048492)
            I was half replying to you, and half making my own point. Sorry for the confusion.

            As for the multi-booting thing, though (and I think I've answered this elsewhere), multi-booting is what happens when you have multi-purpose hardware and there is no single OS that serves all of those purposes. That is essentially the logic behind all of the laptops with a flash based linux that can be booted into to do email and whatnot without booting up the full system, a second os for when the requirements are speed a
        • by Valdrax (32670)

          You say there is no need to multi-boot because OSX does everything perfectly. I submit that OSX does nothing perfectly, but everything well, which makes it useless to me.

          Y.. you're one tough customer to please!

      • While running a Linux distribution feels good, at the same time it's a fair amount of work.

        When was the last time you installed and used Linux seriously? Really, you're describing the situation as it was a couple of years ago.

        • by Alinraz (533041)

          For "using Linux seriously": Um, well... about 5 minutes ago. I've got a current release of Fedora running in a VM that I installed a few weeks ago.

          I use it every day. I write both kernel-level and application level software for it every day. Yet I find I need to spend lots more time configuring and maintaining Linux than I do OSX. That's me. YMMV.

          • by idontgno (624372)

            I've got a current release of Fedora running in a VM that I installed a few weeks ago.

            To borrow a phrase, "Well, there's your problem!"

            Semi-seriously. In my experience, Fedora is fidgety. Red Hat products are fairly fidgety in general, but I set up CentOS on the household server and treat it like a server: it needs routine care and feeding. It needs cursory log inspection. It needs basic maintenance. I don't multi-boot it. I don't reboot it at all. It ticks over, warm and happy, serving files and email an

      • There is nothing you can't do with a Mac, in OSX alone, that you can do with any other OS.

        If you play a wide variety of proprietary games on a computer, you need either Windows or some sort of Wine hackery. How far has Darwine come? Or do you fall back on picking another title in the same genre? Or if you develop software for clients who use an operating system other than Mac OS X, you need to be able to test that software on the operating system that they use.

        But really the question is "why multi-boot"? With VMWare Fusion on the Mac, I really don't know. Just run Windows applications side-by-side with your Mac ones in OSX. Run an entire Linux development server in a virtual box.

        In order to keep a Windows and Linux session open at the same time as Mac OS X, I'd need to multiply the RAM by 3. How much RAM can one p

        • I have 4 Gb RAM in my MacBook. Ububtu runs just fine under VMWare Fusion, as does XP. I don't usually run two VM's at the same time, but I've tried it with four running, and the machine was usable.
      • I'm an EE who designs deeply embedded firmware for a living. Actually there's very little I CAN do with a Mac. I rely on dozens of *essential tools* most of which only exist for Windows. Why should I pay double ticket price for a fancy white box that does only 10% of what I need? Even with virtualization (whose explicit purpose is to get AWAY from the OS), why would I do a crazy thing like that? Do I have cash to burn?

        Don't misunderstand - monopolies don't benefit anyone in the long term. It would be good t

      • I wasn't trying to go for Mac vs. Windows necessarily, at least not from an OS perspective.

        As for fussing with hardware, I have built many PC's over the last few years and rarely have to "fuss" with it. I don't know where this presumed hardware failure all the time comes, but I have not had that experience really since I stopped buying generic RAM about 10 years ago.

        OS X never breaking - I have worked with Macs, in very limited capacities. However, in that limited capacity, I've actually seen quite a

      • GAMES!

        NO YOUR MAC PRO WILL NOT PLAY CRYSIS WELL! IT WONT IT WONT LOOK IT UP IT WONT!!!!!!!

        It costs thousands. i can build a pc that will play it well for under 1500. why cant mac fanboys learn this? i guess its just easier to pretend the thing they cant do doesnt exist.

        Ok listen very carefully:

        Mac. graphics. suck. for. high. end. gaming.

      • by Almahtar (991773)

        What OSX is missing from Linux: fiddlyness.

        Depends on what you're doing. Try installing Apache2, Mysql5, and PHP5 on a mac. It's not pretty. Lots of crazy command line operations and hoops to jump through. Lots of "fiddlyness" as you'd say. For a web developer OSX is not easy to adopt.

        Now let's try on Ubuntu: apt-get install apache2 mysql php5 Wow. That was hard.

        Audience is everything. OSX is a great OS, but it isn't for everyone.

    • It's the software, of course. If there's a single OS that runs all the software you need, you'll probably stick with it. Otherwise you might need two or three. Maybe you can get by with Wine, Crossover, and virtual machines... maybe you can't.

      The list of things that are Windows only is huge -- lots of business apps and games, Visual Studio, Netflix watch-it-now... If your job/lifestyle don't require any of them, good for you, but otherwise you've gotta have Windows.

      There's a lot of great software in the

    • by bogie (31020)

      Seriously? You can't think of any advantages? Then I guess I'd suggest that OS X isn't for you.

      But if you want my opinion, and what else is the point of the internet, then when comparing OS X vs Linux the only thing I can say is that for modern desktop computing OS X does just about everything better than linux. It is simply more polished and easier to use. The apps are more mature and usually easier to use. Plus you get some really first rate commercial apps. Finally since it is *nix you can run whatever O

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by lupis42 (1048492)

        But if you want my opinion, and what else is the point of the internet

        Is the internet no longer for porn?

    • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:35PM (#25586301)

      As much as this will sound like a trolling post, it's not... what is the point of buying a Mac and then triple booting OS X, Windows, and Linux?

      We choose to triple-boot a Mac in this decade and hack the other things, not because it is practical, but because it is fun.

    • by _Pablo (126574)

      For a developer who needs to test their cross platform 3D application on Windows, OS X and Linux then triple booting a Mac means that they have a single machine that is legal and supported by Apple, Microsoft and Canonical - and all in one attractive package.

      But I would imagine that for any computer geek who wants choice (play current PC titles, try out Intrepid Ibex, have their everyday computing platform be reliable and almost maintenance free), a triple booting Mac is a thing of desire.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jo_ham (604554)

      The iMac really is a beautiful piece of hardware, leaving OS aside. I have an "old" white one (dual core intel, just with the older white case before the all-aluminium ones came out) and I love the damn thing.

      I can carry it around easily when I need to go somewhere (it packs up neatly even for transatlantic flights) and if I want to move it between home and a friend's house it takes about 2 minutes to unplug it and the KB/mouse and pack it back into the box it came in, which has a big carry handle on the to

    • by MacDork (560499)

      As much as this will sound like a trolling post, it's not... what is the point of buying a Mac and then triple booting OS X, Windows, and Linux? It seems to be that Linux and OS X are redundant, not to mention that most things you can run on OS X can be run on Windows as well... why buy the Apple hardware?

      I dislike Windows, yet I need to test websites under IE.

      The only reason I can think of is the image of the Mac, honestly ... granted, I don't use Macs much

      I'm guessing you've hardly used a Mac at all. The difference is night and day. There really is no comparison. Let's try to make a comparison though.

      Choose any PC to match up against a Mac Mini. Now, compare the screen reader options for the two: Mac comes with VoiceOver [apple.com] for free. The most popular screen reader [freedomscientific.com] for the PC costs more than the Mini itself. To you, that may not make much difference. To a web developer who needs to test accessibil

    • why buy the Apple hardware?

      I can answer that. I spent a year waiting for the right hardware to come along to replace my Dell Inspiron. I wanted a true gaming laptop, not a compromise. I found everything I wanted in the hgih-end 15" macbook pro: cutting edge 512mb vid card, fast RAM, killer screen (you should check out the viewing angle compared to the macbook), sleek design. I priced a can't-quite-compare (last-gen vid card, slower RAM) alienware machine the day I bought my mbp at $300 more. When you are looking high-end, macs

    • We're all suppose to be nerds here so the answer should be "because you can." That said, I won't be impressed until they get Plan9 and Hurd running as well (quintuple boot?).

    • I used to think the same until I got a Mac. I love the Terminal App, and I use the exact same software I use on Linux-- GNU Screen, Vim, Unison, TeXlive, GCC, Git, virtual desktops (spaces) etc... I just don't see the difference, really. AND, with the Mac laptop I get 5+ hours of battery life and a slim case for $1000.

      I don't dual boot because it seems nowadays everyone is compiling free software for Intel Macs (and I don't use Fink anymore). All my desktops are Linux, but I do like how Itunes handles
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe you could just change the Windows partition type to Linux swap and use that!

  • Buy or build a system with a four core processor and 4GB of memory with 4TB of storage with 4x something else, call it a Quad-Quad system. Install the OS you like the most on the system, Install VMware, install the other two OSes you want inside VMware, and you can run ALL THREE AT ONCE!!!! OMG!!!

  • Here is why. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Miah Clayton (1397863) on Friday October 31, 2008 @12:21PM (#25586021)
    I am not an enthusiast of anything. I like my Mac for a few reasons, but the purpose for triple booting is a sole one: I am a developer. I need the ability to cross develop. And I need to do it on the run, since I am very seldom in a fixed position for more than a few hours. Therefore, I need to use a laptop for most development. This is not an ideal situation, ever. Laptops notoriously have smaller HD sizes, more RAM restrictions, slower processors, and, typically, integrated graphics. With these limits, using VMWare Fusion (which I own and still use for certain things) carries an unacceptable overhead. It also occasionally interprets OpenGL and DirectX improperly, which is not an acceptable scenario as a game developer. The ability to genuinely triple boot allows me to remove the RAM and CPU overhead caused by booting as a guess operating system. It has nothing to do with "Macs are awesome" and everything to do with "I can cross develop every major platform on one machine, and one I can be on the move with"
  • If you're going to triple boot...why not do it on a Dell? That's what I do. I think I have booted into Vista and OSX twice each.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Miah Clayton (1397863)
      In my case, I rather enjoy keeping my nose clean. You can't have Mac OS X on a Dell without breaking the TOU, and most likely not without warezing it.
    • by g-san (93038)

      My MacBook Pro came with BootCamp and OS X and Windows installed. I booted into Windows once. Something is just wrong with seeing the windows desktop framed in an apple laptop bezel cover. I reminded myself why I got a Mac in the first place, rebooted, and eventually nixed the Windows install, no pun intended.

  • Why? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    What's the point with VM software these days like VM ware or Parallels? We use intel macs as our primary development platform. Why? Paraellels allows us to have OSX and then boot XP Pro, Vista, Linux, BSD, and OpenSolaris with a double click of the mouse. We've found it much of efficient to use VM's for this kind of stuff than boot camp or triple booting because we can change environments with a mouse click, not a restart. And then if something does go heywire, we can kill the VM from inside OSX usually

    • by log0n (18224)

      Revoke your geek username and card immediately. If you have to ask why, you aren't /. 's original target audience.

  • A variation on this has been available at the OnMac forum for over a year now: http://forum.onmac.net/showthread.php?t=2793 [onmac.net] (Alas, the forum has pretty much become overrun with spam, and the administrator has been MIA for quite some time... so it's fairly difficult to find anything new over there these days.)
    • I was reading tripple-booting articles at onmac.net 2 years ago when I got my first mac. They had implementations before the Boot Camp beta ever came out.
  • There is a more flexible solution, though admittedly more complicated. The trick lies in the fact that OS X needs a GPT at the installation stage, but not later.

    So you create up to 4 partitions in GPT mode with BIOS compatibility. You install OS X in the third partition, the first being the EFI one and the second the sum of the space you'll give to the first and second later.

    You install refit in the OS X partition to be able to boot later on and then you suppress the first, second and fourth partition afte

    • by Le Fol (33484)

      Two things that I left out:

      Obviously after that all OS X update of the Apple Efi shall fail because there isn't an Apple Efi anymore.

      The second one is way more tough: how to format that disk, how many partition of which size?

  • I provide software and hardware support for a college campus that has a range of operating systems and application packages. I'm running a Mac that I managed to get to boot in OS 10.4, OS 10.5, Win XP and Vista.

    It took a bit of finagling to get the quad boot setup to work because the copy of Vista I had didn't want to install after 10.4, 10.5 and XP were in place. I eventually had to pull the drives for 10.4 and XP to get it to work.

    It wasn't the most elegant solution but it worked.

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