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Thread: First time MacBook Air user...triple boot advice?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    First time MacBook Air user...triple boot advice?

    After getting completely fed up with my 1-2 year old Asus laptop (flaky wireless card, idle CPU whine, Nvidia Optimus) as a Linux machine, I've ordered a fully-upgraded 13" MacBook Air to become my new best friend while out and about.

    This is both terrifying and exciting, as I have nearly zero prior Mac knowledge. I've had an iPhone for a little less than a year and I helped my friend install OSX on a dozen iMac G4s he bought on the cheap from a university surplus store (and subsequently realized how futile it is to try anything cool on a PowerPC Mac, no matter how awesome the form factor of the machine is), but beyond that, I'm embarrassingly uneducated on the subject.

    So, I began to look around for resources that might help, but honestly, I didn't know where to go. I'm experienced enough with Windows to not need a dedicated forum to frequent (and information on Windows is so bountiful that it's rare that I can't find someone who's already had and resolved an issue) and I've found these forums pretty helpful in all my Linux endeavors over the years, but where do I go for Mac? And to make my search even more difficult: Where do I go to find people that know how to deal with all three at once?

    Until I find such a magical place (please link me if you know of one!), I'm just going to throw my questions up on here and hope for the best:

    First off, in case you hadn't figured it out yet, I'm planning on a triple boot setup. I have no idea what Boot Camp is or how it works (OSX seems strangely integrated with the hardware, which makes sense, I guess, but it's still a little disorienting), but I do know that it's intended more for Windows installations and not Linux, so getting all three might be a little more tricky. What kind of procedures will I have to go through to make a triple boot happen?

    It's got a 512GB drive which I will obviously have to cut up for each OS. How much space should I allocate to each partition? I'll scale accordingly depending on how much I expect to use each OS (Ubuntu will likely be #1 in usage, with Windows being frequented for a few work applications I can only use there, and OSX will be mostly for the learning experience), but what are minimums? How much space does each OS require for a fresh install?

    Ideally, I'd have four partitions: One for each OS and a fourth for storage that can be accessed through all three OSes. I've done this easily in the past with a Windows/Linux dual boot by making a FAT32 home directory in Linux (which is seen by Windows as well), but I don't know what to expect from OSX. Will the same method work?

    Finally, if you have any random advice to give to a first time Mac owner, I'd love to hear it. Or if you know of anywhere I can GET some of said advice, point me in the right direction!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: First time MacBook Air user...triple boot advice?

    There is a wealth of information about triple booting on a Mac and here are just some examples:

    This forum has a section dedicated to Mac users:

    For specific questions on Apple products I would go to the Apple forum:


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