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Ubuntu 12.10 came out today, and ever since I got my Macbook, I haven't really been able to try Ubuntu again (I got it in September and have been using Ubuntu since 8.04). I have Mac OS X Mountain Lion installed and Windows 7 installed using Bootcamp.

I also have rEFIt installed and both OSes boot up fine... now I just need to figure out how to install Ubuntu with both OSes being happy. Because Windows uses MBR there isn't really room for another partition.

Now there is a Recovery Partition starting with Lion... so EFI + Recovery + ML + Windows = 4 partitions. Has anyone had any success in triple booting?

I don't want to virtualize, I want to use it natively. And I really don't want to resort to WUBI, it feels like I'm cheating, and that's a horrible solution for things.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Completely possible and has been done before.

http://lifehacker.com/5531037/how-to-triple+boot-your-mac-with-windows-and-linux-no-boot-camp-required

I wish you good luck with your near-universal compatibility.

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You might be able to do it by not using BootCamp. Bootcamp uses the Mac's EFI Compatibility Support Mode that turns your disk from a GPT one to a hybrid MBR which brings with it a whole swag of problems (one of which you have discovered being the 4 partition limit - others include slow boot times, limited multi gpu support, limited partition sizes).

Your aim would be to install all 3 OS using EFI mode (so that the disk remains as a GPT). I have yet to see a guide that shows how to do it - maybe I need to write one.

To begin your project a good start is Rod's Books who has written a ton about EFI booting.

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You are right in saying windows uses MBR. using rEFIt can help you triple and is quite simple to set up. However a more attractive set up would be to create a hybrid MBR that will manage both windows and linux partitions, so you will not need to install rEFIt if you choose this method.

I have set up my macbook pro retina using this config and its pretty sweet. Ive posted a vid for those who want to try. If you follow it step by step you should be able to get the same set up.

Good luck:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O40UG1guLeo

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