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I got a Macbook Pro 9,1 (mid 2012) and plan on finally switching from MacOS X as main system and Windows for games, to Ubuntu as main one and MacOS X just for firmware updates.

How would I do that, while still being able to use the full disk encryption from the Ubuntu installer (so easy). because last time I tried, w/ my MacOS X volume fully encrypted, w/ recovery, Ubuntu would only let me use fde, if I had erased the whole disk again and started over.

MacOS X full disk encryption isn't really needed, if I plan on just keeping it around for updates to the hardware. Or would you just kill MacOS X altogether? And boot it from an external hd, if there's a hardware update available, or I wanna edit/disable my firmware password.

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I'm not sure about the graphics question - Might want to split this up into 2 questions.

On the encryption front, ubuntu does the encryption on a partition basis, not on the entire disk - I set up a recent laptop I got with an encrypted Ubuntu and a non-encrypted windows 7 install, and it worked fine.

I'm not sure whether the MacOS encryption is really 'full-disk' or just partition based - but I'm quite confident that if unencrypted MacOS is OK, you should be able to have encrypted Ubuntu and non-encrypted MacOS on the same disk.

However, if you are really keeping MacOS around just for the firmware updates, might want to look into booting from a USB key or DVD when you need the updates...

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