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my intention is to buy a macbook (retina) and triple boot it, with osX, w7 and ubuntu (>= 12.04, i still have to see which one offers the best compatibility). I found guides that explain how to do it without using the hybrid MBR, since all of these OSes are GPT aware. So far so good.

However, i would like to be able to run either of the two additional OSes both natively and virtualized. This means that the virtual machine (parallels, fusion or virtualbox) will be requested (by me) to run the OS from the physical partition.

Now, i already tried this with Windows 7 on a macbook, and it works nicely, without messing up anything (means i can boot one day from parallels, the next day natively, and everything is fine, even after installing parallels additions or whatever they are called).

My question is about ubuntu. I have not tried it, but i can reasonably expect that some things, for example the video drivers, are different in the two modes. Since these settings are normally stored in files (xorg.conf, for example), how easy is to interchangeably boot a native ubuntu both natively and virtualized?

PS: i know there will be some answers like "why do you ever want to do that?" or other non constructive comments. The reason why i want to do this is because we all know that these alternative OSes do not play nicely with the battery of the mac, when ran natively. So i want to be able to run them from osX when i will be on battery, to extend the usage range. On the other side, i want to be able to run natively these OS in order to use the graphic hardware directly (GPGPU and stuff like that)

update: I was also wondering: does parallels or fusion allow the guest to mount a physical partition (obviously if not mounted on the host)?

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Possible that no user with a macbook has ever tried this? – Paul May 9 '13 at 10:43
I'm sure that some derivative of it has been tried. By all reckoning it should work as Parallels will use logical volumes for guest OS's. My concern would be an adequate video driver for the Retina display.. – douggro May 13 '13 at 6:38
Did you try it? What did you find? Can you run the same native disk image as a VM sometimes and switch back and forth no problem? I also would like to do this. – Jason Kleban Jan 8 '14 at 19:46
Hi, no, eventually i did not get a macbook pro (for all these compatibility question marks which i have not been able to solve) and i therefore did not try. – Paul Jan 15 '14 at 13:25

I am doing this to my macbook now, fresh Macbook Pro i7 - Mountain Lion.

I will post the steps I take.

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