Triple Booting XP/OSX/Ubuntu - Partitioning

airrob

n00b
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Aug 9, 2004
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1. How much room do I need for an Ubuntu partition?

2. How much room do I need for an OSX partition?

3. Can either of those read and/or write from an NTFS partition?

The ultimate question is that I have a Dell laptop with an internal 80 gig. I just got a 250 gig external. Next week, I'm going to reformat. I'd like to be able to triple-boot XP, Ubuntu, and OSX. I'm just trying to figure out how I should partition everything.
 

Langford

[H]ard|Gawd
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Apr 5, 2006
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Assuming you want all three (OSX on a Dell?), there is a lot of options and ways to partition it. There are ways to get the different OS to read one anothers filesystems, but there are always questions of stability and data loss, so I would suggest that you keep a common partition that is formatted to fat32 so that they all can read and write to it. You will most likely want your external drive formatted to Fat32.

One possible way to split your 80GB drive:
OS #1 -> 10GB
OS #2 -> 10GB
OS #3 -> 10GB
Swap -> 2GB
Fat32 -> 48GB

Another possible way to split your 80GB drive:
OS #1 -> 25.3GB
OS #2 -> 25.3GB
OS #3 -> 25.3GB
Swap -> 4GB
(count on external being formatted to Fat32)
 

RavenD

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Jun 30, 2005
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10GB is sufficient for an OS... at least until Vista.
Ubuntu can definitely read NTFS, and I expect it would be possible to have OSX read it as well, however writing to ntfs is not supported very well, and I wouldnt risk using it. When I had dual boot with Ubuntu, I just used a small fat32 partition (a few gigs) as a common partition for both OS's to write to, for when i needed to access files I got while in linux from windows. There are also ways to make Windows read Ext2/3, but I havent experimented with them personally.
 

airrob

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Aug 9, 2004
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Are there any drawbacks to FAT32? I always hear about how NTFS is better than FAT32, but is FAT32 ok?
 

Langford

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airrob said:
Are there any drawbacks to FAT32? I always hear about how NTFS is better than FAT32, but is FAT32 ok?

NTFS recovers from crashes better, has file security, and supports drives to huge sizes. The trouble is that it's a propriatary Microsoft format, so support on Mac and Linux is shakey.
 

Cowcaster88

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Feb 26, 2005
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Langford said:
NTFS recovers from crashes better, has file security, and supports drives to huge sizes. The trouble is that it's a propriatary Microsoft format, so support on Mac and Linux is shakey.

Support for NTSF on OSX and Linux is read only by default. If you decide to go with FAT32 you can install, read and write just about "any"operating system on it. Its been around for quite sometime.
 
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