Triple-boot Filesystem Layout «

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I’ve got a MacBook on the way that I plan to triple-boot and I’m trying to figure out how to lay out the filesystems. I plan on using Linux primarily as I’m a developer. XP has a lousy command line environment* and OS X has a lousy GUI, but I’d like to keep them around for browser testing.

* Yes, I’ve used Cygwin. It’s good, but awkward.

Linux OS X Windows XP
FAT 32 rw rw rw
EXT3 rw rw? rw?
HFS+ rw rw rw?
NTFS rw r rw

The ? indicates that support is added by a random freeware utility rather than built into the OS, so who knows how well it’ll work. Yeah, XP and OS X both suck for filesystem support.

The general plan looks like OS X and XP will have ~10G partitions with their native HFS+ and NTFS. Linux will get a ~10G ext3 root partition and the rest of the disk space will go to a large ext3 partition for /home. I’ll spend my time in Linux, booting to XP and OS X mostly just to test, so their ext3 support needs to not suck or I’ll have to create a FAT 32 scratch partition just to pass files around (and scratch any hope of using my svn repos).

Just to add another wrinkle, I plan on using TrueCrypt to encrypt all my private data so I’m not 100% screwed if I lose my laptop, just like 15% screwed. TrueCrypt runs on Linux and XP and can encrypt entire filesystem partitions or virtual disks (which exist as files on existing partitions). So while I’d like to have a big ext3-formatted TrueCrypt-protected /home partition, that’d leave out OS X.

Anyone have a better plan? Anyone else with a triple-boot setup care to share lessons learned?

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