Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm starting to use a mac, and would like to install different operating systems on it, and, if possible, share some partitions. (like home)

I'm planning to install Debian along with Mac OS X Snow Leopard, and share it's home directory, of, if possible, at least, create a new partition only for my mp3 files.

Anyone knows a guide for it? Or risks in doing it... thanks!

share|improve this question
If you're not requiring direct device access or 3D capabilities, a virtual machine running Debian would be an easy and lightweight option, not to mention more flexibility in how you use your (limited) disk space. – Daniel Beck Dec 16 '10 at 7:25

You can mount your OSX partitions with "mount -t hfs". Doing that on a read-only basis (ie: "mount -t hfs -o ro /dev/sdaX") is very safe. I don't trust writes to it though. If you're transferring files between systems, it is better to setup an additional hfs formatted partition for that purpose.

share|improve this answer
Read-only sharing of home would defeat the purpose, if I understand the intend of the OP correctly. – Daniel Beck Dec 16 '10 at 7:23
OSX won't read filesystems common to Linux like ext*. Linux can read hfs and hfsplus, but I wouldn't trust it for /home use. When actually writing to an hfsplus system, you have to unmount it and fsck.hfsplus it before OSX sees it. Therefore, I really don't see a reliable way to share /home between the two systems. He can try it, but I'd back everything up daily. – Pete Ashdown Dec 16 '10 at 16:08
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's possible to use ext3 on a mac. I'm going through that route.

share|improve this answer

If you are using several operating systems and you are not maxing out the CPU or disk speed the it might be easier to start with running the OSs in a virtual machine. There are severla including a free one Virtual Box This can allow the OS in the box to access data in shared directories on the host OS.

share|improve this answer
Why the downvote? – Mark May 29 '12 at 17:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .