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I have a MBP running 10.6.8 with a 120 SSD hard drive. I would like to use XCode on the machine, but that requires a decent amount of space so I was thinking about an external drive.

How closely is Xcode integrated with the system? Can I install Xcode on a removable drive without any negative repercussions? Obviously I can only use Xcode when I have the drive connected - I'm fine with that.

I'm just wondering if any system errors occur while it's disconnected if the OS will try and run Xcode to debug, and then the system might crash while trying to access the debugger as it would not be present. That's the kind of crazy stuff that would happen on a Windows machine and I hope Apple would be smarter than that.

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Can you actually install OS X on a non-system partition? If the installer allows this, I'd expect it to work properly. Ejecting drives is much more common on OS X than e.g. on Windows. –  Daniel Beck Sep 5 '11 at 16:42

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I ended up installing Xcode 3 and 4 both on a removable drive. They need a little space on the system drive for some core components, but the bulk of the space was on the removable. Seems to be working great.

One note: Put whatever version of Xcode you want to use primarily in the /Development folder, I did this with Xcode4 in the /Development folder of the removable drive.

Then I installed Xcode3 in /Xcode3.

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