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I'd like to install Gentoo Linux on my Macbook Pro while keeping my current OS X installation.

I currently have OS X installed on a RAID 0 on two 160GB Intel SSDs and I'd like to create a new partition for Gentoo alongside OS X without losing the RAID setup, but from what I read on the net, Apple's software RAID is poorly (read "not at all") supported:

  • BootCamp refuses to create a windows partition on a RAID volume
  • rEFIt is not able to boot an OS from a software RAID
  • even Apple's recovery partition for Lion can't be created on a RAID volume

Is there a way to dual boot my Macbook while keeping the RAID solution?

Edit: to be precise, I would like to have exactly this setup: dual boot with RAID 0. I already tried (and currently use) virtualization but it doesn't fit my needs.

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Multi-boot requires partitioning the disk. This is easier for a hardware RAID where the RAID disk appears as just one disk to both OS, but much harder for software RAID and especially across two very different operating systems.

Some thoughts about solving this problem :

I would think that one will need to partition each of the two disks in exactly the same way, say disk1 partitioned into partition11 and partition12, disk2 partitioned into partition21 and partition22, where in size partition11=partition21 and partition12=partition22.

One would then install OS X as software RAID on partition11+partition21 and Linux on partition12+partition22, so both RAIDs are kept totally separate from each other.

Getting the boot-loader to work on this kind of configuration is not that easy, but this article might help:
How To Dual Boot OS X and Linux.

Just an opinion: It would be much easier to break the RAID and give each OS its own disk. If you wish to keep the RAID, remember to have good backups as it is likely you will find yourself reformatting the disks a few times while trying. I would also remark that RAID-0 is the most fragile of all RAID types, since a problem with one disk will mean losing both.

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I already thought about giving each OS its own disk. The problem is that one OS takes 2/3 of the space and the other only 1/3 and I would like to show only one volume to each OS… – GaretJax Apr 15 '12 at 12:36
Concerning the fragility of RAID0, I'm well aware of the risks… this is why I have three different backup strategies (Crashplan, TimeMachine and Weekly disk clone) but until now I didn't encountered any problem and SSDs are less susceptible to sudden malfunctions than traditional drives. – GaretJax Apr 15 '12 at 12:38

Install VirtualBox and then install Gentoo onto a virtual machine that runs alongside Mac OS. You setup how much disk space and memory, and how many CPUs to give to the virtual machine. You can make parts of your Mac's filesystem available to the guest operating system, the guest OS can access the Internet, GUI stuff works, etc. It's quite useful and convenient setup. And since it's running atop your Mac installation, you keep the RAID 0 read speed.

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That's not what I'm asking for. I already have such a setup and I want to install it natively! – GaretJax Apr 14 '12 at 9:37
BTW, virtual box currently has a bug which does not allow my gentoo installation to use more than one processor without deadlocking under high VM load… – GaretJax Apr 14 '12 at 9:37
@Garet Fair enough, but you should add that to your question so we know you've tried and found unacceptable. – Kyle Jones Apr 14 '12 at 13:57
Done! ;-) (six more chars to reach the minimum comment length… oh well, I guess I've already passed it!) – GaretJax Apr 14 '12 at 14:02

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