So I need to have Windows 10, Linux and OSX on my Macbook pro early 2015 along with a shared data partition. There are several articles on the internet that say Boot Camp only works in so called "hybrid MBR" mode and may lead to some problems when updating OSX and it's generally hard to set up triple boot + additional partitions.

However, all those articles are old and I've seen some comments on reddit stating that for modern macs Boot Camp actually lets to boot in native EFI mode.

I'd like to know if it is true. Does it mean that I can make as many partitions as I want (all of them GPT type) and install not only Windows 10, but Ubuntu as well using only Boot Camp and some disk partitioning tool? Is there a modern guide for this?


2 Answers 2


The short answer is yes. Starting with the 2015 Mac models, you can not use the "hybrid MBR" mode. You must use GPT partition scheme for all operating systems installed. Installation is fairly straight forward. When installing Ubuntu, I would advise that you create a second EFI partition. This would allow you to use the Startup Manager to select the current and default operating system to boot from.

The order of installation would be OS X, Windows and finally Ubuntu. This allows you to use the Boot Camp Assistant to install Windows. After installing Ubuntu, you will need to copy some files from the first EFI partition to the second EFI partition in order for the Startup Manager recognize the Ubuntu operating system.

To get Ubuntu to appear in the Startup Manager, you have to manually mount the both EFI partitions and copy the files in the \EFI\UBUNTU folder of the first EFI partition to the \EFI\BOOT folder of the second EFI partition. Also, the copied grubx64.efi file needs to be renamed to BOOTX64.EFI.

You can also use rEFInd as a boot manager. While rEFInd is not required, it does have the advantage of not having to hold down the option key a startup to switch operating systems. Personally, I have it installed in its own EFI partition, but I rarely use it.

  • So I will need at least 4 partitions, right? One for OS X, one for Windows, and two for Ubuntu. I'm not counting linux swap and other utility partions here. And by the way, besides that I need a partition to share between all three operating systems (I think there will be no problem here) Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 17:42
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    @Anton: You have a limit of up to 128 partitions. You can increase this value if you do not think 128 is enough. Basically, the OS X partition and its utility partitions will be first. Ubuntu and its various partitions will reside in the middle of the drive. Windows and its utility partitions will be at the end of the drive. Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 3:11

I managed to achieve this without using bootcamp, I just installed the operating systems from a disk, then was able to chose what OS I wanted to boot into. with the option key held down at start up.

  • But doesn't Boot Camp provide the best Windows drivers for Apple hardware? If it does, then why not to use it? Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 17:34
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    Yes, it does. I used bootcamp to create the CD, but installed it manually. But I hardly ever use windows, I use mostly Freya OS (Linux) Ubuntu or mac, but sometimes will use windows, for things that won't work otherwise.
    – Tom
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 20:46
  • If you are using CDs (although I think you meant DVDs) for installing software, then what is the model/year of your Mac? I ask because most Mac users install either directly from the iso file or from a flash drive. Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 2:54

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