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I’m working on setting up Ubuntu dual-boot on my MacBook Pro, and I’m terrified of doing something that breaks one or more of the systems now on my computer (like an rm -rf that manages to hit both partitions somehow). I was thinking, would encrypting the macOS partition with FileVault serve to prevent Ubuntu from accidentally doing something to it, or is that not how any of this works?

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The are four types of Apple partitions that are commonly used:

  • Apple_HFS (MacOS Extended Journaled)
  • Apple_Boot (MacOS Extended Journaled used for Recovery)
  • Core Storage
  • APFS

These partition either can not be mount by Ubuntu are can be mounted as Read Only. So there is no danger of Ubuntu overwriting a macOS volume.

Note: Most Linux (including Ubuntu) can write to non-encrypted Apple_HFS partitions if journaling is turned off. A macOS installation will always have journalling enabled by default.

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