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Boot Camp is a utility included with Apple Inc.marker's Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard" and v10.6 "Snow Leopard" operating systems that assists users in installing Microsoft Windows XP, or Vista on Intel-based Macintosh computers. Apple does not yet support Windows 7 installations using Boot Camp (see #Windows 7 section for details). Boot Camp guides users through non-destructive re-partitioning (including resizing of an existing HFS+ partition, if necessary) of their hard disk drive and using the Mac OS X Leopard disc to install Windows driver. In addition to device drivers for the hardware, the disc includes an applet for the Windows control panel for selecting the boot operating system.


Holding down the option key at startup brings up the boot manager, allowing the user to choose which operating system to boot. When using a non-Apple keyboard, the alt key usually performs the same action. The boot manager can also be launched by holding down the “menu” button on the Apple Remote at startup.

On early Intel-based Macintosh computers, Boot Camp requires that the user upgrade the EFI firmware, to include a BIOS compatibility support module. EFI is used in Intel Macs in place of Open Firmware used on PowerPC Macs. Later Intel Macs ship with this update.

Boot Camp displaced the open source Xom Project for dual booting Mac OS X and Windows XP.

Its functionality relies on BIOS emulation through EFI and a partition table information synchronization mechanism between GPT and MBR combined.


Apple's Boot Camp FAQ lists the following requirements:
  • An Intel-based Mac with the latest firmware
  • A Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard or Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard installation disc or Mac OS X Disc 1 included with Macs that have Leopard or Snow Leopard preinstalled; this disc is needed for installation of Windows drivers for Mac hardware
  • 5 GB free hard disk space (15 GB is recommended for Vista)
  • A full version of one of the following OSs:
    • Windows XP Home Edition or Professional with Service Pack 2 or higher (32-bit editions only)
    • Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate RTM or higher (both 32-bit and 64-bit editions).

Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger"

Boot Camp Beta, which was the only version available for Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger", expired on December 31, 2007. This means that only users of Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" or higher will be able to use final and improved versions of the application, which comes included with the OS.

Other operating systems

64-bit (x64) Microsoft Windows

Apple supports running 64-bit versions of Windows Vista on selected Apple hardware (hardware with Core 2 Duos and higher), as well as the MacBook Pro. 64-bit versions of Windows XP are, however, not supported.

Windows 7

Although currently officially unsupported, many users have successfully installed Windows 7 using Boot Camp. Apple have announced that they will officially support Windows 7 in an upcoming version of Boot Camp, to be released before the end of 2009.

Version history


April 5, 2006
  • Original release

August 26, 2006
  • Support for the latest Intel-based Macintosh computers
  • Easier partitioning using presets for popular sizes
  • Ability to install Windows XP on any internal disk
  • Support for built-in iSight cameras
  • Support for built-in microphones
  • Right-click when pressing the right-hand Apple key on Apple keyboards
  • Improved Apple keyboard support including Delete, PrintScreen, NumLock, and ScrollLock keys

September 14, 2006
  • Support for Core 2 Duo iMacs

October 30, 2006
  • The Apple USB Modem now works correctly
  • Trackpad scrolling and right-click gestures work correctly
  • Fixed idle sleep bugs
  • Reduced dialogs during Windows driver installation
  • Improved international support
  • Improved 802.11 wireless networking support

March 28, 2007
  • Support for Windows Vista (32-bit)
  • Updated drivers, including but not limited to trackpad, AppleTime (sync), audio, graphics, modem, iSight camera
  • Support the Apple Remote (works with iTunes and Windows Media Player)
  • A Windows system tray icon for easy access to Boot Camp information and actions
  • Improved keyboard support for Korean, Chinese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Russian, and French Canadian
  • Improved Windows driver installation experience
  • Updated documentation and Boot Camp on-line help in Windows
  • Apple Software Update (for Windows XP and Vista)

June 7, 2007
  • Support for the MacBook Pro's backlit keyboard
  • Apple Remote pairing
  • Updated graphics drivers
  • Improved Boot Camp driver installer
  • Improved international keyboard support
  • Localization fixes
  • Updated Windows Help for Boot Camp

August 8, 2007
  • Support for the MacBook Pro's backlit keyboard
  • Adds Apple Remote Pairing
  • Updated graphics drivers
  • Improved Boot Camp driver installer
  • Improved international keyboard support
  • Updates to Windows help for Boot Camp
2.0 October 26, 2007
  • Updated Boot Camp control panel
  • Updated keyboard support
  • Updated drivers
  • Updated Localization
  • Support for the latest Mac models
  • Updates to Windows help for Boot Camp
2.1 April 24, 2008
  • Windows XP Service Pack 3 support
  • Windows Vista x64 support
2.2 November 19, 2009
  • Fixes issues with the Trackpad and digital audio ports on portables
  • Adds support for Apple Magic Mouse and Wireless Keyboard
3.0 August 28, 2009
  • Read Mac Volumes from Windows
  • Read/Copy Files between Mac and Windows
  • Support for advanced features on Apple Cinema displays
  • Improved tap-to-click support
  • Command line version of the Startup Disk Control Panel from Windows

See also


External links

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