Honestly swapping drive is about the hardest thing to do. That is if you keep putting the bottom back on after you take it off and switch out the drives. What a Pain in the Gluteus Maximus. Better to jst use an external USB drive to load Ubuntu on and then you can bot back and forth, yes Dula boot but that is what you are talking about anyway. And with your plan you have to Switch out the drives!!!!
Waht is wrong with a Virtual Machine? Then you can run both OSs at the same time switch ing back and forth with a Key Press. Not screwdrivers and cable to unplug and replug.
Good Luck and Best Wishes.
In forgot to add.
If you want to run Ubuntu Hassle Free get a Windows PC notebook. You can install it on there without even breaking a sweat. then you can run both at the same time.
- Because when I'm editing/ rendering lots of HD video everyday, I don't want to share system resources between virtual machines... I want the entire system's resources devoted to what I'm doing.
- I don't want to spend anymore money than I have to in order to buy one of the faster virtual systems. Not to mention, I've had a bad experience with Parralels in the past and I'd rather not use one again.
- I really don't want to clutter up my system anymore than I have to for a project that's only going to take a few weeks.
- I don't mind swapping hard drives... it takes two minutes, and I have an empty ssd just sitting on the shelf.
So, back to my original question. Can I just swap the computer's drives, then install Ubuntu on the second drive and be good to go without any harm to my MacBook Pro or OSX on the other drive (which wouldn't be connected when Ubuntu is running)?
That should work fine, as I'm sure you know by now.
One of my biggest beefs with support communities/forums is that often the "experts" won't answer the question you ask because the solution they've chosen doesn't match what you're trying to do. Often I don't read forums because of that -- they just waste my time. In this case, though, they answered my question but not yours. Nevertheless, I felt bad for you that nobody answered your simple question: will doing this hurt my system.