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can i put a ubuntu distro on an external hard drive?


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#1 sidhardtha

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 03:35 PM

i already own the hard drive. i don't want to buy a flash drive too. i just want to check it out, not permanently install it. i am new to linux. 

 

i am on windows 10. 

 

 thanks in advance.  :-)


Edited by britechguy, 20 June 2017 - 04:33 PM.
Moved to Linux/Unix Forum

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#2 MadmanRB

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 05:35 PM

Yes you can do this but you will still need a external install media.

A flash drive or a thumb drive isnt that expensive anyhow, if interested in linux a thumb drive is perfect to try it with without installing it.

If a thumb drive is out of reach got any DVD's?


Edited by MadmanRB, 20 June 2017 - 05:36 PM.

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#3 DeimosChaos

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 02:24 PM

As Madman as stated, it is possible!

 

I have Ubuntu running on an external SSD drive. Works pretty well. My internal space is limited so this was a good option on that particular laptop. A little disappointed in the speeds for a Thunderbolt 3 port though, but I digress. :)

 

The process for installing to an external is pretty much the same as installing on an internal. You just gotta boot via a USB drive or DVD with the Ubuntu ISO loaded on there. During the install you just select your external and install on there. Super simple.


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#4 pcpunk

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 05:36 PM

The process for installing to an external is pretty much the same as installing on an internal. You just gotta boot via a USB drive or DVD with the Ubuntu ISO loaded on there. During the install you just select your external and install on there. Super simple.

And, it's best to Disconnect your Main Internal Drive so you don't Install to it by accident and overwrite windows 10!

 

You're best off buying an inexpensive USB, I know you don't want to hear that but that is the way it is.  

 

A DVD just don't cut it for me anymore, things are way to slow.  If you get a small inexpensive USB you will be able to run from that just fine without Installing.  You will be creating a LinuxLiveUSB, so some use the Term "Install", but it is not a full install and only takes a few minutes to create.  ISO Download will take you a while depending on your download speeds, then again, the USB Creation will take about 7-8 minutes by experienced folks.

 

You could also do this with your External Drive I guess, but that seems like a waste of space, because it should be a dedicated drive to keep things simple, this is why the USB route is best IMO.  I've used the Lexar Twist drives with success.  There are a few drives that don't like to boot with Linux on them, I don't keep track of them all but can say some of them are Sandisk brand.  Most will boot with Linux IMO, and they don't need to be very big, 4GB will do, even smaller maybe.

 

The other option you have to try it out is a Virtual Machine inside of Windows 10.


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#5 cooljay

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 07:32 PM

 

The process for installing to an external is pretty much the same as installing on an internal. You just gotta boot via a USB drive or DVD with the Ubuntu ISO loaded on there. During the install you just select your external and install on there. Super simple.

And, it's best to Disconnect your Main Internal Drive so you don't Install to it by accident and overwrite windows 10!

 

 

 


 

Thank you!! This is what I was referring to when I asked about an external drive. Nobody likes to mention that you can actually damage your main drive - everything is always easy-peasy. No, it's not. Especially for people like me who don't know what the hell they are doing.

Whenever somebody tells me "all you gotta do is"... I run.



#6 pcpunk

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:36 PM

 

Nobody likes to mention that you can actually damage your main drive - everything is always easy-peasy.

cooljay, nobody here wants to see anyone damage their Computer.  While removing the Drive is probably the first thing that should be mentioned in this case sometimes we forget.  I'm not perfect and nobody else is either.  Some of this stuff is Second Nature to Staff, and Members, and we tend to forget the Basics sometimes.  I can't tell you how many times I've posted to help someone and later thought Whoops, forgot one piece of important info.  Thanks for emphasizing that and next time I will put it in Red so people won't miss it also.

 

sidhardtha did not want to install anyhow, and may be able to run a LinuxLiveSession off that External, but I've never done that myself so will let others advise on that.   Shouldn't be all that hard but not something I do often enough to provide accurate instructions.

 

Thanks, pc


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#7 sidhardtha

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 05:37 AM

i will get a 16 gb usb for $7.50.

 

thank you all for helping. 


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#8 MadmanRB

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 06:37 AM

You are welcome, plus its still good you got a USB thumb drive as they are great for creating restore media.

I actually have several of the things, 7 in fact.

the main 4 are my main install media drives, I have one for windows, two for linux and one has drivers for my hardware.

The others are more there just in case the others fail, I mean the things are so cheap so i am not bothered.

See if you can get more than one yourself so you can create a windows install thumb drive just in case you delete windows by mistake.

Also please back things up, dont want to nuke your files by mistake.


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#9 DeimosChaos

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 12:19 PM

 

 

The process for installing to an external is pretty much the same as installing on an internal. You just gotta boot via a USB drive or DVD with the Ubuntu ISO loaded on there. During the install you just select your external and install on there. Super simple.

And, it's best to Disconnect your Main Internal Drive so you don't Install to it by accident and overwrite windows 10!

 

 

 


 

Thank you!! This is what I was referring to when I asked about an external drive. Nobody likes to mention that you can actually damage your main drive - everything is always easy-peasy. No, it's not. Especially for people like me who don't know what the hell they are doing.

Whenever somebody tells me "all you gotta do is"... I run.

 

Cooljay, my statement was pretty basic. I didn't post any step by step instructions because at this time it isn't necessary. It really is a simple process, even for new users. As long as you pay attention to what you are doing and double check you are selecting the drive you want to install on you will be fine. Ubuntu even tells you the name of the drive, so if its a Sandisk stick it will have 'Sandisk' in the name. There really isn't much to screw up. Of course taking steps to not wipe your other drives is a very good and valid point made by pcpunk. I just hadn't thought of it then.

 

Sidhardtha, please let us know when you get the drive and if you need any help getting it loaded with Ubuntu.


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#10 cooljay

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 01:45 PM

@pcpunk and everyone else - god no - I did not mean my comment to get off that way. I wasn't even thinking of this forum in particular, but all across the web, not only in forums, and not just as far as Linux goes but other matters too. It's just one of my pet peeves that the noobness of the reader is often not diagnosed as being complete, absolutely zero knowledge type of newbie-ness. Like, starting to learn how to cook and not knowing how to boil water kind of ignorance. This happens everywhere and always has. The great Julia Child (no Australians etc who may not know, she was a cooking phenomenon, brought French cuisine to Americans etc and had her own cooking show where she taught people how to, yeah, boil potatoes, among other things). She also knew nothing when she enrolled in cooking school and it took her forever to figure out, by accident, that meat or chicken if still wet from rinsing it first will not brown when you fry it. Nobody told the students that. So there you have it.

 

This particular thing about the hard drive - I am very protective of my main computer because I need it for work, and I will not partition or run anything from an external drive connected to it. Period. For precisely the reason that I cannot trust myself not to screw something up that for 99 percent of the population would be not problem at all. Believe me, for me it would be. So, I kind of patted myself on the back when I read somewhere that a kid had ruined his dad's laptop by erasing everything when he tried to run linux on an external drive that all over the internet people always say it's easy as pie and nothing can go wrong. People like me need to be super careful.

 

In no way did I mean to criticize anyone. I was just talking off the cuff, so to speak. I apologize if I offended anyone. :love4u:



#11 GoofProg

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 02:02 PM

Yes.  I would disconnect all hard drives while installing on an external USB device.  In that way, accidents won't happen.  (Its okay offend people so much that the home owner in the family gets the message.) (snitches)



#12 sidhardtha

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 03:45 PM

 

 

 

The process for installing to an external is pretty much the same as installing on an internal. You just gotta boot via a USB drive or DVD with the Ubuntu ISO loaded on there. During the install you just select your external and install on there. Super simple.

And, it's best to Disconnect your Main Internal Drive so you don't Install to it by accident and overwrite windows 10!

 

 

 


 

Thank you!! This is what I was referring to when I asked about an external drive. Nobody likes to mention that you can actually damage your main drive - everything is always easy-peasy. No, it's not. Especially for people like me who don't know what the hell they are doing.

Whenever somebody tells me "all you gotta do is"... I run.

 

Cooljay, my statement was pretty basic. I didn't post any step by step instructions because at this time it isn't necessary. It really is a simple process, even for new users. As long as you pay attention to what you are doing and double check you are selecting the drive you want to install on you will be fine. Ubuntu even tells you the name of the drive, so if its a Sandisk stick it will have 'Sandisk' in the name. There really isn't much to screw up. Of course taking steps to not wipe your other drives is a very good and valid point made by pcpunk. I just hadn't thought of it then.

 

Sidhardtha, please let us know when you get the drive and if you need any help getting it loaded with Ubuntu.

 

ok.  thanks.   the drive costs around $20 with shipping. other brands cost $7.50.


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#13 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 06:40 AM

@ sidhardtha:-

 

Just as an update, you may find this tutorial from Pyschocats useful for your purposes. Just substitute your external HDD for the USB, if that's what you want to do.

 

I used this myself a few times when I first started playing around with Linux, 3-4 years ago... As Deimos and the others have mentioned, it's a very easy process; just make sure you specify the correct drive, that's all.

 

 

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#14 GoofProg

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:16 PM

Installed Linux on a USB stick, a delectable delight.  If you can boot to your USB stick then you are set anywhere.  (maybe try to cheat in a computer lab with it) 



#15 sidhardtha

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 07:46 PM

thank you all for replying.   :-)


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