In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of installing Ubuntu on an external hard drive. This can be a great way to create a portable Ubuntu installation that you can use on different computers. Let’s dive in.
Yes, it is possible to install Ubuntu on an external hard drive. This allows you to create a portable Ubuntu installation that you can use on different computers. Just follow the step-by-step guide provided in this article to successfully install Ubuntu on your external hard drive.
Before we begin, ensure that your external hard drive has enough free space for the Ubuntu installation. A minimum of 25GB is recommended. You’ll also need a live USB or DVD of Ubuntu. You can create one using a tool like Rufus or Etcher.
Step 1: Prepare Your System
First, turn off your computer and disconnect the power cable from the hard drive or unplug the hard drive from the laptop. Plug the computer back in and insert the live USB or DVD. Start the computer and boot from the live USB or DVD.
Step 2: Enter Ubuntu Live Environment
Once your computer boots up, select the language and choose “Try Ubuntu” to enter the live environment. This allows you to test Ubuntu without installing it.
Step 3: Partition the External Hard Drive
Next, open the GParted partition manager. You can find it in the Ubuntu live environment. Create a new partition on the external hard drive for the Ubuntu installation.
To do this, select the external hard drive from the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of GParted. Then, click on the “Partition” menu and select “New”.
In the “Create new Partition” window, set the file system to “ext4”, which is a journaling file system that provides data integrity. Set the mount point as “/”, which signifies the root directory in Linux.
Optionally, you can create a separate partition for the /home directory, which is where user files and settings are stored. This can be useful if you plan to upgrade or reinstall Ubuntu in the future, as it allows you to preserve your personal data and settings.
Step 4: Install Ubuntu
Now, start the Ubuntu installer by clicking on the “Install Ubuntu” icon on the desktop. When you reach the “Installation type” screen, choose the “Something else” option. This allows you to manually select the partition for the installation.
In the next screen, select the partition you created on the external hard drive as the root (“/”) partition. If you created a separate /home partition, select it as well.
Make sure to select the external hard drive as the location for the bootloader installation. The bootloader is a program that loads the operating system when the computer is turned on.
Step 5: Complete the Installation
Follow the rest of the prompts to complete the installation. This includes setting your location, keyboard layout, and user details. Once the installation is complete, restart your computer.
Step 6: Boot from the External Hard Drive
Finally, you need to set your computer’s BIOS or UEFI settings to boot from the external hard drive. The exact steps to do this can vary depending on your computer’s manufacturer, but generally, you need to press a specific key (such as F2, F10, or Del) during startup to enter the BIOS or UEFI settings. Then, look for the boot order or boot priority settings and move the external hard drive to the top of the list.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed Ubuntu on an external hard drive. Now, you can take your Ubuntu installation with you and use it on any computer. Just remember to change the BIOS or UEFI settings on the computer to boot from the external hard drive.
Remember, running Ubuntu from an external hard drive can be slower compared to running it from an internal hard drive due to the speed limitations of USB connections. However, it provides a flexible and portable way to use Ubuntu.
Yes, you can install Ubuntu on any external hard drive that has enough free space for the installation.
A minimum of 25GB of free space is recommended for the Ubuntu installation on your external hard drive.
Yes, you can use a USB flash drive instead of an external hard drive to install Ubuntu. Just make sure it has enough free space and follow the same installation process.
Yes, you can still use your external hard drive for other purposes after installing Ubuntu on it. The Ubuntu installation will be contained within a separate partition, leaving the rest of the drive available for storage or other uses.
Yes, you can update or reinstall Ubuntu on the external hard drive in the future. By creating a separate partition for the /home directory during the installation process, you can preserve your personal data and settings even when reinstalling or upgrading Ubuntu.
Yes, running Ubuntu from an external hard drive can be slower compared to running it from an internal hard drive due to the speed limitations of USB connections. However, it still provides a flexible and portable way to use Ubuntu.