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Old 04-10-2006, 09:15 PM   #1
heycarnut
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'Portable' linux to external USB hard disk?


Hi gang-

I'd like to install a Linux distro to an external hard drive, that I can carry around to any of my computers - each with slightly differing hardware - and be able to plug the drive in and boot to a reasonably functional system without resorting to manual configuration or tweaking. By this, I mean some auto-hardware configuration, and no need to tweak mount points or use cheat codes to accommodate that the disk may appear at different target locations (e.g. /dev/sda vs /dev/sbd) on different machines becuase of different USB port configurations.
I'd just like to be able to plug the dik in, boot, and have it work.

Can this even be done?

Where might I look to learn how to do this?

TIA,
Rob
 
Old 04-11-2006, 01:32 AM   #2
acid_kewpie
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depends what you want to get out of the system... you can easily run DSL from a 128mb memory stick, or a full distro on a standard large drive... as long as a system sees the device when you boot, you shouldn't have any problems when you boot, including instaling it in the first place.
 
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:30 PM   #3
maxpolaris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heycarnut View Post
Hi gang-

I'd like to install a Linux distro to an external hard drive, that I can carry around to any of my computers - each with slightly differing hardware - and be able to plug the drive in and boot to a reasonably functional system without resorting to manual configuration or tweaking. By this, I mean some auto-hardware configuration, and no need to tweak mount points or use cheat codes to accommodate that the disk may appear at different target locations (e.g. /dev/sda vs /dev/sbd) on different machines becuase of different USB port configurations.
I'd just like to be able to plug the dik in, boot, and have it work.

Can this even be done?

Where might I look to learn how to do this?


TIA,
Rob
Do you mean a HARD DISK? Not a thumb drive memory stick usb drive or whatever else people
call them? I want to know too! I already have numerous distros on thumb drives. I cannot figure out how to make a computer boot a removable usb HARD DISK. Even on a BIOS that recognizes the Western Digital Passport 500 GB and lets me select it as the 1st USB Device to boot from.
 
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:13 PM   #4
yancek
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When you install an operating system on an external drive, you need to install the bootloader to the master boot record of that drive.
If you can set the external to first boot priority and you have the bootloader correctly installed it should boot. If it doesn't you usually get some error message.
 
Old 11-13-2011, 02:02 PM   #5
maxpolaris
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yancek
Yeah thats what I figured. I think my problem is when I use a LIVECD to
install, I don't know how to make the installer do that correctly. Up till now I usually
end up overwriting stuff I don't want to and end up needing to restore my mbr(s)
I've read plenty of tutorials on bootloaders chapter and verse over and over.
Some of us are just slower than others I guess.
I'll get it right sooner or later.

Thanx for the concise matter of fact response.

Max
 
Old 11-13-2011, 02:58 PM   #6
floppy_stuttgart
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a) Burn a CD from www.tinycorelinux.net
b) boot from the CD (change your BIOS setup before)
c) install Tinycorelinux on your USB device (HDD) by starting the "TC-Install" extension. BE SURE YOU CHOOSE THE CORRECT DEVICE! else everything will be gone on the choosen device..
d) change your BIOS setup for booting from the USB
e) start again your PC.. thats it (.. and extend/enlarge/modify your Tinycorelinux setup; see the homepage for that)

Remark: you could use an USB Stick, if you have enough RAM (not an HDD).
and: ask again with precise questions anytime (google your question before.. an answer perhaps already exists)
 
Old 11-13-2011, 05:35 PM   #7
fingers99
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Can't see any reason why Knoppix can't do this (and probably has the best autodetection out there).

Good forum, too.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 02:12 AM   #8
acid_kewpie
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this thread was SIX YEARS OLD! I really don't see the point in replying.
 
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:18 AM   #9
fingers99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acid_kewpie View Post
this thread was SIX YEARS OLD! I really don't see the point in replying.
Ah, missed that.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 07:27 AM   #10
acid_kewpie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fingers99 View Post
Ah, missed that.
Always nice to have your time wasted, huh?
 
Old 11-14-2011, 09:08 AM   #11
schneidz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxpolaris View Post
Do you mean a HARD DISK? Not a thumb drive memory stick usb drive or whatever else people
call them? I want to know too! I already have numerous distros on thumb drives. I cannot figure out how to make a computer boot a removable usb HARD DISK. Even on a BIOS that recognizes the Western Digital Passport 500 GB and lets me select it as the 1st USB Device to boot from.
all these external hard drives are essentially the same as far as the pc's bios cares (i.e.- the pc cant differentiate between a camera, phone, flash drive, thumb drive, mp3-player, ide-usb enclosure, ... as long as they are seen as external storage.

most modern distros have a live-usb iso (i like fedora live-usb)... nowadays its the only way to install them.

each pc manufacturer has a different way to access the bios and set-up the boot sequence (rtfm )

also fdisk -l output would help us... maybe your specific drive has some weird format that needs to be fixed before booting ?

Last edited by schneidz; 11-14-2011 at 09:15 AM.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 09:31 AM   #12
acid_kewpie
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Again... this thread was SIX YEARS OLD! I really don't see the point in replying.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 09:45 AM   #13
colucix
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