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You can also install from the Internet however I don't do that so sorry I'd be little help with that method.
Once you do have a DVD or USB stick, you can then boot off of that and then conduct your install, where you refer to that external SSD as the target drive to install too.
The complications become any of:
You can only attach one external drive therefore you'll have to use CD/DVD if available or consider the network based install
You have difficulties booting off your external drive likely due to UEFI BIOS, which can be fixed by performing a search on how to disable the UEFI Fast Boot mode
So it sort of boils a bit down to the capabilities of the system you have, how difficult it is to attach external drives and how difficult it is to "see" those drives at boot time. But if there are few technical barriers WRT attaching drives and visibility of those drives then it should really just be a normal install; just one where you need to pay attention to what the drive identifying letters are. And if you have difficulties determining that; for instance you see like /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, and so forth; a thing you can do to avoid installing on an internal hard drive is to disconnect that internal hard drive so it will only see the boot drive (thumbstick or DVD) and that external SSD drive you've attached.
I forgot to specify, that my host laptop is running Windows 7 32bit. It seems that installing Linux that way is very difficult.
That would be UEFI BIOS which has the Fast Boot option, thus disallowing you to boot off any external drive.
Google how to disable that and allow your computer to boot off of an external drive as your first task.
And actually, if you get a Linux ISO onto a Thumbstick or DVD, technically you will have it installed on that drive and would be running it Live on your computer off of the DVD or Thumbstick when you boot it; the only remaining option would be if you wished to install it to your internal hard drive or that external SSD which you mentioned earlier.
I have BIOS boot environment, not UEFI. How to set proper settings on laptop for this?
Depends upon the computer manufacturer and what BIOS they chose. Go into the BIOS Setup and see what you can figure out for boot order, or boot device options. Perform some web searches for that particular manufacturer. Not all BIOS setup menus are the same.
i installed xbmcbuntu (which is based on ubuntu; which in turn is based on debian) on a 32 gb flash drive (full install; not live).
flash drives/usb external enclosures/ cell fones/ mp3 players/cameras/... are all the same (as long as they dont use some specialized emulation like mtp) so installing to them should be the same and transparent to the pc/bios. each bios is different sometimes it is hit f10/f12/del/ctrl-s/... to enter the bios menu and each menu labels things differently so you will have to hunt around and experiment to figure out which allows you to boot off of a usb drive.
my process was using 2 usb flash drives. i downloaded the xbmcbuntu iso and transferred the image to one of the usb drives using unetbootin. then i set my bios to boot from the first external drive and click on the 'install to harddrive' icon once ubuntu started up. during the partitioning step of the install i told it to install to the other usb flash drive (instead of the internal (windows) drive). and then rebooted.
Power down your system.
Remove ac plug.
Use esd safe practices to remove data and or power to internal hard drive.
Return system ac.
Plug in usb external.
Boot to bios and see if under the hard drives you now see an entry for this usb drive.
If so then boot to install media and load your OS to this usb drive.
When finished return internal disk connections and select boot order by either F key menu or bios hard drive order choice.
Are you saying that it won't boot off of your DVD ISO disk?
If you have an ISO image on a DVD and the disk is inserted, and you set your BIOS to boot first off of CD/DVD, then that all sounds correct. My impression is that it should try to boot off of the DVD. The only problem there might be if the DVD was incorrectly set up. For instance, you don't just copy the ISO file to the DVD, you instead burn the DVD using the ISO file which will put the contents of the ISO disk image onto the DVD. That is different than merely having the ISO image on the DVD as a file. Most DVD burning software allows you to burn a disk from an ISO file and select your target DVD drive as to where to burn the image too.
Your recent post shows the internal hard drive is set to first boot priority. You need to highlight the CD/DVD in the BIOS which is usually done with the arrow keys. Then hit the specified key to move it up or down. This information varies with hardware but should be on the page you are viewing.
No, this is my settings. I haven't tried to boot yet. Which settings to select when setup starts?
You want to select the option to boot off of your CD/DVD drive, then save settings, and exit BIOS. You also need to have your DVD in the DVD drive so that when it tries to boot, it will see that disk and be able to boot off of it. At that point, if all is successful, you'll see Linux boot and have the option to try running or proceed with an install.
Most modern BIOS do have a 'Hot key' to select the boot media. On my Dell it is F12 to get a boot menu to select the device from a list of boot devices available after POST. You would then use the <up arrow> or <down-arrow> to move between devices then press Enter/Return when the device is selected for the new media to boot from.