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metalkittykat 07-03-2013 08:52 AM

Getting an external hardrive, what is the best model for linux?
I tried one Seagate hardrive and Linux was unable to mount it. I did some research and it was evident that Seagate is not compatible with Linux.

Considering I want to install two distros of Linux on a external hardrive (probably Ubuntu and Mint since they are the most user friendly and I am kind of new to Linux), what would the best model for this task be?

Thank you so much for your help.

Would any external hardrive that is a FAT32 filesystem be a safe bet?

zhjim 07-03-2013 09:31 AM

I cant imagine that seagate drives dont work under linux. Specially cause I have 2 running in my system. Anyways I'd say that the filesystem is not mountable under linux. Which I doubt also. Cause nearly every filesystem is supported. (Note the word nearly).

To help you further i would need the name of the partition you want to mount like shown under /dev/. Maybe a
PHP Code:

ls /dev/sd

could shed some light

FAT32 should work. But is not the best of filesystem.

metalkittykat 07-03-2013 10:09 AM

NTFS is they file system of the external hardrive. Meaning it is made to be compatible with windows.

I can't get the name of the partition because my father decided that he was going to use this hard drive to back up everyone's files so I basically don't have enough room to go through the instillation process to obtain the name of the partition.

Is there another method I can try?

zhjim 07-03-2013 03:09 PM

NTFS should be supported. Maybe some packages are missing. Do you have a spare USB stick lying around? Could try It allows you to install a linux iso to a usb stick. So you could go with a live CD of some distro and get your self wet with linux. And fiddle around with other external devices as well as build in.

metalkittykat 07-04-2013 03:06 AM

That might be a good possibility as I have already got Puppy to work on a USB.

Thank you.

synchlavier 07-06-2013 06:39 PM

NTFS is windows not Linux
If you plan to install Linux you need partitions that have a Linux filesystem (like ext3 or ext4). Not NTFS, which is Windows native and would not allow the powerful file permissions setup of Unix-like operating systems (like Linux).

273 07-06-2013 07:08 PM

Almost all external hard drives will work with the major Linux distributions. Almost all hard drives you buy, however, will be formatted as NTFS (unless you buy one marketed for Macs). What the drive is formatted with by the manufacturer is completely irrelevant as when you install a Linux distribution to the drive it will be formatted by the installer before the operating system is installed. If you are installing Linux on a machine with internal and external drives then the installer will may well default to suggesting that Linux be installed on the internal drive so, once in the installer, you may need to select the external drive instead.
I would be surprised if you could install Linux on a FAT32 partition as I imagine it would cause all sorts of problems with permissions. Installing Linux on an NTFS partition may well be possible nowadays as I think there is NTFS support built into the latest kernels (no idea how long it's been in there). However, I wouldn't recommend using a Windows file system for Linux -- best stick with EXT4 as it's tried and tested.
I happen to have a Seagate USB3 drive installed and working as a data drive on my desktop machine running Debian and it works just fine -- I formatted it as BTRFS.

frankbell 07-06-2013 07:36 PM

Most distros come with NTFS support. Some of those distros which are aggressively free, such as Debian, do not, but you can install NTFS support later.

I have two NTFS externals from two different manufacturers (Western Digital and Iomega) attached to one of my computers. The computer is dual-boot Windows and Linux (was Mint, now Mageia just for fun). The externals work fine with everything.

I would not install Linux as an OS to an NTFS file system. If I tried to install it to a USB external (so that / was on the external), I would let the installer partition and reformat the file system to a native Linux file system.

metalkittykat 07-06-2013 08:54 PM

Thank you, all, for your input. This actually makes a whole lot more sense now.

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