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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 11-21-2006, 11:10 PM   #1
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: Xubuntu 6.10
Posts: 73

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Installing on external USB drive


I am considering installing Linux for my laptop on an external hard drive I will connect through USB. My only question is, will the read/write speed be as fast through USB as it would through an internal IDE drive? I won't bother if its just going to run really slowly.

I tried googling for this, but could only find internal drives described in RPM and external in MB/s no real comparison. Thanks.
Old 11-22-2006, 12:10 PM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2006
Location: CO, USA
Distribution: Slackware, SLAX, Xubuntu
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I'm running linux off a USB flash drive and haven't noticed any large amount of lag time. It should be almost as fast as a regular install.
Old 11-22-2006, 03:56 PM   #3
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
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A hard drive's transfer rate will depend on how fast it spins (5400 rpm, 7200 rpm, etc) along with how many sectors there are per track. Assuming you are not doing any massively intense I/O, you should be able to run Linux off a USB drive just fine.

However, if you really want to be able to run Linux from USB, then your PC must support booting from a USB device. Go into BIOS, and look at the choices in the boot sequence menu. Unless you see USB listed as an option, practically speaking you are out of luck. Good luck with it either way


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