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Old 08-20-2019, 06:22 AM   #1
MarkGreatrex
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Is it possible to run linux from a usb ssd?


Hi Guys

Hope you can help with this problem. At the moment I have an iMac running osx from the internal hdd with a bootcamp partition to run windows 10. I also have an external usb ssd just with an installation of osx which I use more or less as my main os with just the internal installation of osx as a fallback. (I've previously also had ubuntu on the internal hard drive and used refind to boot all 3, and ive recently been updating windows so just have ubuntu on another usb stick at the moment.)

So what I would like to do is to have one usb ssd with osx on, and then have another usb ssd with windows 10 and linux on. (I already have the drive.)These wouldn't be plugged in at the same time as I just use windows for gaming. My intention is to eventually use ubuntu as my main os with just windows for gaming. My main problem is that I cannot get windows to boot or install on the other usb ssd. Is it possible to get ubuntu and windows 10 running on this drive using grub or something else? Apologies if I sound like a beginner, I'm pretty new to linux. Let me know if you need any specs/info. Any help would be so appreciated....I'm really loving linux/ubuntu. Thanks guys

Mark
 
Old 08-20-2019, 08:52 AM   #2
rtmistler
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Yes, you can run Linux from an external USB drive.
 
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:09 AM   #3
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkGreatrex View Post
Hi Guys
Hope you can help with this problem. At the moment I have an iMac running osx from the internal hdd with a bootcamp partition to run windows 10. I also have an external usb ssd just with an installation of osx which I use more or less as my main os with just the internal installation of osx as a fallback. (I've previously also had ubuntu on the internal hard drive and used refind to boot all 3, and ive recently been updating windows so just have ubuntu on another usb stick at the moment.)

So what I would like to do is to have one usb ssd with osx on, and then have another usb ssd with windows 10 and linux on. (I already have the drive.)These wouldn't be plugged in at the same time as I just use windows for gaming. My intention is to eventually use ubuntu as my main os with just windows for gaming. My main problem is that I cannot get windows to boot or install on the other usb ssd. Is it possible to get ubuntu and windows 10 running on this drive using grub or something else? Apologies if I sound like a beginner, I'm pretty new to linux. Let me know if you need any specs/info. Any help would be so appreciated....I'm really loving linux/ubuntu. Thanks guys
Running Linux from a USB drive will work, but your speed may not be what you want. And you say "USB SSD"...is it REALLY an SSD drive, or is it a standard USB stick??

All that aside, Windows will probably be REALLY tough to get going on an external drive. That said, I'd consider shoving the SSD drive into another system and doing a load with the SSD plugged in to the motherboard as normal. Load Windows, but DO NOT activate it. Put the SSD back into the enclosure, and plug it in to boot....once booted on the iMac, you should then be able to activate Windows, with the 'real' hardware. That'll leave you with OSX and Windows external, and Ubuntu internal. I'm running Tumbleweed on an iMac, but that's all I have on it, so I've not fooled with refind.
 
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Old 08-20-2019, 01:28 PM   #4
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtmistler View Post
Yes, you can run Linux from an external USB drive.
Of course that's possible!

I think you misunderstood OP: they shared a vision of a scenario they want to realise, and are now asking us for step-by-step instructions on how to do that.
They even wrote: "Let me know if you need any specs/info."

/s

Last edited by ondoho; 08-21-2019 at 12:57 AM.
 
Old 08-20-2019, 02:29 PM   #5
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
Of course that's possible!

I think you misunderstood OP: they shared a vision of a scenario they want to realise, and are now asking us for step-by-step instructions on how to do that. They even wrote: "Let me know if you need any specs/info."
Well, yes...it is possible, and I did say so as well. To me, the entire scenario the OP posted seems like an easy one; install Ubuntu onto the iMac natively. Plug in the USB drives, and go into BIOS at boot time and pick which one to boot from. Done. Involving GRUB seems like overkill.
 
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Old 08-20-2019, 02:48 PM   #6
rtmistler
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Yes I will admit that I looked at the first, primary question and the thread title and answered it. Have to admit the rest is for me non-necessary. Get a USB stick, plug it in and boot off of it. Same thing for a Linux install on a USB drive, or similarly, plug in both a thumb stick and the USB SSD drive, boot live off of the thumb stick, and then install Linux onto the USB based SSD. That should work.
 
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:03 PM   #7
jefro
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On a typical PC system it is somewhat easy to boot a modern linux distro to a modern PC. The modern PC views this usb device as an internal drive.

Your only issue is that you have a Mac and the issues may be uefi and how it boots to a usb device. Plenty of web pages are devoted to this I'd think.
 
Old 08-21-2019, 07:17 AM   #8
MarkGreatrex
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Thanks for the replies. The problems I'm having I think some are mac related. Ive been able to install windows 10 to the internal drive in legacy mode. (Uefi gives problems with the sound not working) also just wanted to clarify that the usb ssd is a full ssd drive and not a flash drive. My main desire is to get windows and linux running on it to get the speed increase so that I dont have to use the internal drive, just cant figure out how to do it.
 
Old 08-21-2019, 08:10 AM   #9
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkGreatrex View Post
Thanks for the replies. The problems I'm having I think some are mac related. Ive been able to install windows 10 to the internal drive in legacy mode. (Uefi gives problems with the sound not working) also just wanted to clarify that the usb ssd is a full ssd drive and not a flash drive. My main desire is to get windows and linux running on it to get the speed increase so that I dont have to use the internal drive, just cant figure out how to do it.
You said initially that your goal was to have TWO USB SSD's, one with Windows and the other with OSX...and you said you already had one with OSX. You were also given advice on how to load Windows to an SSD, which gives you the second part of your request. Leaving you with the internal drive on the iMac for Ubuntu....which is where you wanted to be, right??

So...where's the issue? Sounds like you're not having problems with anything but loading Windows to an external USB drive, which is really a Microsoft problem, not Linux.
 
Old 08-21-2019, 12:02 PM   #10
MarkGreatrex
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Apologies if my post wasn't clear. Your right that this would be probably be more suitable for a Microsoft forum, but my thinking was that a linux boot menu might be able to boot windows, and if it did I could use this instead of refind. I'll try a few more options and then will get back to you...
 
Old 08-21-2019, 12:22 PM   #11
HappyTux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkGreatrex View Post
Thanks for the replies. The problems I'm having I think some are mac related. Ive been able to install windows 10 to the internal drive in legacy mode. (Uefi gives problems with the sound not working) also just wanted to clarify that the usb ssd is a full ssd drive and not a flash drive. My main desire is to get windows and linux running on it to get the speed increase so that I dont have to use the internal drive, just cant figure out how to do it.
You will not be getting any speed increase putting operating systems on a slower interface than the internal drive. You may not have to wait much for the access of the information on the external ssd but the transfer to the computer of the information will be many times slower over usb then a drive directly connected to the bus. Your project should be replacing the internal drive with an SSD, that will make you think you have a new machine. Due to how fast everything will work with that new much faster drive access over the system bus.

Edit: And now I think more, I do not believe windows can be run from a usb drive at least not without some funky editing of the system files on the drive. That seems to be in my mind for some reason.

Last edited by HappyTux; 08-21-2019 at 12:28 PM.
 
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