A complete Ubuntu install to a USB hard drive is a relatively simple process. As a matter of fact, it is almost as simple as a regular Ubuntu internal hard drive or compact flash card installation. Due to popular e-mail demand from our subscribers, we have decided to write a simple tutorial on the Ubuntu USB hard drive installation procedure. So go grab an available external USB hard drive and a nice cold beverage and lets get started.
Notes: Do be forewarned that this is a full installation (not a compressed Squashfs install) . Due to the extensive read and write operations of a full Linux install, you might want to use an external USB or Firewire Drive with a rotating platter instead of a Flash Drive.
Full install Prerequisites:
- 8 GB + USB hard drive (note "rotating platter" we aren't talking about a flash drive here)
- Backup any information on your USB hard drive (device will be formatted during the install process)
- Ubuntu ISO (Ubuntu 7.04 was used in this tutorial) however 7.10 should work as well
- CD Burner
Installing Ubuntu to an external USB hard drive:
- IMPORTANT: Ensure that all internal hard drives are disconnected from your computer during the install (pull your SATA or IDE cables)
- Download the Ubuntu 7.04 ISO, burn it to a CD and restart your computer from the live CD
- Once the Ubuntu Live system is up and running, navigate to System-> Preferences-> Removable Drives and Media and uncheck the following options:
- Click the install Ubuntu icon from the desktop to begin the installation
- At step four Prepare disk space, select the Guided-use entire disk option and elect to install to your USB hard drive:
- When the installation has finished, select the option to restart-now
- Boot into your system BIOS or Boot Menu and elect to boot from your USB Hard drive.
Mount removable drives when hot-plugged
Mount removable media when inserted
Browse removable media when inserted
If all goes well, you should now be booting into a full installation of Ubuntu from your portable USB device.