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Possible Duplicate:
Installing Ubuntu on external hard disk

How can I mount ubuntu to my external hdd. I don't want to mess with my computer's hard drive. I am taking a class for Linux and I hate dual boot.

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marked as duplicate by Ringtail, Mik, Chris Wilson, Uri Herrera, Jorge Castro Jan 10 '13 at 20:33

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Just plug it in and you can mount it, but don't you mean boot from it? since you are talking about dual boot. Please, elaborate. – Dr_Bunsen Jan 10 '13 at 16:00
"How can I mount ubuntu to my external hdd". I am not understanding this... you can mount a disc(so also the partition Ubuntu is on) into another system. But you still need an OS from where to mount it. If it is from within Windows go ask a Windows expert ;) – Rinzwind Jan 10 '13 at 16:01

If you mean install Ubuntu on an external hard-drive then it's easy! Just connect the hard drive and boot your laptop into the live cd, choose 'Someting Else' when prompted during the installation process. This will show available drives/partitions. Select you external hard-drive and create the required partitions. You'll need:

ext4 mounted as / (15-20GB will be plenty) for your Root directory.

ext4 mounted as home (Remaining free space minus space you need for swap.) for your home folder.

swap area (size will depend on how much Ram you have) for your virtual RAM.

Also make sure you select the external hard drive from the drop-down menu for the installation of the Bootloader.

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This is correct, but just to be clear, it will mean dual-boot whenever the drive is plugged in (you will still be able to boot Windows). – Paddy Landau Jan 10 '13 at 16:34
If I understand correctly he'll get a choice if the boot order has USB set before HDD, otherwise it will just boot into Windows as only the Windows bootloader will be present on the HDD. – Merri Jan 10 '13 at 16:39
Good point. The OP may need to press some button (such as F12) while booting to choose the external hard drive. James will need to refer to his hardware manual, unless — as you say — he sets the BIOS to check the USB first. – Paddy Landau Jan 10 '13 at 16:42
@James What make and model laptop do you have? As Paddy said some laptops use F12 to change the boot order, but others use different keys (Esc on a HP Compaq Presario I have here). When booting the laptop it should say which key briefly in the bottom left or right of the screen before the windows logo appears. – Merri Jan 10 '13 at 16:46

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