I am planning to install Ubuntu 11.04 on a portable hard drive (no external power supply, typically 5400 rpm, USB 2.0, 250 GB). This way I wont have to install apps on every machine I work on. I will just boot off this HDD whenever I am working. I have seen lot of similar questions and have gained some idea of how to do it.
What i need to know is -
- What will be the os boot speed, and response time of general applications like firefox, eclipse/netbeans, gimp, inkscape etc? Will there be noticeable difference than internal hard drives? At least it should not drag as it does with live-USB using a regular usb stick.
- Given that I will be using it heavily, are portable HDD more prone to wear and tear?
- I will make atleast 3 partitions, one for OS (ubuntu), one for home, and one for other data that I want to be visible from windows (like media, photos etc). If I format the external hard drive's 1st two partitions in ext4 and 3rd in NTFS, will that be fine with windows and linux?
- Should I create swap space?
- Is there any particular ubuntu distro, thats optimized for such (by storing all caches on RAM and mimimizing HDD writes)