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I need to be able to use Ubuntu on different computers with my external hard drive, with varying devices. And it needs to be a full (normal..ish) install. (No bootable+overlayfs persistence for me!)

I'll probably be using computers with an i386 architecture, but the 32/64-bit could change.

Or, I'll just hope for the best and just repart my drive and install.

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have you tried installing normally and checking that whether the ubuntu is booting for the other computer i think it will work fine. –  VENKI Jan 3 '12 at 1:45

2 Answers 2

To use the external drive as made above, simply plug it in, boot the computer, go to BIOS and select the external drive as first hard drive. I have never hade to do the second half of the above proceedure.

BIOS proceedure may vary with different makes of BIOS.

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Connect the External HD, boot from the Ubuntu installation CD and go through the install steps. Make sure to choose Ext2 or FAT for your file system. You can setup /, TMP and a swap drive on different partitions if you like.

Once you can boot Ubuntu from the external HD you need to use it on another computer with the same number of drives. Best case one internal HD and a CD drive. Ubuntu will try to boot from the same device all the time (e.g sb2) If the computer has more drives, you need to edit the /etc/fstab file to change the boot device number.

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