Hi I would love to get an opinion from experts on the best way to go.

The case is as followed: For my new software engineering internship, I need a Ubuntu env to program in because they all work with ubuntu.

Now I have a half-year-old Dell XPS 7590 and I saw the steps required to enable dual boot (from raid on to ahci etc, i see that reversing that is a lot more difficult). Now the main problem is that I might not continue to use ubuntu after my internship.

My questions are:

  • What is the better option, installing ubuntu on a external SSD (Samsung T5) or on the internal SSD?

This way my win 10 system doesn't get affected at all but still does it throttle the performance?

  • If I dual boot my XPS and split the internal ssd does that affect my data on windows?

I just never worked with ubuntu before or dual booting and I just don't want to make the wrong choice of either using the external SSD which may cause performance issues. Or split the internal SSD which may be hard to reverse without losing data.

  • 1
    If I had an external SSD, I'd use it to store VM containers and boot VMs from the SSD. If I needed two OS's on a single machine, I'd dual boot from the internal SSD and create a shared data partition for the two OS's.
    – earthmeLon
    Jun 26 '20 at 18:49
  • You should have no problem installing Ubuntu alongside Windows on a Dell machine. Just take a backup first (Macrium Reflect is free and very good, just test you can boot the recovery media so you can restore.) Also watch some install guides on YouTube so you know what to expect.
    – PonJar
    Jun 26 '20 at 20:02

A full install of Ubuntu on the internal hard drive has better performance than installing Ubuntu on an external hard drive. Sipping Ubuntu's connectivity with the computer's hardware through a USB cable straw will definitely throttle Ubuntu's performance.

Splitting the internal SSD by installing Ubuntu alongside Windows will not affect Windows except for the bootloader which can be repaired or reinstalled if necessary. Your Windows data on the internal SSD will not be affected unless you accidentally overwrite a Windows partition when installing Ubuntu, so please be careful not to do that. The Ubuntu installer has a graphical partitioning screen that shows how the hard drive space will be split between Windows and Ubuntu. Please study this screen carefully before confirming the partitioning.

Check that:

  • The correct internal hard drive has been selected.

  • The changed partitioning gives enough disk space for both Windows and Ubuntu to run efficiently.


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