How might I partition my hard drive so that I can boot Ubuntu from one partition and file storage in another. I am running Mac OSX Mountain Lion. I want to boot from my external Hard Drive into Ubuntu on a mac computer. My external Hard Drive is dual USB connected.


Appropriately partition your external drive. Create a Ubuntu live CD/USB and boot from it. When it prompts you to choose your install method, click "Something else."

It will take you to a menu to choose the disk you want to install on. Choose your external drive, and create one partition that is >= the amount of physical RAM you have installed in your Mac, and format it as Swap. Then, format the remaining as ext4. Set the ext4 mount point to /.

Select the ext4 partition, and click install. Ubuntu will install on the selected partition. Follow prompts to set up your user account, password, and basically general things.

After Ubuntu is installed, it will prompt for reboot. Reboot, and as your Mac starts back up, hold the option/alt key and it will open up the boot menu. Select your hard drive partition, and boot into Ubuntu.

Enjoy :)

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  • SO I need to make 2 partitions for Ubuntu prior to install? or will the installation take care of helping me with the "Swap" bit? – cbbcbail May 1 '13 at 1:37
  • How large are you planning to have your Ubuntu install be? How much physical RAM do you have installed on your machine? – 16trohrt May 1 '13 at 1:39
  • I have 4 GB of physical RAM. I want to keep A large portion of the HD available and do not need much space for physical storage on the Ubuntu partition. Probably no more than 10 GB. – cbbcbail May 1 '13 at 2:22
  • Then leave about 14 GB of free space. In the installer, make a 4 GB swap partition, then use the remaining 10 as ext4 with a mount point of "/" and install to the ext4 partition. Boot up as I directed in my answer. – 16trohrt May 1 '13 at 2:28

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