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I have windows 8 laptop whose hard drive could be swapped easily. From my previous dual boot experience, working with windows 8 and ubuntu at the same time could cause some trouble. Also, I am using a 256 GB SSD now so I do not want to partition the disk for ubuntu. So, I am thinking about installing ubuntu on a separate SSD, and switch the hard drives to use each of them. Before I actually do that, will I run into trouble booting any of them? By the way, I noticed that the same hard drive can boot on different computers for a mac system, is that also the case for linux?

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Before I actually do that, will I run into trouble booting any of them?

No, this should work without any problems. Back in the 90s, I remember this to be a typical multiboot-scenario :)

By the way, I noticed that the same hard drive can boot on different computers for a mac system, is that also the case for linux?

It usually works, as long as you are using Ubuntus default kernel, but there could be problems with some modules (drivers) until you regenerate your initial ramdisk on the new hardware. To do so, execute sudo update-initramfs -u -k all.

If you use another kernel and run into a kernel-panic, it will probably help to use a live-linux-system like grml to boot and use chroot to generate the new ramdisk:

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
mount -t proc /proc /mnt/proc
mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev
mount -o bind /sys /mnt/sys
chroot /mnt /bin/bash
source /etc/profile
update-initramfs -u -k all

I'm assuming that your root-partition is /dev/sda1 and that you are root inside the live-system. In case /boot is an own partition, it needs to be mounted too.

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