I see everyone is talking about partitioning and stuff for installing Ubuntu on external hard drives...

If I buy an external hard drive solely for Ubuntu, do I need to do partitioning and stuff if all of it's capacity will be for Ubuntu?



As long as you want to use the entire thing as Ubuntu, you're fine. If you want to have some for a backup of something else, or another OS you do need to partition.

How to install Ubuntu on portable external Hard Drive? is an excellent guide to installing on an external drive.

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  • Which would you recommend out of goo.gl/eIUrYV or goo.gl/FlSJN4 ? – Ed St John Feb 25 '16 at 23:07
  • @EdStJohn I prefer Seagate to Toshiba personally, but when you're spending £42.71 on it, you might as well spend an extra £6 and go up to 1TB. goo.gl/Fz8MFj is the one I use for my backups and second operating systems - and it's pretty good. I've had it a while and trust it with my primary backup. Not worrying about it breaking if it falls off my desk is a massive relief too. However, I'd go for the second one you linked to - just in black, to match my setup ;-) Hope that helps! – Tim Feb 26 '16 at 14:14
  • Just wondering - would I be able to install and run Ubuntu on this - amazon.co.uk/dp/B00YFI1A66/… – Ed St John Feb 26 '16 at 18:30
  • @EdStJohn Sure, that would work the same. – Tim Feb 26 '16 at 18:40
  • Why doesn't everyone go with that then? They are so much more portable I might get that? – Ed St John Feb 26 '16 at 18:53

No, you do not need to create partitions in that case. However you could create some. It is often done in this way:

  • One partition for "/"
  • One for swap
  • One for your personal data (home)
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  • Ok thanks. Sorry what is swap and / ? New to this aha – Ed St John Feb 25 '16 at 23:00
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    "/" is the root directory, that is where the system will be located (similar to C:\ in Windows). The swap partition is for virtual memory, used typically when the RAM is full (similar to pagefile.sys in some Windows). I think it is possible to not create a swap partition and instead have a swap file located in the root directory. It is also possible to have your home dir on the same partition as the root dir. – Georg Feb 25 '16 at 23:19
  • Is it possible for the Ubuntu installer to do all that for me or do I have to do that myself? – Ed St John Feb 25 '16 at 23:22
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    The Ubuntu installer comes with a partitioning tool and will do it. Of course, you will have to indicate what you want: which size for which partition. But if you are sure you will only have one system on this drive, you might as well go for the single partition. – Georg Feb 25 '16 at 23:31

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