I have a Seagate Expansion Portable 1TB external drive, and I am planning to install Ubuntu on it.
However, the disk seems to be MBR, and not GPT, which seems to be an issue, as my computer has a UEFI motherboard.
It looks like this in GParted:

Drive in GParted

In summary, I would like to do the following:
- Convert the disk from MBR to GPT
- Install Ubuntu 16.04 onto said disk

What will I have to do to accomplish this?


I've seem to figured it out.
NOTE: This will destroy all data on your disk. If you would like to save data from a partition, you can run:

dd if=/dev/sdxy of=/tmp/sdxy.img bs=512M

where x is the disk value and y is the partition number.

You can then restore data like so:

dd if=/tmp/sdxy.img of=/dev/sdxy bs=512M

This will restore the imaged backup to the partition.

1: Open GParted (You can run gksudo gparted in a terminal. If GParted isn't installed, install it with sudo apt install gparted.
2: Select Devices -> Create Partition Table. Make sure it creates a GPT partition table. (IMPORTANT: This is the step where data is destroyed. If you would like to keep your data, either back it up as mentioned above, or simply convert the disk to GPT.)
3: Create a 300 MB fat32 partition at the start of the disk. Give this partition the boot and esp flags by right-clicking it and hitting Manage Flags. This will be the ESP, or the EFI System Partition. We'll install GRUB here.
4: Create a swap partition after the ESP. Sizes may vary, but the recommendation is to keep your swap partition the same size as your RAM.
5: Create an ext4 root partition after the swap partition. This partition has to be, at minimum, 20 GB.
6: Hit the green checkmark at the top to Apply your changes. (NOTE: This is when your disk will be written to. Before you reach this step, verify your configuration is correct.)
7: Exit GParted.
8: Boot into your Ubuntu installation media (CD, DVD, USB, etc.)
9: When it asks how you want to install Ubuntu, select Something else.
10: Right-click the ESP, and tell Ubuntu to mount it at /boot/efi.
11: Right-click the swap partition, and tell Ubuntu to use it.
12: Right-click the root partition, and tell Ubuntu to mount it at /.
13: Where it says to which device you want to install the bootloader, select /dev/sdb, or the disk you are installing to. (NOTE: Don't select the wrong disk during this. It is not necessarily /dev/sdb. Make sure you've selected the correct disk.)
14: Hit Install Now, and grab a cup of coffee.

And there you go. Ubuntu is now successfully installed onto your external.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.