ubuntu on an external drive

Arsya Pandji arsya.linux at gmail.com
Sun Jan 28 06:12:21 UTC 2007

Yes of course. I had successfully installed ubuntu breezy, dapper on my
external hard drive for my notebook.

Basically what you need to do is install ubuntu on your external hard drive,
in my case it was usb external hard drive. Don't forget to install the grub
on your external hdd.
After finished with the installation, then you need to create ramfs/initrd
image which include usb modules in it ( ehci-hcd, usb-storage,...). Then you
put/copy this new ramfs/initrd image to your external hard drive and edit
the grub menu.lst to use your it.

Since my notebook doesn't allow me to boot the usb hdd, so I had to make a
bit work around. I made a cd for grub boot loader, and copy the ramfs/initrd
image to my internal hdd (fat32 windows partition). So, I boot from grub
boot loader cd, and I set the grub to use the ramfs/initrd image in my
internal hdd.

Of course the performance slower because of the usb speed.

For detailed info perhaps you could refer to this link:


On 1/27/07, Mark Warner <markwarner1954 at att.net> wrote:
> > Can I use an external hard drive for an operating system such as
> > Ubuntu
> Yes you can. I just installed PCLinuxOS to one last night.
> Two caveats: 1) your bios must allow for booting to usb hdd and that
> devise must be ahead of the internal hdd, and 2) when the boot loader
> installs, you must install it to the mbr of the *external* drive. That
> latter requires that you install from the Alternate CD, *not* the
> Desktop/Live CD.
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