[nSLUG] Linux on Laptop and External USB Drive

Stephen Gregory nslug at kernelpanic.ca
Wed Sep 20 15:28:20 ADT 2006

On Wed, Sep 20, 2006 at 01:02:40PM -0300, Preston Smith wrote:

> I have 250 GB external USB drive which I plan to use to backup both my 
> laptop and PC.  Could I install separate Linux OS partitions for both 
> computers on this drive instead of installing on the respective HDs?

You should be able to, but it can be tricky. I would not recommend it
to someone who doesn't have a lot of patience and time. There are many
pitfalls. But it is a great setup once it works. You end up with a
portable Linux system that you can boot just about anywhere. With a
bit of basic trickery you would only need one install for both your
laptop and desktop. 

You can also resize your windows partitions. But I don't recommend it
unless you have a commercial tool. I have seen to many failures with
the open source tools. MS is willing to tell the Ghost and Partion
Magic authors how NTFS works, but not the GNU coders.

If you are just looking to get your feet wet with Linux consider
installing the free VMwarePlayer and grabbing a prebuilt Linux virtual
machine. Like this Ubuntu image:
VMware is not the fastest, but it is useable. You could keep the
virtual machine on the USB drive for portability.



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