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Installing more than one OS on a USB external disk





Davidgr1200
I have managed to install Ubuntu to a 120GB external USB disk drive (NOT a USB stick). Just for fun I'd like to have a couple of other versions of linux there as well and be able to choose which one I boot from. Anyone know how I can do that without sabotaging my Ubuntu installation? It would be nice to take my disk to "any" PC and be able to try a few different versions of linux.
As an alternative can I put some iso:s on the drive and choose which one I want to boot from?
Stubru Freak
I think you can just install it as if it were a normal disk. But make sure you have a separate boot partition.
mehulved
Davidgr1200 wrote:
I have managed to install Ubuntu to a 120GB external USB disk drive (NOT a USB stick). Just for fun I'd like to have a couple of other versions of linux there as well and be able to choose which one I boot from. Anyone know how I can do that without sabotaging my Ubuntu installation? It would be nice to take my disk to "any" PC and be able to try a few different versions of linux.
As an alternative can I put some iso:s on the drive and choose which one I want to boot from?

Just install each linux on separate partition as you'd do for internal disk. Then Install grub on each of their root partitions. Finall install grub or any boot manager on the MBR.
It's not necessary to install grub on root partition of each distro but it's quite useful. Without doing that you'll have to find the root partition, boot partition, kernel, initrd image, options to pass to kernel then copy it all to your grub's menu.lst.
Rather when you install grub on each distro's root partition. You only need to know the root partition. Then ask grub on MBR to chainload it.
This is how you chainload
Code:

root (hdX,Y)
chainloader +1

In this way it will make simple to manage various linux distros.
This just doesn't apply to external drive but as much to internal ones.
The procedure is same for both internal drive or external, only thing is that when you use external you should change the first boot device to USB.
Only problem that could arise is that the PC may not support booting from USB devices. For that you'll require grub on a CD or floppy that could get you booting to the USB drive.
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