Linux on an external drive. Is it possible?

By samc
Apr 11, 2005
  1. Hello.

    I have been told about Linux but never actually seen it up and running.
    A few questions are...
    1. Could install Linux onto my external HD and run it from there.
    2. Can I still use windows programs such as SWiSH Max, Reason and Emulators? (If not, is there a way i can choose which OS to boot when i turn my computer on?)
    3. What version of Linux should i download?
    4. Does it crash as much as windows?

    Computer specs are...

    Intel Celeron 750MHz (approx)
    20Gb internal HDD
    300Gb external HDD connected through firewire
    256Mb RAM
    DVD Writer
    CD Writer
    Running WinXP (SP2)
    Broadband external modem connected through USB 2.0 (1Mbps)

  2. thmandan22

    thmandan22 TS Rookie Posts: 59

    1) can run it from an external hdd.
    2) Kinda. Although I haven't used any Windows emulators in linux I have heard it is possible. Some other people here could help you more. And yes, you can dual boot Linux and Win XP, I would defiantly say you should dual boot. In installation you will just make a partition on your external hdd then let the boot loader configure the rest.
    3) Depends on what you want. Try some live cd's out. Live CD's let you try it out without installing it to your HD. If you haven't used linux before I can tell you that SuSE 9.1 is pretty friendly. My parents can use SuSE 9.1 very easily. If you haven't looked at these 2 places here they are:
    these sites should help you decide then find places to download.
    You will have to burn it to as an ISO on those sites there are some help resources if you don't know how to.
    4) Generally, Yes. Not to say that linux is perfect and windows is bad. I haven't had problems with windows much but I still like to dual boot. Linux is allot less bloated than windows. I haven't had Linux completely crash. sometimes konquerer crashes but how many times has IE crashed? Linux IMO is much more stable.

    Like I said earlier, download some Live CD's Try'em out. Download some iso's and install those, you will like one better than the others and use that for awhile. Don' be afraid to try new distro's out. It's on a seperate partition and setup is usually a breeze becuase they're all pretty much GUI installations. I think you would like SuSE 9.1 ,given your specs. there it is.
  3. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    that celeron is liable to balk at many of today's current linux distros anyways.
  4. SquAsyS

    SquAsyS TS Rookie

    As thmandan22 said suse is a good distro. My first linux experiences were Red Hat Linux and Mandrake linux. All these distros are really popular and easy to use. Because popular distros larger communities, it will be easier to seek answers for your questions.

    Linux live cd will be good start. Knoppix linux live cd will be my recommendation. I keep it as a emergency rescue disk of mine. Download the iso file, burn on cd, boot from cd and experience linux. It's that easy and easiest way to say hi to penguin.

    Here are some links:

    Knoppix Live Linux CD :
    Red Hat Linux :
    Mandrake Linux :
    Fedora Project :
  5. samc

    samc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Cheers for all your help.
    I have downloaded and installed SUSE 9.1 and now getting my head round it.

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