I have a couple of questions about ubuntu linux. Number 1 when one is using ubuntu and it alerts you that a newer version is available and you can update your existing version to it. Should you? Number 2 is linux fast? I realize that this question may seem dumb but when I was using 11.10 on my desktop I couldn't tell any difference in speed verses the windows vista I also had installed. The Vista was a 32 bit and the Linux was a 64 bit. According to what I read or think I read the Linux at 64 bit should be faster. Number 3 I know you can make a live CD and a Live USB drive for Linux but is it possible to install Linux on an external hard drive or flash drive? My reason is, I don't have enough experimental computers (old computers) laying around that I can experiment on. I think virtual machines are cool, even though I haven't tried one. I think duel booting is cool, though in my limited experience I found it annoying since I couldn't get the grub to switch the boot sequence around. (I tried the terminal command line someone online gave me, and it didn't work. I also tried to look for the program that How To Geek suggested in one of their articles and I couldn't find one for my version of Linux) I just thought that maybe I could install it on either an external hard drive or big flash drive, it would be good way for me to learn it without taking as big of a risk at messing things up on my good computers. I know what it is like to uninstall Linux, if you do it right it isn't so bad but you got to do it just right or you will end up doing a full format and reinstall of windows which is what I ran into last time, since I hadn't taken the time to look up a how to guide. I thought "I did this once successfully I should be able to remember how to do it again. Nope!"
Several Questions About Linux (ubuntu)(31 posts)
The answer to #1: If your current version is a LTS and still supported, there's no immediate need to update. Also, the newer version might not work well with your hardware - IOW, a newer version on older hardware might result in a noticeable performance degradation.
The answer to #2: If the distribution is well matched to your hardware specs, it's fast.
#3 will require input from geeks of a higher class than myself. I've never installed on an external.
#3-you can install to an external disk. When you get to the window where you have to choose Use Entire Disk, Side by Side or Something Else choose Something Else. Create an ext 4 partition for Ubuntu and a swap partition as well on the external disk. A good rule of thumb is swap = amount of RAM on your machine. If you have 4 GB or more RAM you can get away with no swap, however you will not be able to use hibernate feature.
Once you have the partitions set up (either before install or from the installation program), highlight the ext 4 partition and click Change. Set the mount point to " / ", choose ext 4 as Filesystem, THIS NEXT THING IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!!: there will be a drop down box to choose where the GRUB boot loader is placed. You want to choose the external disk. Assuming you only have one internal hard disk the external should be sdb. DO NOT allow the boot loader to placed on the default sda because then your external will need to be plugged in to boot from the internal disk (Windows). You want GRUB placed on MBR of external disk. Then proceed with the install. Once completed reboot and go into BIOS. Set USB as first device to boot followed by your internal hard disk. This will make it so if your external is plugged in you will get the GRUB boot loader to boot Ubuntu or Windows, if your external is unplugged it will use the Windows boot loader on MBR of your internal disk and boot right to windows.
#1- In Software Sources you can disable the notifications for Release Updates if you wish.
#2- Ubuntu runs well on a lot of machines including those with older hardware. However if you have a problem you should try something lighter such as Lubuntu. Or you can try getting rid of the Unity desktop and install LXDE desktop from Ubuntu Software Center. Once installed reboot. At the sign in screen just above and to the right of the password box click the little ubuntu circular symbol. This will give you option of which desktop you want to use. Choose LXDE and click Use. Your ubuntu will now boot by default into the LXDE desktop session.
When you "uninstall" Linux which was set up as a dual boot with Windows on the same disk you must FIRST restore the Windows bootloader to MBR of your hard disk. If you do not do this GRUB will still be on MBR and it will be pointing to the Linux partition you just removed and you will get a grub rescue prompt. There are two ways to restore the Windows bootloader to MBR BEFORE removing linux. The easiest is to boot into ubuntu. Install lilo either from Ubuntu Software Center or from terminal with this command "sudo apt-get install lilo' (less quotation marks) Ignore warning and continue. Once lilo is installed from terminal run "sudo lilo -M /dev/sda mbr". This will put a generic windows boot loader on the MBR. You can then reboot and you will boot right to windows. You can use Disk Management utility to get rid of former linux partitions. The second method is either before or after removing linux boot from your Windows installation media and restore windows bootloader.
Any question reply back.
To switch the order the boot options appear in the GRUB menu there is a little GUI program called startupmanager. Install it from Ubuntu Software Center or from terminal with the command: sudo apt-get install startupmanager
You can also perform some other tweaks to GRUB with this GUI program. The other method I use is to edit the GRUB files manually, but some do not like to do this, so the GUI software was written for those people.
Bob I read your Linux instructions and I am confused. It is possible that the menu that my version of Linux ubuntu might not be the same menu your version has. I understand everything you are saying until I get to making partitions. I am not sure about how to get everything to go to my external hard drive. At this point I started making guesses. "there will be a drop down box to choose where the GRUB boot loader is placed" There is no drop down box to choose where the GRUB boot is placed. I created a youtube video showing everything I have. I hope you can show me what I am missing. http://youtu.be/QsqPZ0BUNeU
right below the partition table window it says "Device for bootloader installation". The bootloader is GRUB there is a drop down box below that line and all the way to the right. You need to choose your "device" which would be your external disk. If you only have one internal disk your external should be sdb.
Here it is the drop down box is right where my pointer is:
Where is your external disk partition table? Did you not create partitions beforehand on the external for Ubuntu?
Ok i went through the vid again. If sdb (Maxtor) is indeed your external disk you did set up the installation to it properly. Whatever disk sda is, I am assuming it is your internal disk, you chose to create a new partition table for that in the beginning, effectively wiping that disk. You should have left sda alone.
To create partitions on the external disk, boot the ubuntu live CD/USB. Choose try ubuntu. When the desktop loads plug in your external disk. Depress the windows key on your keyboard or click the dash indicator at the very top of the unity bar. Type in gparted. When gparted opens let it search your disks and load. Top right there will be a drop down box. Choose your external disk. create the partitions one at a time. After each one is created click the green check mark so it becomes final. When done creating partitions install Ubuntu. You want at least one ext4 partition for ubuntu and possibly a swap partition based on the guidelines I posted earlier.
WHEWWW!! I was worried that you continued the installation and wiped your sda partition table! I am glad that did not happen.
Let me share something with you. When I first installed ubuntu I knew nothing about partitioning. All I knew was windows terminology and partition designation such as C:, D:, E:, etc. Unfortunately in windows a lot of people call those letter assignments "drives". They are actually partitions. So I was at a disadvantage from jump street because I did no planning nor did I read up on partitioning and the various ways to install ubuntu. I plopped in the Live CD and installed. I lost all my files and OS. At least I had a back up of my files. Once I reinstalled Windows I spent about a week reading all I could about partitioning and the linux nomenclature for disks and partitions. After a lot of reading and studying I finally was able to install linux as a dual boot with windows successfully without messing anything up. I suggest you go to ubuntu forums and read up. I am an active member there. I use the same screen name in there. I know we aren't supposed to promote other forums, however in this case I hope the mods understand. rather than me posting a bunch of links from that forum it would be best if OP just goes there himself. I am not a fan of virtualization unless there is an absolute need to run an OS in a virtual environment. Although if you want to go that route whs method will absolutely work. BTW I have to say he has some very good video tutorials.
@Bob I will give that a try and get back with you guys on how things turn out. :)
PS I think I'm a little smarter then that. Maybe not much but a little LOL The truth is I have installed Linux before. Just never like this.
You can disconnect your internal disk if necessary and boot the Live CD with your external plugged in. Just choose use entire disk and the installer will do everything. It will create the ubuntu partition ( / ) and swap. It will also put GRUB on MBR of the external disk. After the install you can check to make sure ubuntu boots. If it does shut down and reconnect your internal disk. Boot up, go into BIOS and set the external as first to boot in boot order. This will make it so that if the external is plugged in you will get GRUB to boot ubuntu. If it is unplugged at boot your internal disk will boot right to windows.
@Bob I thought about unplugging or disabling the internal first. However I am using laptop, and there seems to be no way of disabling the internal in the bios. Since this is a laptop I don't want to take it apart to unplug it. Which leads me to my next question "how important is it for linux to be installed on the same machine your going to use it with?" I'm asking because I could do what you suggest to my slower desktop computer.
A lot of lappies have easy access to hard disk, usually a latch secured with a few screws. Some even slide in and out for easy access. Check the documentation that came with your machine to see whether it is easy or "hard" for you. If not the install to the external from the desktop will work just fine. After Ubuntu is installed and you have rebooted to verify it indeed does boot you can plug the external into the lappie, boot up, enter BIOS and set the external as first boot in the device boot order and you will be good to go. Unlike Windows which freaks out if you change machines due to drivers and licensing, the linux kernel contains almost all hardware drivers you will need and there is no one machine limit on licensing. For the most part linux is unlike windows-there is no need to download and install drivers. Except for graphics card drivers and some network drivers.
Another thing about windows licensing that really bothers me: if you read the licensing verbiage you will see you don't actually own that copy of windows, but rather have paid for the right to "use" it. Try buying a machine with windows preinstalled and refusing to accept the license agreement because you don't intend on using windows but rather install and use linux. Since part of the purchase price was the the cost of the Windows OS you are entitled to a refund of the price of the Windows OS. For years the OEMs and Microsoft hassled anyone who dared do this until a court ruled against them.
@Bob the first time I got exposed to Linux was in 1999. I was a Senior In High School also taking Electronics. At the time, I was busy trying to graduate, and I didn't see the need to learn something like Linux when I didn't know of anyone that used it. Now I wish I had learned it. I like the looks of Windows Vista and Windows 7. I liked the Looks of Windows 98, but Windows XP looked more like a Childs toy. lol One of the reasons I feel like learning Linux is like you said... And also now that Microsoft is pushing the new Windows 8, I feel more and more like putting my foot down. As for this Laptop, I bought it this past Summer. Which is the reason why I don't feel like hacking into it yet. But as you say... Linux doesn't have an issue with swapping machines. Then I'll probably just install it using my old desktop. I'm holding onto my Desktop (Windows Vista System) because I have a R/C Flight Simulator on it. These Simulators are rather pricey software, and the version I have is old. I don't think it will run on a Windows 7 64 bit machine. Otherwise, I would have just cleared off the Vista and put Linux on Instead.
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