Installing Zorin to external USB HDD

Greetings,

I'm a longtime Windows user who's curious to toy around with Zorin OS. I'd like to install it to an external USB HDD and manually select, via my BIOS shortcut, whether to boot from the external HDD. I know I need to use the "Something else" option when choosing the installation type, but could use some direction on how to configure partitions.

Specifically, are there partitions that I need to create in order to install Zorin properly? Or is it simply enough to create an ext4 partition and mount root? I've seen various guides that refer to setting up all sorts of different partitions, including a boot partition and a home partition, and frankly I'm just stumped.

I also need some guidance on where I need to install the boot loader. For now, I don't want anything on my current boot drive changed at all. I want prefer to manually chose to boot into Zorin by pulling up my BIOS boot options upon startup and selecting my external USB HDD. Does that mean I should install the bootloader to my external USB HDD?

Thanks for any assistance you learned Linux experts can provide!

1 Like

You can set partitions up however you want and based on your needs.
You can install as just /
Or...
Separate out the directories onto other partitions. For me, I only see a realistic need to have the /Home partition separate (and even I don't do it...). that preserves all personal files, documents, settings and configurations stored in home, should you decide you need to Reinstall the Operating system.
(I prefer to just back up regularly, since it keeps home folder tidy and keeps me knowing what files I have.)

The only other time you may needs a separate partition is if you need a Swap Partition in order to use Hibernate.

3 Likes

Or to install VMWare.

2 Likes

I did not know VMWare requires that...

1 Like

Yup.
Without a swap partition, it will give you a big nagging window.

3 Likes

OMG .... I sure wish I had know that before I redid my partitions umpteen times and I still don't have it right .... I have no use for a swap (which I have) as I have 16GB of ram and I still need to configure my /Home partition .... but I'm slowly working o it ... LOL

1 Like

Thank you all for the responses. Where should I install the bootloader? On the external hard drive?

Just install the zorin installation on your external drive, i did the same and it works great. Make sure you select the external drive when you do the zorin installation. You do not need to select "something else" to partition the drive, just the first option will do. When you boot up your laptop/pc press f12 to select what drive you want to boot.

Really easy and the bootloader will be installed on your external drive :sunglasses:

4 Likes

And yet another OMG .... I wish I had know that before when installing Zorin 16 Pro .... as 1TB USB drives are really cheap now days .... I have 6 at the present filled with games ... programs .... back-ups and other goodies .... in fact I'm going to use one to do back-up of Zorin .....

I'm by no means ready for this yet but can you load or run games from external USB drives to run in Zorin .... I have a ton of older games and some new ones downloaded to my USB drives except the were installed using Win ....

1 Like

Installation on external ssd or hdd gives you the same experiance as internal.

I used a samsung t5 2tb as test drive using usb 3.x

2 Likes

Thank you sir .... I may just look into trying that .... when you install Zorin to your USB drive will it show up in your OS choice screen (I dual boot) or will you have to go to your boot loader settings to enable it ....

Yes, on my laptop i press f12 and select from what drive i want to boot if i attached the external drive.

2 Likes

Yes I am running an Asus ROG laptop and they make it so simple to enter bios .... shut down computer .... hold down the F2 key and hit the start button ... up pops this screen .... you can make any boot choice by going to the top left hand corner and dragging your mouse to move the choices up or down (changing the boot order) ... go to bottom and select save & exit .... next pop up screen confirm choices .... you can do anything in bios from this screen ....

Sorry picture is kind blurry ....

3 Likes

@Frog Sweet! That looks nice

2 Likes

I told myself that I will not comment on the blisterpack taped to the screen to provide protection of details.
And for that reason, I do not comment on it. There is no comment here.
On the blisterpack.
Taped to the screen.

3 Likes

There is something to be hide in BIOS?
That must be a new thing for those new laptops...

1 Like

And not only that but it is a breeze to operate .... no more pounding a key (when you can remember which one) till bios opens then going through all the different settings till you find the right one ... but I have only seen this on my Asus laptop ...

OK OK .... you two .... that blister-pack was to hide the serial # of the laptop .... not that anyone would need it but prying eyes and all that other good stuff .... actually that was taken during one of my umpteen reinstall of Zorin 16 and I believe it was an Advil .... LOL

4 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.