Multiple Linux Distros on an external HDD and problem with mouse not working Dell XPS 15 7590


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I am a noob. I want to try out different linux distros by installing them to a dedicated external hard drive set aside for this purpose. The drive in question is a Toshiba 500GB 2.5" I yanked out of a Playstation 4 my nephew was discarding. The first thing I tried was to install Debian, but upon it booting up the installer I had no mouse control from my touchpad. I proceeded through the installation steps until I was at the screen where it was asking me what drive I wanted to use, I selected the proper drive and it was asking me about the partitions etc. I told it to make a primary partition that was 64GB in size, chose EXT 4, tabbed over to continue and hit enter and nothing happened. I was on the same screen with all the stuff i had selected showing and a back and continue button. I hit continue several times to no avail. What am i missing? Also, since i want to have several distros residing on that same drive, do i just create as many primary partitions as i need? Also, I would like all the distros to share a common swap file. Any advise? Thanks!


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You can do all of that, but that's hardly a 'noob' type of project.

So, my advice would be to learn the lovely application that is VirtualBox and store the VDI files on your external HDD. When you get comfortable partitioning, working with Linux, then move to putting it on bare metal. You have the added bonus of having a host OS where you can easily search for clues to resolve the questions you'll inevitably have.


The Live OS instance is a good representative of the final results. If your mouse doesn't work in the live instance, it's a good indicator that you're going to have no mouse in the resulting install. The number of people who find a lack of a mouse appealing is vanishingly small.

In a virtual machine, you'll be using virtualized hardware. So, your mouse will almost certainly work.


You can install several Linux distros on your current hard drive, and not external, then mouse most probably will work. First go Windows on first partition, then Linux - for each distribution use own partition. Or for first time, just install one Linux distribution, it will boot also Windows on auto via Grub bootloader, for example AntiX Linux.
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