Switching from Windows to Debian

ZenAlex97

New Member
Hello! For a while i work in programming. Recent i started learning SQL and i want to switch with all on Linux. At college we use Debian so i want to use this OS at home too. I just bought an external HDD of 2TB from SEAGATE and i want to install Debian on that HDD to take it with me everywhere without taking my laptop.

I have a small idea how to install Debian on that HDD but i don t know how to make it persistant. I want tu use all of that 2 TB for linux. That HDD will be only for programming, creating DataBase and others.

Now, my question is if you have a step by step instalation of Debian on an external HDD with persistence.

What i need to do is to plug the HDD on other PC and boot from that USB partition and open linux. I did similiar with kali linux a year ago but no persistance mode.
 


TechnoJunky

Silver Member
Silver Supporter
Hello Zen. The first thing I want to point out is that when you install Linux to the hard drive, it's going to install drivers for the computer you're installing it on. This is not to say it won't work on other computers, but it may not work as well, since it didn't install drivers for the next computer. I installed Linux on a pen drive and it worked on some other computers but not all. So with that out of the way, what you need to do is to boot up to Linux on a pen drive or a CD. The first thing you need to do is determine the SD number of your new hard. Your internal hard drive is most likely sdA, and your external hard drive most likely sdB, with the pen drive being sdC. But you need to ensure this is accurate. What I like to do is to open the partition manager for your desktop. I use KDE, so mine is KDE Partition Manager, but if you use Gnome, it's Gparted. Open one of these and look thru the drives and determine which one is empty. Once you know which is which, you can go to the installer and start. When you get to the partition modification screen make sure that everything you do is using the new drive, including where to store the boot loader. The boot loader MUST be on the new hard drive otherwise it will only load on the computer you installed it on. I would also suggest that you manually setup your partitions rather than letting the system do it for you. The reason is that if the system does it for you, everytime you reinstall or change distros, you'll have to wipe out your home drive. Doing this means that you have to resetup all your program's settings, logins, etc. So make sure you have a 500MB-1GB partition for EFI, if you use UEFI, otherwise you can skip that one. I would also suggest having a separate boot partition (/boot), in case you want to load other Linux distros also. That way they all modify the same boot loader. For that partition, I suggest a 1 GB partition. That's more than enough space and you shouldn't have any issues down the road. The next partition is Swap. This partition should be equal to the amount of RAM you have installed. Some people say you don't need it anymore but I think it's safer to have it than not. Next you need a root partition (/). I always go with 40GB and never run out of space. Last is your home partition (/home). This should take up the remainder of your hard drive. Now whenever you want to boot up to Linux, you need to tell the computer to boot to that hard drive either by modifying the BIOS/UEFI or by hitting F2 (I think) during the boot process and telling it on a boot by boot basis.
 

ZenAlex97

New Member
Thank you for your reply. Ok, i got it All. Now i have Another question. Do you have a link about how to do all of that things? Programs that i need to do the partitio and boot HDD? Everything i found it s not exactitate what i found. Or i don t know what to Look for.

LE: And if i want to use that HDD only for a computer(my laptop) how can i install Debian on that HDD (the external one)?
 
Last edited:

TechnoJunky

Silver Member
Silver Supporter
I've been installing and reinstalling Linux for 12 years. I haven't looked at or for documentation on the process since way back then. Here's a link to one that I just found https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/35676/how-to-choose-a-partition-scheme-for-your-linux-pc/. You can go thru the setup and quit before writing anything to the disk, if you're unsure. The installers are pretty user friendly.
As for how to install to the external hard drive, I explained that in my previous post. But to clarify, when you get to the partition editor section of the installation, you pick the external hard drive to install to and be sure to select install the boot loader to your external drive.
 

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