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Hi, I hope I have posted this in the right section, apologizes if I have not. I have a laptop coming my way, and I wanted to run Linux off ...
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  1. #1
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    Question Running Linux on A Portable HardDrive


    Hi,

    I hope I have posted this in the right section, apologizes if I have not.

    I have a laptop coming my way, and I wanted to run Linux off a portable hard drive.
    I know this is possible, however I was more curious about how performance would be affected?

    Is there a nice very speedy external hd that is a good purchase that would minimize that? The laptop will have both usb and e-sata ports. I will most likely be running the latest Ubuntu.

    I appreciate all of you help, so thanks in advance!

    Calli

  2. #2
    oz
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    Hello and welcome to the forums!

    I've not tried running Linux from an external drive or enclosure myself other than a USB Flash drive, so I can't really speak on performance from experience, but it should run faster from the esata port unless you will have USB 3.0 ports. You could buy an external enclosure that you like and put a fast hard drive of your choice in it, or even go with a good SSD which would be much faster, for that matter. Of course, performance could still be hindered by the slowest component in the mix.
    oz

  3. #3
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    That sounds like a great idea, of using a SSD.

    Thanks

    Calli

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  5. #4
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    First things first:

    I have a laptop coming my way, and I wanted to run Linux off a portable hard drive.
    I know this is possible,
    Yep, definitely very possible. Done it myself before.

    I was more curious about how performance would be affected?

    Is there a nice very speedy external hd that is a good purchase that would minimize that? The laptop will have both usb and e-sata ports. I will most likely be running the latest Ubuntu.
    I'm going to make the assumption that your notebook won't have access to USB 3.0 here.

    And unfortunately, there is no such thing as a 'speedy external hard disk' because the bottleneck is going to be your hardware ports, which, in this case, will be the USB and eSATA ports.

    If you have been playing around with hardware long enough, all 'external hard disks' which do not require a seperate power source (i.e: they draw power directly from the USB or eSATA port) are essentially standard 2.5" notebook hard disks with a SATA-USB adaptor attached. And most mainstream 2.5" hard disks come standard with speeds of 5400RPM.

    And even if you got a hard disk capable of 7200RPM, the bottleneck is still going to be at the USB 2.0 side, where the maximum bandwidth is only 480 Mbit/s [60 MB/s]. And don't be surprised to see this number fall to fall below 10MB/s in real world usage. This makes it pointless to go for an external SSD as well.

  6. #5
    Linux Newbie sarlacii's Avatar
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    Hi Callizto

    A bit late in posting to this thread, but my 2c is that you could implement a RAM drive if you really need speed. The Puppy Linux distro goes this route by default, but you can do this with any distro at boot.
    Respectfully... Sarlac II
    ~~
    The moving clock K' appears to K to run slow by the factor (1-v^2/c^2)^(1/2).
    This is the phenomenon of time dilation.
    The faster you run, the younger you look, to everyone but yourself.

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