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Boot SuSe or other Linux on external harddrive

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My best friend is interested in trying out Linux, currently he has a new mid-end Acer laptop. He asked me if it was possible to run Linux without installing. I said, yes: LiveCD's. Then he asked, is it possible to run it from an external 120GB USB harddrive. I said "I think so, I will ask on some forums".


He wants to change as little as possible to his existing operating system, so it would be a plus if he doesn't have to write over his existing MBR.


So, can anyone tell me what are the possibilities here?

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yes, most new computers can boot from USB, I know my 3 y/o acer and another 2y/o acer can.


First just install mandriva as you normally would, except pick the usb hdd as the hdd instead of the internal. Same procedure for any distro. Let it install an MBR to the external drive.


Then just find the key to give you a boot menu, it's F8 on mine I think --- but it will vary, and is often displayed on screen or in bios, or manual, and just pick USB boot.

Alternatively, go into BIOS and change it so it will try to boot USB before HDD (don't worry, if there's no USB available, it falls back to hdd)



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