Installation of Debian on an external ssd disk

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Installation of Debian on an external ssd disk

Postby andredahl » 2020-12-01 15:42

Is it possible to install Debian on an externel disk?

In case, what is requred ?

It is then ment to be moved around to another laptop and run the systems there.
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Re: Installation of Debian on an external ssd disk

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-12-01 18:39

andredahl wrote:Is it possible to install Debian on an externel disk?

Yes,

andredahl wrote:In case, what is requred ?

Follow the official installation guide.

andredahl wrote:It is then ment to be moved around to another laptop and run the systems there.

Install all of the DDX drivers (xserver-xorg-video-*), CPU µcode and non-free firmware packages. You will have trouble with newer machines though, Debian 10 is rather old now and the package versions aren't bumped (which is why it's called "stable").
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Re: Installation of Debian on an external ssd disk

Postby andredahl » 2020-12-02 10:07

I have been looking through the official installation guides, however I have not found anything regarding a complete install on an externel SSD ?
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Re: Installation of Debian on an external ssd disk

Postby CwF » 2020-12-02 14:47

andredahl wrote:I have not found anything regarding a complete install on an externel SSD ?

...there is no such distinction internal vs external, that's a human thing. There are devices which are recognized as bootable, or not.

As far as moving it around that's pretty simple. Again, more a human thing and the computer doesn't care. The OS has the required info to operate, or it doesn't. The OS can have conditionality built in and this is a favorite subject of mine. I have commented many times I use 'images' and don't 'intall'. I make these images in a virtual machine and then customize them for general and specific hardware. They can move from a vm to another vm, and to bare metal (real hardware) with abilities previously set up. The wish list is long but the basic function is present, Debian enumerates mostly everything on each unique boot. There are areas of concern that barf for various reasons on different hardware, then we post and ask about how to fix a blank screen with a blinking cursor.

Generally speaking there are 'families' of hardware that just work. Newer hardware is slowly digested by developers and at first have specific requirements that may conflict with general boot ideals but eventually get the conditionality built in smoothly to become 'family'. Those additional parameters and how they are presented to the booting OS often cause the issues of failure to reach desktop. Graphics is the biggie as many know, and this is a major difference between proprietary non-free and foss drivers. The xorg packages mention by hoas are an example of 'drivers' that will properly enumerate based on detection alone. amdgpu is not quite up to radeon standards btw, but better than the very rude nvidia. Nouveau is very polite like radeon. A 'polite' driver can dynamically attach (bind) and unbind from the system, the pinnacle of function. A rude driver cannot. A 'stupid' driver needs config files that insist, and if not fail, and leave you with a cursor waiting for <Ctrl><Alt><F1> to receive coherent instructions from the user.

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Re: Installation of Debian on an external ssd disk

Postby 5ive » 2020-12-13 22:27

First answers (which some were eluded to previously):

Is it possible to install Debian on an externel disk?
Yes
In case, what is requred ?
A motherboard BIOS that supports booting the external device
It is then ment to be moved around to another laptop and run the systems there.
It can be, but not best scenario as I'll try to detail below

Solutions?:

Booting off external media will always perform worse than installing to the internal device. You should be fine with drivers, since modern distros typically include the majority of drivers nowadays. If you tweak your settings for one piece of hardware it might behave strange on another (I.E. different screen resolutions, video cards, etc). For the best experience of Debian you should install to an internal drive. That being said...

A. I don't know your specific use case, but in a lot of cases using a live boot image might be good enough depending on your need. They include a fully functioning system that is well suited for booting off different hardware and can give a good feel how the distro will run on your machine. https://www.debian.org/CD/live/

B. I performed an install to an external USB drive on a test laptop that was setup for booting off USB first. These are the steps I took:

1. Boot off the installation media alone.
2. After booting into the installer plug in an external disk.
3. During the partition phase make sure to choose the external drive (I used Guided - full disk and could clearly see which disk was the external by its label and size)
4. Install the system to this drive.
5. When asked where to install GRUB. Specify the disk you installed the OS to.
6. Make sure to remove install media at the end when told to.
7. Depending on BIOS specify Boot from USB or whatever device you installed to.
8. If successful you should see the GRUB menu for Debian and boot into your installed system!

This is very much the same experience as doing a normal install (from the official guide) except that you are choosing the external device, and setting your BIOS to boot from that device. Most modern hardware can boot off USB, etc.
The function keys to get into the BIOS or choose what device to boot from differ depending on manufacturer.
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