I have three possibilities to installing and running Ubuntu as my main operating system.

1) Install onto an external SSD: Obviously, this would mean installing onto the External SSD and connecting through USB. I would have my main drive at start up select this driver, if not, it will select the Mac boot up (therefore, I don't have to completely remove OSX). I will also make nightly back-ups of my SSD to another external HD plugged into my main computer.

2) I completely remove OSX and install Ubuntu onto my main machine, use the external SSD to store all the files and libraries needed to carry out my programming duties.

I prefer option one since I can take the external HD to work with me and just boot straight into there.

I'm just asking for your opinions guys.

P.S. Also, I'm running VMWARE at the moment. Can I therefore just use the .iso that I already have? I don't really want to completely re-install Ubuntu as on the VMWARE I have already installed a large number of libraries.

1 Answer 1


You have several options. If you want a Linux system to carry out your programming duties you can install a virtual machine with Ubuntu or other distro inside OSX. Other option is make a partition of your main drive (where you have installed OSX) and install Ubuntu in the new partition, thus you can choose between OSX and Ubuntu at boot time. IMO You should not install a system on an external drive because the USB transmission rate might act like a bottleneck.

Hope I help you!

Edit: You edit so fast ;-). The ISO that you use in the vmware is a 'base image' for install the system. As far I know, VMWARE (and another virtualization software) creates a virtual disk where stores all your data. You may search any tool that convert this virtual disk into other format in order to use it. If you want keep all the installed packages you may run:

dpkg -get-seletions | egrep '.*[[:blank:]]install' > installed.txt

and then you could use the inverse option : dpkg -set-selections installed.txt

  • Thanks for your reply. The problem being is that using MAC OSX it will be very slow running it side-by-side on my main drive. I thought using an SSD would give me faster write / read speeds?
    – Phorce
    Nov 20, 2013 at 19:23

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