I have created a bootable External HDD using GRUB2 by following this article.

However, I am having some problems:

  1. Many times I have to copy a single file of size greater than 4GB, but FAT32 has a size limit.
  2. Since all of the data is on a single partition I am worried about data loss.

The real question: Can GRUB2 can be installed on another filesystem? Or is there any way where I can create a partition and divide things like having GRUB2 on one partition and data on another?

sudo fdisk  /dev/sdb

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sdb: 500.1 GB, 500107861504 bytes
81 heads, 62 sectors/track, 194498 cylinders, total 976773167 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x8bb9b7a3

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *        2048   976773166   488385559+   c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)

Command (m for help): v
Remaining 2047 unallocated 512-byte sectors

1 Answer 1


GRUB2 version 2.0 supports the following filesystems:

The currently supported filesystem types are Amiga Fast FileSystem (AFFS), AtheOS fs, BeFS, BtrFS (including raid0, raid1, raid10, gzip and lzo), cpio (little- and big-endian bin, odc and newc variants), Linux ext2/ext3/ext4, DOS FAT12/FAT16/FAT32, exFAT, HFS, HFS+, ISO9660 (including Joliet, Rock-ridge and multi-chunk files), JFS, Minix fs (versions 1, 2 and 3), nilfs2, NTFS (including compression), ReiserFS, ROMFS, Amiga Smart FileSystem (SFS), Squash4, tar, UDF, BSD UFS/UFS2, XFS, and ZFS (including lzjb, gzip, zle, mirror, stripe, raidz1/2/3 and encryption in AES-CCM and AES-GCM).

However, I would recommend to install GRUB2 in a separate partition at the beginning of the device, preferably on a Linux ext2 filesystem. Of course your kernel must support the chosen filesystems, and system configuration must be adjusted accordingly.

  • just for clarity so i can install GRUB2 on a pendrive and all iso will be on external hdd with NTFS Filesystem, so i can use the multiboot with using 2 devices.
    – user138530
    Sep 21, 2016 at 4:20

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