I would like to keep my Linux installation on an external SSD, from both my desktop PC and my laptop.

I would like to keep the OS, all my programs and the configurations for them on the external drive, while keeping just the drivers for the specific device (PC/laptop) on a local partition.

The laptop also has some extra apps and scripts (for the touchpad) that would need to run on startup, but not on the desktop.

Is there any way to do this? I haven't yet installed it on either device, so there is nothing I need to keep.

If it isn't possible to have this exact setup, is it possible to have a something like a live USB on the external SSD?

  • The only problem I'd see with this would be the while keeping just the drivers for the specific device (PC/laptop) on a local partition ... but I also don't see the need for that kind of set-up, since if you have all the drivers as dynamically loadable modules they'll only get pulled in if the device is actually present. – tink Feb 21 '19 at 20:12
  • What distro are you considering? – ctrl-alt-delor Feb 21 '19 at 21:25

I only know for Debian (this will probably be true of its derivatives).

Debian installs all common drivers by default, others drivers are added on request. There is no problems caused by having extra drivers installed. The OS and drivers are small compared to MS-Windows.

You may have to do some work in the configuration, in the cases where the auto-configuration does not work the way that you wish, and you need to over-ride it differently for the two devices. (However it will be better to wait and see. You could spend much effort planning, but you will learn by doing, and have to throw your plans away).

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