Running Fedora Linux on external SSD


Hey all,

I have bought a new computer recently. It’s running W11 but I also want to use Fedora. However, since it’s a new computer, I just don’t want to delete W11 and download Linux at the first day…so I thought maybe I can buy a SSD with high write speed and then use it as my Linux driver. I will use is only for daily stuff and programming. Is anyone tried to before ? Is it reasonable to use Fedora like that ?


You may to consider dual booting, which means you make some space on your internal (Windows) drive for the installation of Linux.

One guide I quickly found…

Fedora will install a boot loader (called grub2), which on boot lets you select the OS to boot.

Can you install additional internal HDD/SSD ? If so, you can install Fedora to separate internal disk, then use BIOS boot menu to choose from which disk to boot, Windows or Fedora. That is a bit inconvenient as you have to get to the boot menu each time, otherwise computer will boot to the default boot option. But on the other hand, you will not have to deal with complexity of dual boot setup when Fedora bootloader was installed along together with Windows bootloader.
Word of caution if you decide to install windows and Fedora on separate disks as use BIOS boot menu - detach Windows disk when installing Fedora in order not to make mistake and wipe Windows install. After Fedora is installed, re-attach Windows disk.

I would make a slight adjustment to the suggestion just above.
Install the drive internally as noted, but then install on the second drive but allow the installer to use the already in-place efi partition on the windows drive to install fedora for grub booting. This way one can easily use the grub boot menu to boot either fedora or windows and not have the extra step of using the bios boot menu.

The link in the second post above shows this clearly.

This is my personal preference of cause, but I’m against making “mix” of Windows and linux boot. Yes, I know it works, especially if there is some experience with linux and one is capable/ready getting hands dirty and fixing issues. But I also saw too many posts “Windows will not boot after upgrade/update”. Just my two cents. And there are more option, e.g., using WSL(2) to get used to Linux, especially for “daily stuffs and programming”. So, everyone picks his/her risks and benefits :wink:

I have never seen an issue in dual booting windows on my laptop (or on my second desktop). I would suspect that those who have issues may be doing something non-standard in the way they perform the install.

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I have mixed experience myself, that’s why options :smiley: Just to illustrate my point - Search results for 'problem dual booting' - Fedora Discussion

Thanks all for your replies. I was thinking about dual boot but I am also afraid that something might go wrong…I bought a laptop so I don’t know it’s possible to get an internal SSD…WSL2 is also nice and I have used it before but you know it does not feel the same…

I usually test new versions of linux on an external drive before updating the internal drive, and have an old hybrid HD+SSD iMac with a dead SSD where I use an external SSD over USB3 rather than the slow internal HD. Starting out with an external SSD will let you discover any problems with your hardware. If you find it slow you can consider installing to the internal drive.