How I Setup Myself a Portable OS

I am a pretty walk around person. I tend to move around a lot. I go to my families house, visit my friend, stay a night, have fun and live life. During having fun in life, I tend to get a lots of call from my work. Some I have to look it around because it’s urgent. And also if you are like me, who carries laptop when you walk around to have fun, live life? I encountered a lot of issue because of this so I figured out myself a handy-dandy solution which is saving my life a lot these days. Even if you are not from the same field as I am, This might be helpful for you somewhere in your life. *thank me later*

For my ongoing problem, I thought myself a solution:

Why not get myself a portable operating system where I have everything I needed and I could just plug and play it?

Portable Operating System? How to use that thing?

Portable is something you can carry easily with yourself. In my case I always leave a spare external hard drive on my bag. I thought of utilizing a spare hard drive to install an operating system and install all the necessary tools that I need to operate and carry out my task. you know local server environment, IDE, GIT, a Browser & all my codes for my case.

Also most of the laptop or PC supports one time boot option from external hard drive these days. So when I am on my friends or family I can always borrow their PC or laptop, Plug in my hard drive and boot my own portable Operating System and start working without any restriction. This is saving my life as a charm.

How did you do it? Can we do it too?

Of course, It isn’t that hard..(that’s what she…this is a formal blog post). In my case I installed Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) because I wanted to learn more about Linux operating system as well. These are the things I used:

1. External Hard Drive

I have a 1 TB External Hard Drive that I could use to install my operating system. Since I was planning to install Ubuntu on my hard drive, I estimated 120GB for the operating system and remaining space as HDD space which i can access on both Windows and Ubuntu.

2. Ubuntu ISO File

Next, I download myself an ISO file for Ubuntu 20.04 Installation. The plan is to make a bootable USB to install Ubuntu on the external hard drive.
You can get the ISO file download link here.

3. Rufus

Rufus is a tool that I used to create a bootable USB for Ubuntu. There are plenty of article on how to make a bootable USB using Rufus. You can check any one out to make yourself a bootable USB.
You can download Rufus from here.

4. Spare Pen drive (8 GB)

I had a spare pen drive that I used for creating a bootable USB. Making a bootable USB drive takes around 10 minutes to complete. Once I was done making a bootable USB drive, I was ready to make myself a portable Operating System.

To Install Ubuntu on my external hard drive. I followed along this tutorial & I successfully Installed Ubuntu on my hard drive.

End Result:

My Ubuntu Desktop

I changed the default theme of the Ubuntu with gnome tweak tool and gave it a sleek and soothing looks.

Local Server

In my case, I need to tweak, update websites so I installed myself lampp as a local server to locally operate website.


I am very handy with Visual Studio Code to work around and debug the errors. Also I can turn on sync and install same extensions in sync with windows and ubuntu.


I Installed Chrome Browser on my portable operating system and my Gmail syncs the bookmark and saves password that helps me a lot when I am rushing to make changes and deploy them.

Calendar Sync

I synced the calendar with my Google Calendar so it never misses to update me about the events even if I am using my portable operating system. This helps me get on track easy.

Why are you writing this?

Carrying laptop can be frustrating sometime so you often neglect to carry one with you. External Hard Drive on other hand, are very light and occupy small space on your bag so i tend to throw one on my backpack all the time. I utilized the spare thing I have and it is helping me as charm. I wrote this so you might also get an overview of how to setup yourself an operating system that’s portable and accessible everywhere you go.
Also, your sensitive data stays within your grasp even if you are borrowing someone else’s PC.