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[ubuntu] Installing Ubuntu on an external hard drive

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http://ubuntuforums.org – Hello forum, I'm considering installing Ubuntu on an external hard drive, for extremely awesome portability. My question, does that have any disadvantages? - If it connects to the computer using a USB port (instead of a SATA cable). Does the data transfer speed suffer? - Does the computer see it like a HDD or a USB storage device (ie a USB stick)? Will all functions of Ubuntu on a regular HDD be available? - Are there certain things I should pay attention to when shopping for an external HDD? (Hardware)