techblogger911
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Pi3 - USB boot

Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:19 am

Hi Guys,
I just want to ask if USB boot is already working on Pi3 and the how-to's. Thanks!

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:23 am

techblogger911 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:19 am
Hi Guys,
I just want to ask if USB boot is already working on Pi3 and the how-to's. Thanks!

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... /README.md
Adieu

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DougieLawson
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:31 am

techblogger911 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:19 am
Hi Guys,
I just want to ask if USB boot is already working on Pi3 and the how-to's. Thanks!
On a 3B+ it's already enabled. All you need to do is write the Raspbian 2018-03-13 image to your USB stick and plug it in. No SDCard needed. No mucking about with strange /boot/config.txt settings.

For a 3B Fruity's instructions still apply.
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:46 pm

DougieLawson wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:31 am
techblogger911 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:19 am
Hi Guys,
I just want to ask if USB boot is already working on Pi3 and the how-to's. Thanks!
On a 3B+ it's already enabled. All you need to do is write the Raspbian 2018-03-13 image to your USB stick and plug it in. No SDCard needed. No mucking about with strange /boot/config.txt settings.

For a 3B Fruity's instructions still apply.
I have been asking questions about this on another thread "I would like to run my pi from a powered USB HDD."
So I will ask the question here; If I copied NOOBS.zip, that I have downloaded, onto the HDD and took the SD card out the PI would it boot from the HDD?

The reason for the question is that if I load just Raspbian onto my HDD how do I get Libre Office and all the other software that comes with NOOBS onto the machine as I believe that it is on the SD card.

I'm using a PI3B+ and I am totally new to all this. I just want to use my PI as a desktop machine for the moment.

Milliways
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:29 am

NOOBS is NOT an OS (it only has 1 function to install/switch OS)

Libre Office and all the other software is part of Raspbian.

GAP
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:51 am

GAP wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:46 pm
DougieLawson wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:31 am
techblogger911 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:19 am
Hi Guys,
I just want to ask if USB boot is already working on Pi3 and the how-to's. Thanks!
On a 3B+ it's already enabled. All you need to do is write the Raspbian 2018-03-13 image to your USB stick and plug it in. No SDCard needed. No mucking about with strange /boot/config.txt settings.

For a 3B Fruity's instructions still apply.
I have been asking questions about this on another thread "I would like to run my pi from a powered USB HDD."
So I will ask the question here; If I copied NOOBS.zip, that I have downloaded, onto the HDD and took the SD card out the PI would it boot from the HDD?

The reason for the question is that if I load just Raspbian onto my HDD how do I get Libre Office and all the other software that comes with NOOBS onto the machine as I believe that it is on the SD card.

I'm using a PI3B+ and I am totally new to all this. I just want to use my PI as a desktop machine for the moment.
Just answered the question in bold; no it will not because as explained NOOBS is not an OS.
Even though there was a folder called os which contains Raspbian.

So just to clarify; if I download Raspbian from the Foundation site and load it to the HDD I will get all the software that came loaded on my NOOBS SD card i.e. Libre Office and Chromium?

As stated before "On a 3B+ it's already enabled. All you need to do is write the Raspbian 2018-03-13 image to your USB stick and plug it in. No SD Card needed. No mucking about with strange /boot/config.txt settings." so this could be just a "plug and play" type operation?
Sorry for being painful but I get real lost real quick with this stuff.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:06 am

GAP wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:51 am
So just to clarify; if I download Raspbian from the Foundation site and load it to the HDD I will get all the software that came loaded on my NOOBS SD card i.e. Libre Office and Chromium?
Yes, but as I mentioned in the other thread, your hard drive will no longer be usable with Windows, since if will be formatted with a Linux file system that Windows can't read. It may be possible to install 3rd party filesystem drivers, but it won't work by default.

GAP wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:51 am
As stated before "On a 3B+ it's already enabled. All you need to do is write the Raspbian 2018-03-13 image to your USB stick and plug it in. No SD Card needed. No mucking about with strange /boot/config.txt settings." so this could be just a "plug and play" type operation?
Sorry for being painful but I get real lost real quick with this stuff.
Yup, just write the image directly to the HDD with Etcher and it should boot on your 3B+ (assuming no power or compatibility problems). Note that writing an image to the HDD will erase all prior content.
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HawaiianPi
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:07 am

techblogger911 wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:19 am
Hi Guys,
I just want to ask if USB boot is already working on Pi3 and the how-to's. Thanks!
I've been running one of My Pi3B computers from an SSD for quite awhile now. As DougieLawson said, the older Pi3B model needs to have a one time programmable bit set to enable pure USB boot, but the new 3B+ model has that already enabled out of the box.

Once you have the OTP bit set to enable USB boot, you just need to write a Raspbian image to your USB drive (the same way you'd normally write it to an SD card), and you should be able to boot from USB. I say *should* because not all USB drives are compatible, but most will work. Hard drives tend to be more problematic due to their power requirements and long spin-up times, but they do work for many here.

I have recently tested a couple of inexpensive SATA-III to USB 3.0 adapters with Solid State Drives (SSD) with good results.
viewtopic.php?f=63&t=210497
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:47 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:06 am
GAP wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:51 am
So just to clarify; if I download Raspbian from the Foundation site and load it to the HDD I will get all the software that came loaded on my NOOBS SD card i.e. Libre Office and Chromium?
Yes, but as I mentioned in the other thread, your hard drive will no longer be usable with Windows, since if will be formatted with a Linux file system that Windows can't read. It may be possible to install 3rd party filesystem drivers, but it won't work by default.

GAP wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:51 am
As stated before "On a 3B+ it's already enabled. All you need to do is write the Raspbian 2018-03-13 image to your USB stick and plug it in. No SD Card needed. No mucking about with strange /boot/config.txt settings." so this could be just a "plug and play" type operation?
Sorry for being painful but I get real lost real quick with this stuff.
Yup, just write the image directly to the HDD with Etcher and it should boot on your 3B+ (assuming no power or compatibility problems). Note that writing an image to the HDD will erase all prior content.
Downloaded Raspbian zip (latest version on foundation website) Release date 2018-04-18 Kernel version: 4.14 Raspberry Pi firmware 5db8e4e1c63178e200d6fbea23ed4a9bf4656658.
Downloaded Etcher
Formatted the USB HDD (NTFS)
Flashed the Raspbian zip to HDD using Etcher; Name change from "PI Hard Drive" to "boot"
Plugged HDD into my PI and powered it up
Nothing happened; just a blank screen and the HDD light blinked a few times what have I done wrong?
The HDD is a Western Digital 1TB drive P/N WBDAAU0010HBK-01
I did all the above on my Windows 10 machine.

k-pi
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:33 pm

Flashed the Raspbian zip to HDD
I hope not, you have to unzip it to get the image file, that you then image to your drive. ;)

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PeterO
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:02 pm

k-pi wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:33 pm
Flashed the Raspbian zip to HDD
I hope not, you have to unzip it to get the image file, that you then image to your drive. ;)
I believe "Flashed the Raspbian zip to HDD using Etcher;" means it doesn't need unzipping.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:35 pm

GAP wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:47 am
The HDD is a Western Digital 1TB drive P/N WBDAAU0010HBK-01
I did all the above on my Windows 10 machine.
Normally there is no need to format the drive before imaging (prior formatting is overwritten by the image contents).

Can't find that part number. I'll assume it's a typo with the B&D swapped, which means it's a self powered HDD.

Did you power on drive and give it time to spin-up before booting the Pi? Issues with hard drive USB booting are often power (with portable HDD) or spin-up time (drive takes too long to get ready and is missed by the Pi boot loader). Try powering up the drive 5 or 10 seconds before booting the Pi (try 5 seconds first, and if that doesn't work, try 10).

There is also a small chance that the drive is simply not compatible with the Raspberry Pi boot loader (not all USB drives are compatible). In that case you can probably get it working by starting the boot process from an SD card and running the OS from the HDD.
k-pi wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:33 pm
I hope not, you have to unzip it to get the image file, that you then image to your drive. ;)
As PeterO said, Etcher can flash the image directly from the .zip archive, so pre-extracting the image is not needed, and, in fact, is not recommended since older unzip software can't handle the large image size of the Desktop version of Raspbian, resulting in extraction errors.
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:15 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:35 pm
GAP wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:47 am
The HDD is a Western Digital 1TB drive P/N WBDAAU0010HBK-01
I did all the above on my Windows 10 machine.
Normally there is no need to format the drive before imaging (prior formatting is overwritten by the image contents).

Can't find that part number. I'll assume it's a typo with the B&D swapped, which means it's a self powered HDD.

Did you power on drive and give it time to spin-up before booting the Pi? Issues with hard drive USB booting are often power (with portable HDD) or spin-up time (drive takes too long to get ready and is missed by the Pi boot loader). Try powering up the drive 5 or 10 seconds before booting the Pi (try 5 seconds first, and if that doesn't work, try 10).

There is also a small chance that the drive is simply not compatible with the Raspberry Pi boot loader (not all USB drives are compatible). In that case you can probably get it working by starting the boot process from an SD card and running the OS from the HDD.
k-pi wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:33 pm
I hope not, you have to unzip it to get the image file, that you then image to your drive. ;)
As PeterO said, Etcher can flash the image directly from the .zip archive, so pre-extracting the image is not needed, and, in fact, is not recommended since older unzip software can't handle the large image size of the Desktop version of Raspbian, resulting in extraction errors.
Yes the part number has a typo (old person dyslexia) and is a separate powered drive, it is connected to power all the time but does not respond till the pi is turned on (light on front blinks when Pi is powered up, then stays on solid).
So unless I can find a way to spin it up prior to pi booting I am at a blocking point.
I looked at the micro SD card and the HDD and both have the same files loaded.
I ran this in Terminal "vcgencmd otp_dump | grep 17" and got 17 3020000a back so if my reading is correct the PI is all good to go with booting from USB
Do I need to create a partition on the HDD to get this to work maybe? I'm clutching at straws here.
"In that case you can probably get it working by starting the boot process from an SD card and running the OS from the HDD." How do I make this happen? I would really like to not use the DS card if I can get away with it.
Flashing a USB stick may be a possibilty, I just want to get away from the SD card because of the risk of failure.

cspan
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:48 pm

GAP wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:15 am
Yes the part number has a typo (old person dyslexia) and is a separate powered drive, it is connected to power all the time but does not respond till the pi is turned on (light on front blinks when Pi is powered up, then stays on solid).
So unless I can find a way to spin it up prior to pi booting I am at a blocking point.
I looked at the micro SD card and the HDD and both have the same files loaded.
I ran this in Terminal "vcgencmd otp_dump | grep 17" and got 17 3020000a back so if my reading is correct the PI is all good to go with booting from USB
Do I need to create a partition on the HDD to get this to work maybe? I'm clutching at straws here.
"In that case you can probably get it working by starting the boot process from an SD card and running the OS from the HDD." How do I make this happen? I would really like to not use the DS card if I can get away with it.
Flashing a USB stick may be a possibilty, I just want to get away from the SD card because of the risk of failure.
I also experienced what you did ... my external, powered USB HDD would not really begin spinning until the Pi was turned on. So trying to get it spinning in advance was not really possible. The only times I had success booting from USB HDD, I think what happened was that I re-started the Pi before the HDD had spun down. But I'm not sure.

Bottom line, I gave up on booting from USB HDD. I may still use one for storage, backup, etc., but not booting. I've not ruled out, however, booting from USB Flash or SSD. My current backup boot to the microSD card is on a USB flash drive stick.

Part of me, like you, thinks it could be a nice setup to boot from microSD card but run the OS from some other device (esp. offload /var, /tmp). But I don't quite know how to do that either, and I suspect it could be kind of clunky. For instance, updating and upgrading may get complicated. Also, both drives might have to stay installed all the time. I just don't know enough about it to be sure, but it doesn't look like a no-brainer.

Booting from USB stick can take the place of booting from microSD card ... but what does it really get you? It doesn't save you much or any money, it's not (AFAIK) any more reliable, it takes up a USB port that the microSD card does not, and it's less tidy/compact. Seems like little is gained by making it your standard boot method.

Booting from USB-connected SSD is another matter entirely. It is probably very quick and more dependable / longer-lived than any other flash storage system. But over time, I suspect it's cheaper and tidier to just keep a backup microSD card or two in the wings for when you might run into trouble with your regular microSD card. And from what I read, that risk can be sharply reduced by a) ensuring that, after shutdown, you don't cut power to the Pi until the wear-leveling process completes (green LED goes out for good), and b) using a large capacity microSD card, so that there's plenty of empty space over which to spread the wear of writes/re-writes.

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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:25 pm

Booting from USB stick can take the place of booting from microSD card ... but what does it really get you? It doesn't save you much or any money, it's not (AFAIK) any more reliable, it takes up a USB port that the microSD card does not, and it's less tidy/compact. Seems like little is gained by making it your standard boot method.
The biggest gain, for me, is that I don't have to fiddle with those tiny microSD cards, (I'm getting old ;) ), & I have already got several pendrives to use.

I'd have preferred to use standard SD/SDHC cards if I couldn't use my pendrives - I'd rather not have to go & buy microSD cards, if that was the only way to boot.

I also chose to wait until the RPi3B came out with at least 1GB of ram, before getting to experiment with them.

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:07 pm

GAP wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:15 am
Yes the part number has a typo (old person dyslexia) and is a separate powered drive, it is connected to power all the time but does not respond till the pi is turned on (light on front blinks when Pi is powered up, then stays on solid).
So unless I can find a way to spin it up prior to pi booting I am at a blocking point.
Powering on the drive shortly before booting the Pi should do it (5 or 10 seconds).
You want to give it time to spin up, but not enough time to got to sleep.

GAP wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:15 am
I looked at the micro SD card and the HDD and both have the same files loaded.
I ran this in Terminal "vcgencmd otp_dump | grep 17" and got 17 3020000a back so if my reading is correct the PI is all good to go with booting from USB
That looks correct.

GAP wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:15 am
Do I need to create a partition on the HDD to get this to work maybe? I'm clutching at straws here.
Preparing a USB drive for USB boot is similar to prepping an SD card. You download a Raspbian image from the official download page and write it to the USB drive using the Etcher image writing software. Note that writing an image to the HDD will erase anything previously on it, so backup important data beforehand.

GAP wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:15 am
I would really like to not use the SD card if I can get away with it.
Flashing a USB stick may be a possibilty, I just want to get away from the SD card because of the risk of failure.
If you use quality SD cards the risk of failure is low. People get way too paranoid about this. Any storage device can fail, even enterprise class drives fail eventually. If you want to keep your data safe, good backup practices are far more important than what you are booting from.

It's also possible to boot from an SD card and just use the HDD for storage and backups.

Booting from a USB flash drive will not necessarily be more reliable than an SD card. They use very similar tech.

An SSD, while technically a flash drive, will generally be faster and more reliable than an SD card. They have more powerful processors and more sophisticated firmware, which results in better performance, reliability and data integrity.

Mechanical hard drives may still be the best choice if you collect loads of data, but as you discovered it can be tricky booting a Raspberry Pi computer from one. There is a special hard drive made specifically for the Pi by Western Digital. It's called a PiDrive. Might be worth looking into if you really want to use a hard drive. http://wdlabs.wd.com/category/wd-pidrive/

While I do have one system that boots from an SSD, I run most of my Pi computers from SD cards, including a Minecraft server that runs 24/7. I used to use the Samsung EVO+ micro SD cards, but now I use the new SanDisk Ultra A1 class micro SD cards because they are a bit faster.

If you already have a current, up-to-date Raspbian Stretch image written to your HDD, then try this.
  • Format an SD card with the FAT32 file system.
  • Copy just the bootcode.bin file from the HDD boot partition to the SD card.
  • Boot from that SD card with your HDD connected (no other storage devices, just the SD card and HDD).
The result should be your system booting from the HDD. If it still doesn't work, try adding a file named "timeout" to the SD card.

And if that doesn't work, then copy the entire contents of the small FAT32 boot partition on the HDD to the SD card.
Last edited by HawaiianPi on Thu May 24, 2018 2:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:19 am

Like cspan I am going to give up on the booting from the HDD as the HDD I have does not spin up till the PI is part way through its boot sequence.
I will just have to resign myself to the fact that I am stuck with the SD card.

@k-pi wrote "The biggest gain, for me, is that I don't have to fiddle with those tiny microSD cards, (I'm getting old ;) )" I to am on the upper end of the age spectrum (rapidly approaching retirement age),

@Hawaiian PI
As you wrote "It's also possible to boot from an SD card and just use the HDD for storage and backups." this is the way I will go.

The HDD will give me 900+GB of storage space which is plenty for what I require (I'll be dead before I fill it up).

I did look at the PI specific HDDs from WD but the site does not include Australia as a delivery area.

Thanks for all the help just a bit disappointing it did not work.

Next step is to load all my data onto the HDD followed by trying to learn Python.

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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:15 am

I had a 120GB SSD USB caddy drive that I had been using for backups.
I upgraded my PC with a 1TB FireCuda so the backup drive was not needed.

Just for fun I used Etcher to copy latest Raspbian onto the 120GB USB drive.
The Pi3B+ just booted and expanded itself and Raspbian was working a few minutes later.

Now I am not sure what to do,
Get USB SSD drives for my other Pi3's?
Get more A1 micro SD Sandisk 16GB, Samsung Extremes?
Get custom hat for M.2 SSD?
Try a FireCude?
Starting to get into real PC land now.

For development and big long compile times, GCC, buildroot, kernel etc compiling take hours.
I was thinking OS on microSD, home on SSD?

What is the optimum Pi3B+ setup?
I'm dancing on Rainbows.
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cspan
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:47 pm

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:15 am

Just for fun I used Etcher to copy latest Raspbian onto the 120GB USB drive.
The Pi3B+ just booted and expanded itself and Raspbian was working a few minutes later.

Now I am not sure what to do,
...
What is the optimum Pi3B+ setup?
Kudos!

What to do:

1. Before you commit to any setup, see if you can boot it again that way. A couple times, cold boots.
2. Optimum setup of course depends on your intended use.

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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:01 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:07 pm
...
Powering on the drive shortly before booting the Pi should do it (5 or 10 seconds).
You want to give it time to spin up, but not enough time to got to sleep.
It should, but it doesn't always.

Couple ways to test it. First, you can spin it up on another computer and see how long it takes to get recognized.

Second, you can see if it spins up while being powered, but without the USB cable being connected. Here's the rub: on my "Plugable" brand USB SATA enclosure, the drive does not really spin up until it's been connected by USB ... to a computer that is ON. So in my case, there's no getting ahead of the Pi. Maybe if I could make the timeout 10-15 seconds, I'd be OK. This isn't a huge drive, either - this is an old 160 GB internal drive I have in the enclosure, so I don't think it has to do with how capacious the drive is. My non-powered 2TB drive is recognized a bit more quickly ... but at 8 seconds, not quickly enough for the Pi, methinks.

That's OK. I kind of like the neat compact form of the Pi in its case, with the only things sticking out of it are the power cord and HDMI. (keyboard/trackpad is wireless). And I'm a believer in the wisdom of separation of data and OS, so it's OK with me that I'm not booting from the same storage medium that holds my own files (at the very least, I'd like regular backups that are separable).

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:17 am

I know SSD drives are faster, but how much faster are they on Pi's?
HD drives need to spin up, so need that wait time, but this 120GB SSD just keeps on working and seems to be faster than the 32GB USB sticks I have been using till now on 3's.

Some of the stuff I am doing now in Gentoo64 is pushing the limits and work better headless as this frees up ram.
It became obvious slow SDs and USB sticks were slowing things down a lot.
With a 1Gbs Ethernet, how much is left of that USB hub capacity for USB drives?


It will be interesting to hear from those that compile GCC, Kernel, Buildroot etc on Pi's about their configurations.
Hour/day long compiles means a good setup. Buildroot can go for a long time before telling you there is a missing config...
My collection of 3's is growing, time to put them to work.
This means spending money on memory and probably a NAS for backup.
It would be easy to spend 2-3 times $Pi on storage, I would rather buy more Pi's.

What is a an optimum memory system setup for multiple networked Pi3's?
Netbooting worth trying? These will probably be 24/7 Pi's cranking away on scripts/code overnight etc.

These new Pi3B+'s are pushing me from a tinkering toy user to real Systems Installer/user.
There has been some SD card benchmarks but is there any comparison ones comparing them to USD drives?

I have been living in baremetal land for 2 years, 4MB OS's are big there ;)
Coming back to mainstream and the recommendations are minimum 16GB :o
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HawaiianPi
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:23 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:17 am
I know SSD drives are faster, but how much faster are they on Pi's?
You won't see the gains in raw throughput, of course, because that's limited by the USB 2.0 interface. Where you see improvements is in higher IOPS and faster random I/O performance. An area where SD cards have been sorely lacking. That has improved somewhat with the newer A1 rated cards, but it's an area where SSD performance has been improving for years and they still have the edge.

So if you're comparing, say, raw sequential read/write, a fast SD card could probably give an SSD a run for its money on a Pi (even though the SSD would clobber the SD card on a PC with native SATA or USB 3.0). But much of what a computer OS does is non-sequential, and that's where the SSD will shine.

I haven't gotten around to benchmarking A1 cards against SSD on the Pi, but subjectively the SSD feels faster. And keep in mind I'm using a relatively cheap SSD, not a top performer. There is even a slight subjective difference between the 2 inexpensive SSD models I have, so something like a Samsung EVO 860 or Crucial MX500 should be faster still (while still remaining relatively affordable).

To put things in perspective, though, it's not going to be anywhere near the "Wow!" factor you see when swapping a hard drive for an SSD in a machine with native SATA. But then again, an SSD doesn't cost a whole lot more than an SD card in 128GB size, and can actually be less expensive in larger sizes. So when you look at the price of upgrading a PC from a hard drive to an SSD it seems expensive, but in the context of the Pi computers and large SD card pricing, it's actually pretty compelling.

Current price of the SanDisk Ultra A1 128GB micro SD card is $37.90
Current price of the Silicon Power A55 128GB SSD is $38.99 (+ $1.09)

Current price of the SanDisk Ultra A1 256GB micro SD card is $109.99
Current price of the Silicon Power A55 256GB SSD is $59.99 (- $50) !!
Even the Samsung EVO 860 and Crucial MX500 are less than the SD card at this size.

Don't get me wrong, the SanDisk Ultra A1 cards are great. They really are faster than my old favorite Samsung EVO+ cards (and way faster than your run-of-the-mill class 10 cards). So if all you need is 32GB of storage, that is definitely the way to go. And, of course, if your primary concern is gobs of storage, then hard drives are still the price per GB king of the hill.

However, if you are thinking about dropping a 128 or 256GB micro SD card into your Raspberry Pi, you should seriously consider an SSD instead.
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Gavinmc42
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:17 am

Thanks HawaiianPi,

That was the conclusion I was headed towards.
32GB Samsung EVO+ are getting hard to get down here in OZ, must be lots of Pi users getting in a head of me.
The 32GB Sandisk Extreme A1 seems ok so far.
But I got 32GB Lexar USB sticks at half the price.

The advantage of USB sticks and SSD drives is I can see an LED flashing, that gives me some indication of accesses
Recently learnt about A1 SD's so I look for those now, some 16GB Sandisk are A1.
But I just had one lockup twice on Gentoo64, but the 32GB extreme A1 works fine.

Cheap Patriot 120GB SSD boots Gentoo64, I could not use Etcher to write it, I had to expand it and use Mint's USB writer.
Stress testing it now, sudo genup kills the cheap cards and drives :lol:
These all work fine on PiCore ;)

Prices for 64+GB SD cards seem excessive and there are fakes around, even fake USB sticks.
I have not heard much about fake SSD drives, probably because I have not used many.

A big swap drive on USB stick seems needed for some big compiles so I have been told.
Lot more testing to do.
Might try Netbooting, never had enough Pi's for serious test setups but that's another post.
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cspan
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:12 pm

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:17 am
Prices for 64+GB SD cards seem excessive and there are fakes around, even fake USB sticks.
Not sure if you have Costco in OZ, or if you do, if there's one near enough to you (or that will ship), but I just paid about $40 (US) for 2x64GB A1 Sandisk Ultra Plus. What I may do is clone my current card to them, and thus have 2 backups.

I doubt they're fakes, due to the packaging, which looked authentic, and the retailer, which I don't think would risk the reputation of (or financial damage from) selling fake goods.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Pi3 - USB boot

Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:28 pm

Not sure if you have Costco in OZ,
We have some now and a new one is being built locally, now have excuse to check it out ;)
Never would have gone to Costco for electronics.

Need to figure out this Gentoo64, just broke my 32GB Sandisk Extreme version.
Doing extreme stuff on it, but mostly still testing.
Etcher made a new one, need to make a backup system, perhaps to a NAS.
But backup/restore from Ethernet boot is looking more useful now.
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Raspberries are not Apples or Oranges

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