supertramp1966
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:26 pm

Install and boot from a USB thumb drive?

Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:25 am

Hello my Linux is really bad I am reading a lot to help myself l. I have a question is it possible to install say the OS on a thumb drive and boot from it I have unbuntu on a thumb I used a Windows app to install from the ISO is it possible to do the same with the raspberry pi? This would make swapping variants of the OS much easier than a SD card and give me access to much more drive space! If this is possible are there any institutions on the forum on how to do this? As I said my Linux is really Rusty the last time I got involved with it was back in 2001 on a PC running a AMD Athlon 64 thanks

User avatar
KLL
Posts: 1453
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:05 pm
Location: thailand
Contact: Website

Re: Install and boot from a USB thumb drive?

Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:39 am

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... des/msd.md

you can boot from USB
-a- if you have a RPI3
-b- burn the OTP in the cpu what allows to boot from USB
( no way back but not too many consequences, like you still can boot from SD card.. )
-c- but you must use the same image as on the SD card
( no way to run a PC linux ISO.. )
actually instead of making a usb stick i first tested the boot with the
original SD card in a USB card reader, so i knew the setup is good.
-d- from speed do not expect any differences
-e- space? what you say, usb stick cheaper?
for having priv. data available when you swap OS ( SD cards or USB sticks )
use a add (data) USB stick or dropbox or samba client...
Last edited by KLL on Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
DougieLawson
Posts: 36568
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:19 pm
Location: Basingstoke, UK
Contact: Website Twitter

Re: Install and boot from a USB thumb drive?

Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:40 am

KLL wrote: -d- from speed do not expect any differences
My RPi3Bs that boot from USB hard disk drives are much faster than from an SDCard, it's also possible to have a swap file on a HDD so I can over commit RAM.
Note: Having anything humorous in your signature is completely banned on this forum. Wear a tin-foil hat and you'll get a ban.

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

This is a doctor free zone.

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 21080
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Install and boot from a USB thumb drive?

Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:44 am

KLL wrote:https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... des/msd.md
-b- burn the OTP in the cpu what allows to boot from USB
It is actually in the VideoCore VPU as Raspberry Pi's boot from the VPU and not the ARM CPU, the above link just states SoC ;)
Retired disgracefully.....
This at present is my daily "computer" https://www.asus.com/us/Chrome-Devices/Chromebit-CS10/

User avatar
KLL
Posts: 1453
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:05 pm
Location: thailand
Contact: Website

Re: Install and boot from a USB thumb drive?

Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:26 am

DougieLawson wrote:boot from USB hard disk drives are much faster than from an SDCard
sorry, i only have one 8GB USB stick i can test,
( and one 16GB USB stick RPI did not want to boot from (in 2sec) )
and NO USB HD installed until now.

but lets see about this:
i waste hours with speed tests SD card or USB stick block read write,
that was all worthless numbers... but indicate that both have same file copy speed

so pls. lets do something easy i just did here
test environment:
VNC viewer on PC
open terminal window
type sudo reboot
wait until see desktop window incl menu headerline..

SD card ( 32GB Samsung evo ) 35sec.
USB stick ( 8GB Lexar ) 105sec ( no idea why that so bad? )

how about your USB HD?
Last edited by KLL on Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 21080
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Install and boot from a USB thumb drive?

Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:30 am

KLL wrote:
DougieLawson wrote:boot from USB hard disk drives are much faster than from an SDCard
sorry, i only have one USB stick i can test, and NO USB HD installed until now.

but lets see about this:
i waste hours with speed tests SD card or USB stick block read write,
that was all worthless numbers... but indicate that both have same file copy speed

so pls. lets do something easy i just did here
test environment:
VNC viewer on PC
open terminal window
type sudo reboot
wait until see desktop window incl menu headerline..

SD card ( 32GB Samsung evo ) 35sec.
USB stick ( 8GB Lexar ) 105sec ( no idea why that so bad? )

how about your USB HD?
By default it cycles through the boot options: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... ootflow.md
Retired disgracefully.....
This at present is my daily "computer" https://www.asus.com/us/Chrome-Devices/Chromebit-CS10/

User avatar
DougieLawson
Posts: 36568
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:19 pm
Location: Basingstoke, UK
Contact: Website Twitter

Re: Install and boot from a USB thumb drive?

Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:48 am

KLL wrote: VNC viewer on PC
open terminal window
type sudo reboot
wait until see desktop window incl menu headerline..
None of my HDD Raspberries run with the desktop. They're all 100% headless.
Note: Having anything humorous in your signature is completely banned on this forum. Wear a tin-foil hat and you'll get a ban.

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

This is a doctor free zone.

User avatar
KLL
Posts: 1453
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:05 pm
Location: thailand
Contact: Website

Re: Install and boot from a USB thumb drive?

Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:54 am

fruitoftheloom wrote:By default it cycles through the boot options: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... ootflow.md
yes, it looses 5sec looking for SD card.
( and 2 if no/slow USB unless OTP timeout is used then 5sec )
you have any good numbers for us?

BlackKnight_UK
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:51 am

Re: Install and boot from a USB thumb drive?

Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:00 am

I have a Pi3 which runs from a low-profile USB flash drive. But, it won't boot from the drive unless there is an SD card with the FAT32 part of the boot drive on.

It's not a problem until I update Raspbian then I have to copy those files to the SD card from the flash drive before it will boot again.

People say it shouldn't need the SD card and the official documentation state that but I've followed those instructions several times and still have the same problem - no SD card no boot.

The only reason I can think of as to why I have this problem is if its something to do with my Pi3 being in a Pi-Top CEED desktop case, maybe the hardware side of the case changes something in the way the Pi works. I am using the Raspbian OS not the Pi-Top version.

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 21080
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Install and boot from a USB thumb drive?

Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:39 am

BlackKnight_UK wrote:I have a Pi3 which runs from a low-profile USB flash drive. But, it won't boot from the drive unless there is an SD card with the FAT32 part of the boot drive on.

It's not a problem until I update Raspbian then I have to copy those files to the SD card from the flash drive before it will boot again.

People say it shouldn't need the SD card and the official documentation state that but I've followed those instructions several times and still have the same problem - no SD card no boot.

The only reason I can think of as to why I have this problem is if its something to do with my Pi3 being in a Pi-Top CEED desktop case, maybe the hardware side of the case changes something in the way the Pi works. I am using the Raspbian OS not the Pi-Top version.
Actually I have a USB-SATA Caddy which refuses to boot an Operating System, though the same OS boots AOK on a USB Flash Drive.

It has been noted over the last year or so that some MSDs just will not boot..
Retired disgracefully.....
This at present is my daily "computer" https://www.asus.com/us/Chrome-Devices/Chromebit-CS10/

Return to “Beginners”