The best way to Boot a Raspberry Pi From SSD and Use It for Everlasting Storage

Utilizing an SSD to your Raspberry Pi gives many benefits over an ordinary microSD card. To allow it, simply comply with our step-by-step directions.

Each SSDs (solid-state drives) and SD playing cards use basically related flash storage expertise to retailer knowledge. Nevertheless, SSDs provide sooner controllers and extra fault tolerance, making them far more dependable than SD playing cards. Whereas most Raspberry Pis are nonetheless operating on microSD playing cards, you might also use an exterior SSD in addition your Raspberry Pi.


On this information, you’ll be taught the steps to allow USB boot on Raspberry Pi, then use an exterior SSD as bootable media in addition Raspberry Pi OS and use the leftover house as everlasting storage to your knowledge.

Issues You Will Want

You will want the next objects to allow SSD boot on Raspberry Pi.

  • Raspberry Pi (4, 400, 3, Zero W, or Zero 2W mannequin)
  • microSD card (1GB minimal, 64GB most)
  • microSD card reader
  • Keyboard and mouse (each wi-fi or wired will work)—not required if you wish to allow SSD boot on a Raspberry Pi 4 or Pi 400
  • Any sort of exterior SSD (comparable to M.2, SATA, or NVMe/PCIe)

Boot Raspberry Pi 4 or 400 from SSD

In addition Raspberry Pi 4 or Raspberry Pi 400 from SSD, it’s essential to allow USB boot by following these steps:

  1. Join the microSD card to a different pc utilizing a card reader.
  2. Obtain, set up, and launch the Raspberry Pi Imager device in your Home windows, Linux, or Mac system.
  3. Click on the Select OS button after which click on Misc Utility Photos > Bootloader > USB Boot.
  4. Click on the Select Storage button and choose the microSD card related to your system.
  5. Click on Write and anticipate the flash course of to finish. It is going to take a couple of seconds solely.
  6. After the flash course of, the microSD card is auto-ejected. Disconnect the microSD card from the system and insert it into the microSD slot of your Raspberry Pi 4 or 400.
  7. Join the facility provide to the Raspberry Pi to show it on. The Pi will robotically learn and flash the USB bootloader from the related microSD card. This takes a couple of seconds.
  8. When the flash is profitable, the inexperienced LED mild on the Raspberry Pi begins blinking steadily. To verify additional, join the HDMI port to a show. If the show reveals a inexperienced display screen, it signifies that the flash course of is full.
  9. Flip off the Raspberry Pi and disconnect or take away the microSD card.
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Boot Raspberry Pi 3 or Zero from SSD

To allow SSD boot on Raspberry Pi 3 or Zero W/2W, you’ll want to flash the usual Raspberry Pi OS on the microSD card, boot the Raspberry Pi, and make a couple of modifications to the configuration recordsdata to allow USB (SSD) boot.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Insert a microSD card into the system and launch the Raspberry Pi Imager device.
  2. Click on on Select OS after which choose Raspberry Pi OS (32-bit).
  3. Click on Select Storage and choose the microSD card from the obtainable storage units.
  4. Optionally, you’ll be able to click on on the gear icon to convey up the superior choices, then enter your community’s Wi-Fi particulars and allow SSH.
  5. Click on the Write button.
  6. After the flash course of is full, insert the microSD card into the Raspberry Pi and switch it on.
  7. Join a keyboard and mouse to the Raspberry Pi.
  8. After it boots up, log in utilizing the default username pi and password raspberry (except you modified these within the Raspberry Pi Imager superior choices).
  9. Open the Terminal window and run the next instructions.
    sudo apt replace -y
    sudo apt improve -y
  10. After updating and upgrading the packages, run the next command within the Terminal window.
    echo program_usb_boot_mode=1 | sudo tee -a /boot/config.txt
  11. This command permits the USB boot on Raspberry Pi 3 or Zero W/2W. After operating the command, restart the Raspberry Pi after which run the next command to substantiate if USB boot is enabled.
    vcgencmd otp_dump | grep 17
  12. If the output proven is 17:3020000a, USB boot is enabled. Now you can take away the microSD card from the Raspberry Pi.


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Put together Bootable Raspberry Pi SSD

In addition the Raspberry Pi Zero, Raspberry Pi 3, Raspberry Pi 4, or Raspberry Pi 400 through SSD, it’s essential to set up an working system, comparable to Raspberry Pi OS on the SSD by utilizing Raspberry Pi Imager (or the Balena Etcher device). After writing the OS, you’ll be able to join the SSD to the Raspberry Pi through a USB port and boot the OS from the SSD.

To arrange the SSD for boot, comply with these steps:

  1. Launch the Raspberry Pi Imager device and join your exterior SSD to the system through a USB port.
  2. Click on Select OS to pick out the specified OS from the checklist. If you wish to flash a downloaded OS picture, you need to use the file by clicking on the Customized possibility after which choosing the OS file out of your system.
  3. Click on Select Storage to pick out the related SSD storage media.
  4. Click on the Write button.
  5. After the OS is flashed on the SSD, dismount the drive after which join the USB drive to one of many USB 3.0 or 2.0 ports in your Raspberry Pi 4/400, Raspberry Pi 3 (or to Zero W/2W’s micro-USB port through an adapter).
  6. Join the facility provide to activate the Raspberry Pi.
  7. The Raspberry Pi will verify for a bootable SSD related to the USB port and boot the working system.


Utilizing an SSD as Everlasting Storage for Raspberry Pi

After booting the working system from the exterior SSD drive, you need to use the leftover house within the SSD as everlasting storage to retailer different knowledge. To verify the obtainable cupboard space, run the next command within the Terminal app.

df -h

If you’re utilizing the Desktop model of Raspberry Pi OS, open File Supervisor and click on on Filesystem Root on the high of the display screen. You may see the obtainable storage within the bottom-right nook.

Now that you’ve sooner SSD storage, you need to use it to construct your personal private cloud storage accessible from wherever or to host a safe web site on Raspberry Pi.

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Extra Storage With Quicker Efficiency

Booting your Raspberry Pi with an SSD is extremely really useful as it’s a lot sooner and extra dependable than a microSD card. You should utilize any exterior SSD obtainable in the marketplace. This contains M.2, SATA, and NVMe/PCIe SSDs. Whereas the method to allow boot is a bit advanced on Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi Zero W/2W, it’s a lot simpler on Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 400.