Official support for Raspberry Pi 4 Boot from USB released

in #technology2 years ago


The Raspberry Pi 4 was supposed to support booting from a USB storage device. It wasn't until a year later official support is announced. It is still in beta but it is really easy to do, and from what I have seen it works really well.

You will need to install a beta firmware on your Raspberry Pi. This only applies to Raspberry Pi 4, the earlier versions already have support. You can read the official instructions on how to boot from a mass storage device on an earlier Raspberry Pi here.

Enable USB Boot on a Raspberry Pi 4

You first need to update your Pi, this includes the native packages as well as the Raspberry Pi additions.

sudo apt update
sudo apt dist-upgrade
sudo rpi-update
sudo reboot

After updating the packages and rebooting your Raspberry Pi, you need to install the beta firmware.

Edit the file /etc/default/rpi-eeprom-update and change the release from critical to beta. You can do this manually, or use this shortcut.

sudo sed -i 's/critical/beta/g' /etc/default/rpi-eeprom-update

Install the beta firmware

sudo rpi-eeprom-update -d -f /lib/firmware/raspberrypi/bootloader/beta/pieeprom-2020-05-15.bin

After it finishes, reboot your Pi with the following command.

sudo reboot

At this point you Raspberry Pi 4 will be configured to boot from a USB device. You can still use an SD device if you want to, but it will failover to a USB mass storage device if it does not find an SD card.

This is very similar to how it works on earlier Raspberry Pi devices except you need to use a beta firmware to enable support on the Raspberry Pi 4. This should change in the near future when support is added to the stable builds.

You can read more about the Raspberry Pi 4 Boot Loader Configuration here

This change will result in a huge performance boost as SD performance on the Raspberry Pi is atrocious.

Securely chat with me on Keybase

Why you should vote me as witness


Thanks for your contribution to the STEMsocial community. Feel free to join us on discord to get to know the rest of us!

Please consider supporting our funding proposal, approving our witness (@stem.witness) or delegating to the @steemstem account (for some ROI).

Please consider using the STEMsocial app app and including @stemsocial as a beneficiary to get a stronger support. 

I've not got a 4 yet. Booting from USB is good as the SD cards seem to deteriorate over time with lots of writes. I will see what I can do with the 5 Pis I have before I buy more.

Awesome news! First thing I'm trying out is Tails!

This change will result in a huge performance boost as SD performance on the Raspberry Pi is atrocious.

Is that using the USB 3.0 slot only or any of them?

 2 years ago 

I believe you can use either.

I've got a rasberry pi zero w and i've always wanted to create a bot with it.

I need to get off my lazy ass and order one of these to start playing. I also have an unused Arduino clone that deserves some experimentation.