How to guide - Raspberry Pi USB Boot

published 2023-03-06 · updated 2023-03-06 #self_hosting #raspberry_pi #privacy
Step-by-step guide to configure your Raspberry Pi to boot from USB first.


Please excuse any grammatical errors. I used a tool to generate the transcript and haven't had a chance to read through it yet. ✔️

The default boot order on the Raspberry Pi is to first boot from the micro SD card, which is less than ideal if you would like to boot from a USB drive first. So, in today's video, I'm going to cover how you can change the boot order on your Raspberry Pi.

To begin, you will need Raspberry Pi Imager. For this, if you've never used it before, check out my video linked on the screen now and down below where I go over the basics and how to install it.

Once you open Raspberry Pi Imager, select "Choose OS", scroll down, and select "Miscellaneous utility images", and select "Bootloader". Then, select the option for USB boot which boot from USB if available, otherwise boot from SD card, which is exactly what we want.

So, once you select that, the next step is to choose a storage device. For this example, I'll be using a Micro SD card, but make sure whatever medium you decide to use, you don't have any data stored on it that you need to keep because this process will completely erase it.

So, at this point, connect the SD card to your computer. Once that's connected, select "Choose storage", select your storage device, and then before we click "Write", just double-check that you have USB boot as the operating system, the correct storage device is selected, and then go ahead and click "Write" again. Just a warning that all existing data will be erased. Are you sure you want to continue? Yes.

The USB boot image is very small, so this should take less than 30 seconds. Once it does finish, you can select "Continue", and we can now remove our storage device from our computer.

So, at this point, we now have our Raspberry Pi. I'm going to go ahead and insert the micro SD card into it, and now the next step will be to power it up. I'm just going to switch my camera to my computer screen so you can see what it looks like. If you don't have a monitor to connect your Raspberry Pi to, that's perfectly fine. Just power up your Raspberry Pi, let it sit for 30 seconds, and you should be all set.

As you'll see in a moment on my screen, the Raspberry Pi will power up from an image we just flashed to our micro SD card, and the bootloader will be reconfigured to boot from the USB drive first and the micro SD card second.

So, at this point, I have my Raspberry Pi connected to my monitor, and I have the micro SD card inserted in the Raspberry Pi. I'm now going to power up the Raspberry Pi.

Once the green screen shows up, that means that the boot order has been successfully reconfigured, and now our Raspberry Pi will boot from USB first and micro SD card second. If you enjoyed this video, I think you'll like the top one listed here, and the bottom one has been automatically selected for you.