How to Boot Raspberry Pi 4 via SSD or Network
Raspberry Pi 4 is a powerful single-board computer that can help you build a range of projects, from media centers and game consoles to home automation systems and IoT devices. However, if you want to take full advantage of its capabilities, you may need to boot it from an SSD or network instead of its built-in microSD card.
Booting from an SSD can provide faster and more reliable storage than the microSD card, while booting from the network can allow you to manage and provision multiple Raspberry Pi devices without having to physically connect them to a source of storage.
In this article, we will discuss how to boot Raspberry Pi 4 via SSD or network.
Booting Raspberry Pi 4 via SSD
To boot Raspberry Pi 4 from an SSD, you will need a few things:
1. A compatible SSD: Raspberry Pi 4 supports booting from USB mass storage devices, such as SSDs, USB flash drives, and hard drives. However, not all SSDs are compatible, and some may require additional power.
2. A USB adapter or cable: You will need a USB adapter or cable to connect the SSD to Raspberry Pi 4.
3. An operating system image: You will need an operating system image that supports USB booting. You can download a compatible image from the official Raspberry Pi website or other sources.
4. An SD card: You will need an SD card to flash the operating system image and configure the boot settings.
Once you have all the required components, you can follow these steps to boot Raspberry Pi 4 from an SSD.
1. Flash the operating system image: Insert the SD card into your computer and use a tool like Raspberry Pi Imager to flash the operating system image onto the card.
2. Configure the boot settings: After flashing the image, eject the SD card from your computer and insert it into Raspberry Pi 4. Connect the SSD to one of the USB ports. Power on Raspberry Pi 4 and wait for it to boot from the SD card. Once it boots up, open the terminal and run the following command:
sudo nano /boot/config.txt
Add the following line to the end of the file:
Save the file and exit the editor.
3. Reboot and enter recovery mode: Reboot Raspberry Pi 4 and wait for it to start booting from the SD card again. When you see the Raspberry Pi logo on the screen, press and hold the SHIFT key until the recovery mode screen appears.
4. Enable USB boot: In the recovery mode screen, select “Advanced Options” and then “Boot ROM version.” In the next screen, select “USB boot” and press Enter. Raspberry Pi 4 will now reboot and boot from the SSD instead of the SD card.
Booting Raspberry Pi 4 via Network
To boot Raspberry Pi 4 from the network, you will need a few things:
1. A compatible network boot image: Raspberry Pi 4 supports booting from the network using the Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) protocol. You will need an image that supports network booting.
2. A network boot server: You will need a network boot server that can serve the boot image to Raspberry Pi 4.
3. A wired network connection: Raspberry Pi 4 does not support network booting over Wi-Fi. You will need a wired network connection to the boot server.
4. An SD card: You will need an SD card to configure the boot settings.
Once you have all the required components, you can follow these steps to boot Raspberry Pi 4 from the network.
1. Prepare the boot image: Download a network boot image and copy it to your boot server. Make sure the image is compatible with Raspberry Pi 4 and the PXE protocol.
2. Configure the boot settings: Insert the SD card into your computer and create a new file named “cmdline.txt” in the root directory. Add the following line to the file:
dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=serial0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/nfs nfsroot=[boot server IP]:/path/to/rootfs ip=[Pi IP]:[server IP]:[gateway]:[netmask]:[hostname]:[device]:[autoconf]
Replace the values in square brackets with your own network settings. Save the file and eject the SD card from your computer.
3. Boot from the network: Insert the SD card into Raspberry Pi 4 and connect it to the wired network. Power on Raspberry Pi 4 and wait for it to boot from the SD card. Once it boots up, it will automatically start looking for the boot image on the network boot server. If everything is configured correctly, Raspberry Pi 4 will boot from the network and receive its root file system over NFS.
Booting Raspberry Pi 4 from an SSD or network can provide faster and more flexible storage options for your projects. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily set up your Raspberry Pi 4 to boot from an SSD or network and take advantage of its full potential.