3

The instructions say to format the SD card with FAT the one I bought came pre-formatted as VFAT which I believe is just an extension of FAT is this OK or should I load up GParted and format it again?

EDIT:
Actually on closer analysis with GParted it is actually FAT32. blkid was calling it VFAT but maybe it calls all the FAT VFAT?

  • Which OS distribution are you referring to? – goldilocks Oct 16 '13 at 14:33
  • I took "the one you bought" to mean one from an rpi supplier with an image on it, but now I realize you just meant a plain (pre-formatted, but blank) SD card. Anyway -- the information is the information ;) – goldilocks Oct 16 '13 at 15:24
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The one you bought probably has two partitions. The first is a small (~50 MB) FAT32 partition. The second is a larger (2-4 GB) ext4 (linux native) partition.

The FAT32 one is required by the Broadcom SoC, I think. It contains some kind of simple bootloader and the kernel. The second one is the root filesystem.

should I load up GParted and format it again?

Is there a problem with it?

Most (but not all, see comments) OS images for the pi have this two partition set-up, which makes them a bit awkward. There is no point in formatting the card as a whole. If you want to replace the OS image, you need to just copy that straight on raw (e.g., in linux using dd).

  • It's almost 8GB of VFAT but no there is no problem I just wanted to check first if it was OK before I install and I haven't really decided on a distro yet. I use Ubuntu so maybe I will stick with Debian (Rasibian or whatever it's called) but I kind of want to try Arch too.. indecisive. I'll probably use NOOBS since its my first one. – p1l0t Oct 16 '13 at 15:05
  • Actually on closer analysis with GParted it is actually FAT32. blkid was calling it VFAT but maybe it calls all the FAT VFAT? – p1l0t Oct 16 '13 at 15:08
  • You're right, it is FAT32. I'll change that. It really doesn't matter how a card is formatted if you are copying an OS image onto it. – goldilocks Oct 16 '13 at 15:18
  • Beware that the reason it doesn't matter is because the .iso should not go into a formatted partition. The image contains partitions and the partition table already. It needs to be copied raw straight to the device. – goldilocks Oct 16 '13 at 15:22
  • Does that depend on whether I use NOOBS or not though? – p1l0t Oct 16 '13 at 16:01

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