I have some Raspberry pi's that I want to use it as a Browser Kiosk. When I use more than one tab with chromium the pi completely freeze I need to reboot it after this because the lack of ram, if I use a swap memory it not freezes and works very well.

I'm thinking to use an usb as a swap memory ram but I'm afraid of the lifespan of the flash memory.

There is a workaround with chromium with low ram devices? or a cheap memory with large lifespan for this purpose that can use as a swap memory?

I only want to make Chromium usable with some tabs. If it becomes a little bit slow this doesn't matter.

I don't want to buy a new RPI4 I have 3 spare RPI3B+ on my desk and I want to use it.

  • 1
    Good-quality USB storage will last longer than I will. (I'm a little {ahem} old.) I'm still using a USB stick I got in about 2003. Seriously, if the USB storage works, use it. If it fails after a few years, put in another one!
    – Bob Brown
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 15:55
  • 2
    No you can't add RAM, why not buy a Pi4 2GB or Pi4 4GB.
    – CoderMike
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 18:15
  • Because I have @CoderMike 3 RPI that are in my desk, I want to know if I can use it. These work very well, if it works with swap and I can add some swap ram or have other solution will be nice. I don't know why my question is downvoted, I know the ram is soldered, but I'm asking also for a solution for chromium or swap memory... I think is misundestanding I'll edit my question
    – BlueSeph
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 23:25
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    A solid state drive is intended to replace a hard drive so I have provided an answer with some information about adding a solid state drive to a Raspberry Pi using the USB port. Unfortunately the Pi does not have a SATA connection. You can then use the SSD as a swap device. According to the testing from the Tom's Hardware article using an SSD in this fashion is superior to either using the microSD card or a USB flash. Using an SSD in this configuration appears to be your best option. Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 4:34
  • hmmm... don't know why someone put -1 on the question, yeah is not possible to add ram but saw a lot of useful answers with alternatives and information to do this work! thanks!
    – BlueSeph
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 21:13

1 Answer 1


The memory installed on a Raspberry Pi is directly soldered and is not intended to be replaced or extended. Looking on the web, while there are quite a few posts asking for a method to add RAM, all that I could see indicate its not reasonably feasible. I'm sure it could be done with specialized equipment and components however the outcomes of the process of desoldering and soldering new parts would seem quite chancy for a functional Pi after doing so.

There are kits to add a Solid State Drive to a Raspberry Pi. These kits all use the existing USB port so any data transfer is going to be governed by USB bandwidth and transfer speed which is significantly lower than SATA transfer speed and orders of magnitude slower than RAM transfer speeds.

See this raspberrypi.org forum posting, Using your Pi with an SSD (Sold State Derive) which mentions both the X850 mSATA storage expansion board as well as building a solution from parts.

This Tom's Hardware article, Raspberry Pi 4 With an SSD: Dramatic Speed Improvements, Higher Price, describes testing such an SSD kit with both Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 3 and comparing it with using a flash drive.

The article says:

Chromium browser, the open-source version of Chrome, is probably the most important preloaded app and the one you’ll open the most. It loads a full 38% faster with an SSD than with the microSD card on the Pi 4. Even on the Pi 3 B+, which is limited to a USB 2.0 connection, the SSD was a full 24% quicker. Note also that, because of the faster microSD reader, the Pi 4 opened the app 30% quicker than the 3 B+, with both of them using the same memory card.

The real loser here and elsewhere is the USB Flash drive, which is half the speed of the microSD card and a third of the speed of the SSD on the Pi 4. Chromium was the only app we tested with the USB Flash drive on the 3 B+, and the numbers show why. It’s painfully slow to use a USB Flash drive, or at least the Patriot Supersonic Rage drive that we used.

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