I already did things like disabling WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. but my gut tells me, there should be some USB-specific settings, which can make the pi boot faster. I am interested in these settings.

My current bootup time is around 50 s, reducing it by 10 s at least is my goal. More details:

  • OS is Raspbian buster lite (same install as I would have put it on an SD-card) Edit: without a GUI.
  • running on a USB 2.0 USB-stick.

Edit: I consider end of booting as the point where the autologin finished.

What I had in mind is for example set the boot order in a way that the pi does not check the SD-card slot or check only 1 specific USB-hub instead of all 4.

If you need more detail ask and I will try to provide them.

  • 1
    How fast is fast? 1second? 10seconds? 100seconds? What OS are you running? Where is the /boot folder? Where is the rootfs? Are you using a multi-boot manager like NOOBS? Is your USB device a hard drive (HDD) or a solid state drive (SSD)?
    – Dougie
    Mar 11, 2020 at 13:43
  • @Dougie can you please reopen my question?
    – topkek
    Mar 11, 2020 at 15:35
  • You should confirm that since you are using buster lite there is no GUI, because in that case 50s is a long time; it would make more sense if you were waiting for the desktop.
    – goldilocks
    Mar 11, 2020 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


You have not clarified what you consider the end point of booting to be. If it is when a console login prompt appears, 50 seconds is quite high for a headless setup (which is what "buster lite" implies). If you are running a GUI, it might be more on par.

If not, something is wrong (or else USB boots are actually slower). You can systemd-analyze to drill down on this, for example:


You will find many discussions and examples of use here and online generally. In that example -- I'll repaste the graph here:

enter image description here

Zoom in bottom right, and getty-target reflects the point where a login prompt should be available, about 28s -- and in the post I say it's from a "B+", meaning, a single core model.

Top left, at ~2.5s, you see systemd starting, which is about when the root filesystem comes into play; you can compare this to your USB based setup.

Another answer here about booting by me, which may or may not be of interest:


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