I have the following setup:

  1. A SD card with Raspbian installed, that is to configured for my preferences.
  2. A Raspberry Pi 4 using the above SD card.
  3. A desktop computer with an Intel i3 2310M-processor and a 128gb ssd.
  4. An empty USB-stick

I want to install a clone of the configured Raspbian installation on the desktop computer. How would i go about doing this?

I guess i would have to make a bootable usb, using the raspbian installation stored on the SD card. The bootable usb i would then use to install my configured Raspbian installation on my desktop. But to be honest, i have no clue about how to do this.

Any help is appreciated!

  • 1
    Are you trying to run the Pi's sd card on the computer? Or just store a backup .img on it?
    – Botspot
    May 20, 2020 at 13:48
  • @Botspot Neither if i understand you correctly. I'm trying to clone the Raspbian installation to the ssd in the desktop computer, and use it as OS for the desktop computer. May 20, 2020 at 14:10
  • @MadsBuchmann: That's not possible. You can't run Raspbian (the Operating System for the Pi) on your desktop computer. These are completely different processor architectures.
    – PMF
    May 20, 2020 at 15:16
  • OK. Normal Raspbian won't run on a normal desktop PC. If you want a similar OS that has the same look & feel, have a look at Raspberry Pi Desktop for PC and Mac.
    – Botspot
    May 20, 2020 at 16:24

2 Answers 2


It is not possible to run a cloned installation from a Raspberry Pi with ARM processor on an intel processor based desktop computer. The operating system and its programs must be compiled for the processor that it will run.

You may consider to use Debian Buster with Raspberry Pi Desktop for PC and Mac. But this is not Raspbian. It is based on Debian Buster compiled for intel processors. It has only the look and feel of the Raspbian Desktop. You can try to configure it like your installation on the Raspberry Pi but I'm not sure if it is possible in all cases because you have a complete different hardware, firmware and drivers.

  • thank you for the answer! So i simplified my situation a bit when asking the question. I'm developing a bunch of touchscreen kiosks. Some of them will be running a Raspberry Pi 4, and others will be various hardware setups running an intel processor. What i will be doing is using my Raspbian setup on the Raspberries, and then i will create a new setup for the intel based kiosks using the Debian Buster Raspberry Pi Desktop OS. May 22, 2020 at 7:49

The closest you can get is to use QEMU for Windows to emulate the ARM chip BUT even the author states

QEMU for Windows is experimental software and might contain even serious bugs, so use the binaries at your own risk.

Software is available at its home site and on Github.

My understanding this is a Windows only package so I may have the process slightly wrong (as I'm a Mac user):

  1. Download the correct (32/64 bit) version of the code
  2. Unzip the files
  3. Sort out your image
  4. Start the program with cpu arm1176 as a parameter.

Sorry this is a bit vague - I've seen it run but never done it. There are quite a few notes on the net walking you through it.

Note I do not think you get any I/O or special capabilities of the Pi - it may be possible to use the remote GPIO libraries but that normally requires code changes if you have not developed with these originally.

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