I have a USB but not a micro SD card. I installed the operating system onto it.

Can I use that as the storage and OS layer for my Raspberry Pi 4?

  • 1
    this really depends on which Pi you have ... 0, 0W, A, B, A+, B+ and 2B always need an sd card with at least bootcode.bin on it, the rest of the boot CAN be from USB device .... Pi 3 (not +) needs to boot from SD at least once, then you need to set a "flag", and you can boot from USB from then on ...3B+ or 3A+ can boot from USB as factory default (it has the aforementioned flag pre-set) ... pi4 needs to boot from SD at least once so you can update the EEPROM bootloader to the latest "stable" version Jun 22, 2020 at 23:59
  • yes, it is possible using at least a couple of methods Jun 23, 2020 at 0:11
  • google.com/search?q=pi+gui+on+mac - that's a good place to start Jun 23, 2020 at 0:16
  • What Raspberry Pi model do you use?
    – Ingo
    Jun 24, 2020 at 17:54
  • It's a raspberry pi 4
    – tadon11Aaa
    Jun 24, 2020 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


Since you have a Raspberry Pi 4 it is possible to get it to boot from USB.

The process to switch from SD card boot to USB boot is demanding that you FIRST boot from a SD card.

So YES you need a SD card.

The process is roughly:

  1. Create a bootable SD card with "Raspberry Pi OS"

  2. Edit the /etc/default/rpi-eeprom-update

  3. Install the bootloader update (That have the USB boot capability)

  4. Reboot

  5. Create a bootable USB media

Now you can boot your Raspberry Pi 4 from the USB.

A more detailed description can be found here: https://www.tomshardware.com/how-to/boot-raspberry-pi-4-usb

  • It would be great if you could go into a bit more detail on the steps as to whats needs to be done. currently it seems like this is what you mean for steps 2 and 3? If not could you provide some clarification please?
    – Erik K
    Oct 31, 2021 at 8:09
  • I have added a link to a more recent URL than the one you have found.
    – MatsK
    Nov 1, 2021 at 8:24
  • Thanks. That only works for people with a GUI though. I have managed to do it through a usb. I managed to get it working following this guy.
    – Erik K
    Nov 2, 2021 at 9:05

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