To install a 64-bit Raspberry OS on a Pi 4 board can be achieved by

  • download the zip file from here
  • unzip and write content to empty SSD as you would for an SD card, gives two partions (a FAT boot and a EXT4 rootfs)
  • connect the SSD to the RPi4 (e.g. put the SSD in an USB3.0 enclosure and connect to the USB3 ports of the RPi4)
  • remove any card in the card slot of the RPi4!
  • power on, wait a minute, system reboots, wait another couple of minutes, then answer the setup questions.

This gives, with some luck, a fast running RPI4 with a very large rootfs partition to fill the SSD. Installation of XFCE4 speeds things further up!


  • Why would the approach sometimes fail and has to repeated? In my experience, success after 1 or 2 trials.
  • When is a update of the rpi-eeprom necessary? is this automatically done when a full-upgrade is done?
  • Is it necessary to enable the USB boot? It can be done - on a running RPi4 with raspi-config.
  • works with #ASM1153E SATA 6gb/s bridge" from ASMedia Technology (ID 174c:55aa) but does not work reliable with ID 152d:0578 JMicron Technology Corp. JMS567 SATA 6Gb/s bridge. Perhaps the firmware update "forum-raspberrypi.de/forum/thread/…" would help. – user855443 Nov 2 '20 at 8:06

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