I am ordering a Raspberry Pi Zero WH and I have a 2GB in my storage. I want this pi to run only a pi-hole.

I know that it is recomended to use 8GB, or at least 4GB. I am interested if somebody actualy tried to run Raspberry Pi OS on a 2 GB or less SD card. How was is working? Where there any issues?

  • What's stopping you spending £5 on a 8GB SDCard? If you insist on trying to squash something onto a 2GB card then look at github.com/tinyos/tinyos-main
    – Dougie
    Jan 15, 2021 at 20:54
  • As ISO sizes keep going up with time, this should no longer be possible now (and mostly in future too) as the extracted image is 2101346304 bytes (2004 MiB ≅ 1.96 GiB).
    – legends2k
    Jul 10, 2023 at 6:11

4 Answers 4


from RaspBerry.org official site SD card size (capacity) For installation of Raspberry Pi OS with desktop and recommended software (Full) via NOOBS the minimum card size is 16GB. For the image installation of Raspberry Pi OS with desktop and recommended software, the minimum card size is 8GB. For Raspberry Pi OS Lite image installations we recommend a minimum of 4GB.

I burned a 16G SD card with both Raspberry pi OS and Raspberry pi OS lite. The Raspberry pi OS take more than 3Gb of file system space. So the answer is NO. With the Raspberry pi OS lite after first boot this is the situation

root@raspberrypi:~# df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/root        15G  1.3G   13G   9% /
devtmpfs        183M     0  183M   0% /dev
tmpfs           215M     0  215M   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs           215M  3.1M  212M   2% /run
tmpfs           5.0M  4.0K  5.0M   1% /run/lock
tmpfs           215M     0  215M   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/mmcblk0p1  253M   47M  206M  19% /boot
tmpfs            43M     0   43M   0% /run/user/1000

boot partition takes 256M and the OS taker 1.3G so I think that 2GB SD card will be enough. The space left will be minimal but enough for minimal applications.

  • As I said in my Question: I know the recomendations. I read them. My questions is what could happen if go beyond the recomendations. Clearly this answer does not gives more information. Besides that: I was able to install Raspberry Os Lite on my 2 GB an hour ago. Jan 15, 2021 at 12:38
  • @BitBeats Ok. You are right. I updated my answer.
    – Andrea
    Jan 15, 2021 at 18:32
  • Thanks for the Numbers.👍🏼 I will wait for myPi Zero to come and try out. “Minimal” sound like enough for a pi-hole. Jan 15, 2021 at 18:33

The lite image is currently 1862270976 bytes after decompression.

The image must be smaller than the card you are planning to write it to, so a 1GB card is definitely out.

You should be able to successfully write it to a 2GB card and boot it but there won't be a whole lot of space free. In particular running out of disk space during OS updates or when trying to install additional software is quite likely.

It's also worth noting that as well as being bigger, modern "A1" cards are much faster for the workload an embedded Linux system subjects the card to during stuff like software installation.

Finally remember that all modern Pi models need a micro SD card, not a full-sized one.

  • Note that not all cards of the same nominal capacity have the same actual capacity, in my experience it's usually more than a decimal interpretation of the nominal capacity but less than a binary interpretation of it.

No one can "run" NOOBS because it is not an OS - it is an installer but I doubt it would fit on a 2GB card.

There may be lite OS that would run but no official OS.

  • sry, changed the question title to "raspberry pi os" Jan 15, 2021 at 10:21
  • 1
    this should have been a comment, not an answer Mar 11, 2022 at 8:19

DietPi comes with a smaller image of just below 1GiB (but above 1GB). Mounting the image gives me:

/dev/loop0p1         253M   55M  198M  22% /mnt
#-> /
/dev/loop0p2         712M  573M   86M  87% /mnt

So with a correction of the size of /boot (to e.g 100MB) and e.g. deleting all the RPi4-specific boot parameters one could go down to 1GB.

Possible, but untested. Use the /boot/dietpi.txt config for your headless, automated installation.

Nevertheless you should be aware that a 1GB SD card might be quite old and not only dies more easily, but might have performance issues due to lower I/O speeds.

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