I decided I wanted to change from an SD card to a USB flash drive however I am not sure how. I already have the distro I want to be installed on the USB flash drive I just need to know how to change it similar to the way you would do it on Windows 10.

  • I don't know if it is the case for modern Pi devices but in the past the boot device could not be changed. You essentially had to have the kernel boot from the SD card, but could define the root filesystem as being on the USB stick. I'm not certain of the process these days, hence only a comment. – Mokubai May 14 at 13:16
  • I have this working on a raspi3b @Mokubai. Raspi2 and before needed the boot loader itself to be on SD. We need to know what Pi he is trying to do this with in order to help further. I can't remember what I did and hate to research it again if it isn't even going to help him. – Señor CMasMas May 14 at 14:34
  • This says the raspi3 can be USB booted right out the box, but I myself had to mod my firmware to do it.. (several steps) I bet it depends on the firmware version it ships with. – Señor CMasMas May 14 at 14:38
  • If you have a Pi 4 this might be possible: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/118926/… otherwise for earlier Pi's then you need at least some parts of the system on the SD card: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/119079/…. Have a look at their search: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/search?q=boot+from+usb – Mokubai May 14 at 15:55

The official documentation https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/raspberrypi/bootmodes/msd.md explains very well how to do USB boot on different versions of Raspberry PI.

Raspberry PI4, 400 and 3B+ boot out of the Box from USB. For other Raspberry PIs you can enable a bit that it boots from USB. This is a one time operation. You can't disable USB boot afterwards on these devices. Since enabling it is model dependent and you have to take care for the Pi 3A+, please have yourself a look on how to enable it for your device. Since you didn't write your model, I can't write the exact steps for yours here.

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