A class I TA for uses Raspberry Pis for a project we assign the students. The various pis we hand out are a mix of model 3B and 3B+. We're running into an issue with some of them and think a potential reason might be that the OS image was originally deployed on a 3B and is now being used on a 3B+ or visa versa. The image deployed on all pis uses Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster) as its base (archived 2019-09-26).

Is there a way that we could check to see what version pi the image was originally deployed on?

We know that you can check the what model the sd is currently operating on but don't know how we would check for information related to the original deploy. We are thinking the deploy process might leave some sort of marker based on the hardware differences between the 3B and 3B+ that we might be able to use, but we aren't really sure where we'd be able to find any such marker.

  • but we aren't really sure where we'd be able to find any such marker - make one yourself
    – Bravo
    Jan 24, 2022 at 7:17
  • That's what we're planning to do in the future, but we were hoping there was one that already existed. Thanks!
    – Braden
    Feb 1, 2022 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


See What OS version is installed

cat /etc/rpi-issue | grep reference will show original image.

AFAIK there is no simple way to work out which Pi but there is NOTHING which would differ based on model if they are fully updated.

sudo tune2fs -l $(mount -v | awk '/ on \/ / {print $1}') | grep created will show the date the filesystem was created, which for most is the installation date, although using some duplicate tools e,g. SD Card Copier (which create a new FS) will change this

My Pi 4 shows Filesystem created: Mon Sep 16 15:12:26 2019

  • Unfortunately, we also used different model pis when setting them all up, so I guess we're just SOL with that. The date the filesystem was created might be something we can use in the future though, so I'll take that to our next development meeting. Thanks!
    – Braden
    Feb 1, 2022 at 15:02

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