I have a Pi3b and an PI3b+ Also I have 2 USB Sticks with different versions of Raspian

both Sticks boot on the PI3b+, none is booting from the Pi3b

I followed the procedure to set the usb-boot flag (Pi3b), and it shows the correct value:
vcgencmd otp_dump | grep 17:

I also read about a beta bootloader update of the Pi3b from „next“-branch.
But all manuals I found so far are several years old.

Is is a.) necessary to update the bootloader (can one check the installed and the availible versions)?
and b.) is it still beta after this many years?

Can you suggest a good manual or is it just that "sudo BRANCH=next rpi-update"?


checking the current 32Bit installation on my SD Card gives:

LC_ALL=C apt-cache policy raspberrypi-bootloader raspberrypi-kernel raspberrypi-bootloader:
Installed: 1:1.20211201~buster-1
Candidate: 1:1.20211201~buster-1

so the installed bootloader seems to be pretty current.

How to check if the bootloader flashed to the device (not the SD Card!, the PI itself) is this current version?

Also, is this current version cabeable to provide USB Boot?

  • Have you tried reading the instructions on the RP Ltd site? What is this Raspian most of us use Raspberry Pi OS?
    – Milliways
    Feb 5, 2022 at 21:55
  • "The Raspberry Pi Foundation has produced and released their own recommended image of Raspbian" Raspian is just what PiOS was called in the old ages... And I still stick with it
    – schnedan
    Feb 6, 2022 at 0:48
  • may be an obvious question - have you tried all 4 USB ports? have you tried booting from SD and checking to see if the USB stick is readable on the 3B?
    – Bravo
    Feb 6, 2022 at 3:30
  • Only on Ports 0 & 1... and yes, if I boot from SDCard, I can access the USB Stick just fine. Guess if it does not work on USB 0 or 1 it wont work on another... this also is why I think I need a bootloader update...
    – schnedan
    Feb 6, 2022 at 20:15
  • Raspberry Pi 3 doesn't support USB boot.. You need a Raspberry Pi 4. As a work around you could boot from a SD card and then mount the USB stick as root or home. Mar 10, 2022 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


Can you suggest a good manual or is it just that "sudo BRANCH=next rpi-update"?

Here's the portion from the raspberry pi manual where you can start: USB Boot Modes

Also, here are step-by-step USB booting instructions specifically for the RPi 3B.

  • 1
    Well, that offers no new insights, especially as I wrote to already executed setting the usb-boot flag...
    – schnedan
    Feb 5, 2022 at 18:51
  • Yes, you did write that. But, you asked for a good manual. And the first manual in particular reflects documentation commits within 3-4 months, etc., so it's current.
    – Sanders
    Feb 5, 2022 at 19:07

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