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I want to modify the official Raspberry Pi OS lite image:
https://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspios_lite_arm64/images/raspios_lite_arm64-2023-05-03/2023-05-03-raspios-bullseye-arm64-lite.img.xz

I want to add a secondary root partition to the image, so I can easily switch between 2 different operating systems.

Since I want to automate the modification of the image file, I cannot use any GUI/desktop program. My Raspberry is not connected to a display so I cannot use any fancy boot manager either (no Berryboot, PINN). Also I don't want to manually calculate partition sectors, sizes.

What is the common approach to automate the modification of a Raspberry OS image to have dual root partitions?

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The Pi will only boot from the first partition on the storage medium.

It is possible to have multiple root partitions (provided they have the same kernel).

PINN installs a minimal OS which then boots selected OS.


To use a different root partition just edit root=PARTUUID=… entry in cmdline.txt.
You also need to edit /etc/fstab on the new root to mount the correct root.

PARTUUID=…  /               ext4    defaults,noatime  0       1
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  • Thanks, I didn't know that. That means I will have to modify /boot when switching between multiple systems. I updated the question so it only asks for how to add a secondary root partition Commented Jun 22, 2023 at 9:16

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