i just bought a Raspberry Pi together with a PI-Cam, planning to use it as a custom surveillance camera setup (as described here).

Unfortunately I found out that I need a 4Gig SD card in order to install Rasbian which kind of surprised me. After all, there are quite allot of Linux distributions that fit on a CD-rom. And usually additional packages are needed for specific uses any way. I have many small SD cards lying around while the larger ones are all in use.

It got me wondering if there were no pre-configured images available that would instantly turn the PI into an IP camera (after setting up some network settings, preferably via a web-interface). I guess that such an image would become popular!

Since the PI would not need to write to the card, I guess we could call it a ROM (and we could use the latch to lock the SD-card).

After doing some searching it seems like no one is actually making ready-to-go images or ROM's for any application at all. Am I missing something?

  • 2
    Apart from that I like your idea having a ROM, the Raspberry Pi ignores the lock latch on SD-Cards (this gets processed by software only).
    – LuWi
    Jun 28, 2014 at 14:06
  • @LuWi You're right, never realized that it wasn't a hardware feature. I thought it could provide some minimal protection against hacking (after setting up the IP settings), but after all it's not that much use. Jun 28, 2014 at 14:26
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    @LouisSomers - even then the Pi probably wouldn't boot properly as it needs to read and write to the disk. You can use PiCore (based on Tinycore linux), but it might lack quite a few features.
    – Wilf
    Jun 28, 2014 at 16:48
  • @Wilf - Thanks, I gave it a shot but got stuck quite quickly (sudo apt-get : command not found, nano not found) and also /etc/network/interfaces seems to be missing. Guess I'll have to get an extra 4Gig card after the weekend. Jun 28, 2014 at 21:01
  • There seems to be a minimal version of Raspbian here that you could use - as for installing stuff in TinyCore Linux, see here and here. Other distros for the Pi are listed here.
    – Wilf
    Jun 28, 2014 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


To get a more or less stable RPi installation you'll need a larger SD card, 4GB is a bare minimum and 16GB is about right. The reason for this is the Raspbian constantly writing to SD card (logs etc.) and the more empty space you have, the better level wearing algorithms could perform.

You may check this for details about making your SD card "read-only".

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