So I installed Raspbian and OSMC on my pi and I like using both, but is there a way to skip the 8 second boot menu? I ssh into raspbian often which can require rebooting, so it adds an extra 8 seconds to the wait time when I reboot.

Is there a way to choose which starts the boot and then maybe open the other OS's from the first?

Or more likely, a way to open the boot menu only if a keyboard key is held down during startup?


Put the SD card in another machine: You should see the RECOVERY partition. Create the text file: autoboot.txt at the root level of this partition.

Note: Be careful in Windows that if you create a textfile, you can just call it autoboot because it will already be a .txt file. I accidently tried to use autoboot.txt.txt and it took me a minute to realize the issue.

Put a single line in the text file:


Note, from my source, you may instead need to use the line



Thanks to rockaddicted@github

Note, finally, that this also removes the Rainbow image that NOOBS puts as the very initial spash screen.

  • So 5 or 6 are the numbers of the the first 2 installed OSs? – andykais Apr 10 '16 at 9:01
  • Yeah, how does one discover the partition numbers? – Marc Dec 20 '16 at 9:56
  • See these Noobs explanations – Max Coplan Oct 16 '19 at 19:34

Instructions for doing it on a pi:

  • run lxterminal
  • run sudo fdisk -l
  • determine the partition that contains the boot loader for the OS:
    • probably you'll have multiple W95 FAT Type ones; the NOOBS recovery partition is quite big (couple of Gb), and it is this partition you will write an autoboot.txt file to.
    • inside the autoboot.txt file you will cite which partition to boot - the partition you want to boot from is a smaller W95 FAT one
  • look at the (numbers in the) first column, for example:
    • mmcblk0p1 1.8G W95FAT - this is partition 1, the NOOBS partition you need to mount
    • mmcblk0p6 69M W95FAT - this is partition 6 which might, for example, be the partition you want to boot directly
  • mount the NOOBS partition: mkdir /media/noobs followed by sudo mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /media/noobs
  • cd to the mounted noobs parition: cd /media/noobs
  • create a text file called autoboot.txt: sudo nano autoboot.txt
  • inside nano, write: boot_partition=6
    • the 6 comes from mmcblk0p6 from the fsdisk output, 6 being the smaller W95 partition. Your number may vary
  • write the file: Ctrl+o, Ctrl+x
  • exit the partition: cd ..
  • unmount the partition: sudo umount /media/noobs

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