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Can I use a SD card from another Raspberry Pi (say a Raspberry Pi 2) on another raspberry pi model (say a Raspberry Pi Zero)?

Note I am NOT referring to the same model! I am referring to DIFFERENT models.

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    Possible duplicate of Disk Migration between same model rPI – Milliways Feb 15 '16 at 23:34
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    The question is not a duplicate of the Disk Migration question and asks something quite valid IMHO. – d3noob Feb 16 '16 at 4:03
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  • @d3noob Maybe the question is not an exact duplicate, but the answers are the same and address the issue of different models and the issues to consider. – Milliways Feb 17 '16 at 8:43
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    @Milliways, I think you have a valid point, that the answers are the same, but I still maintain that to the uninitiated (and I count myself among them), the questions are different and I had to test it and prove it to myself before being convinced. And more excitedly the comment left by ppumpkin was a great addition to my knowledge and hopefully the original questioner. I think we can both be right on this? – d3noob Feb 17 '16 at 8:51
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I didn't know the answer to the question and while it seemed obvious that there should be no reason why the SD cards couldn't be swapped from one type of Raspberry Pi to another different type, there was the slightest hesitation in my mind with regard to the difference between the two versions of processor used (ARM1176JZF-S in the Zero, Model A, A+, B and B+ vs quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 in the Raspberry Pi 2).

So I loaded an SD card with a recent vanilla version of Jessie and tested it on a Model 2. I then transferred the SD card to a Model A+. Both worked without any indication of trouble (pinging from a wireless USB dongle).

Of course there would be differences if there were extra peripherals plugged into USB ports of the Model 2 that the A+ didn't have, but all things considered it appears to work.

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    Nice, an answer that is factual and tested :) The reason it works is because the kernel contains drivers for the entire range of Pi's. The OS doesn't care what processor or GPU there is, it just cares that the kernel knows how to talk to it. The problem arises when you specifically use or write software for the Pi 2 and then try and run it on a Pi 1. Similar to desktop computers. You can upgrade or downgrade the processor, sometimes even get away with an entire motherboard replacement, and it will still boot (albeit Windows doesnt like that much, mainly because they dont want ppl to do it) – Piotr Kula Feb 16 '16 at 21:41
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[Currently this answer is obsolete.]

It is "no" if some specific features (especially boot-time ones) are enabled. E.g. https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/another-new-raspbian-release/ -- for example in that release there is a Pi 2 only openGL driver that can be enabled via raspi-config but:

... be warned that if you enable it on a Pi 2 and then move that SD card into a Pi 1 or Pi Zero, the Pi will not boot.)

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    I did the initial boot on my Pi 2 and then moved it to my Pi Zero, and it works fine. I've moved between B 1s and B 2s many times, and it always works fine, with both Jessie and Raspbian. Please cite your sources for where you found this information. – Patrick Cook Feb 17 '16 at 0:41
  • From the link in the post, it reminded if experimental OpenGL driver is enabled, it won't be boot on Pi1 and Pi Zero. – koyeung Feb 17 '16 at 4:14
  • ah, that makes sense. You should add that to your answer, because if the OpenGL driven isn't enabled, switching cards between models is fine. – Patrick Cook Feb 17 '16 at 4:15

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