I have recently acquired an RPi 3 model B. Because I do a lot of traveling I have several questions about the safety and ability of leaving a RPi active while being far away. I am not mainly concerned about leaving it up 24/7 (it is still a concern), my main concern is the use of a USB stick on boot-up. The list below highlights my main concerns:

  1. Is it safe to leave the pi on continually till I get back home? I would have a small fan blowing on the RPi to keep it cool.
  2. Can a USB stick be used on bootup without having to unplug and re-plug it in?
  3. Can I remotely connect to a pi and use its graphical interface or can I only use its terminal?
  4. Will the pi suffer any ill effects by leaving it on 24/7?
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Is the Raspberry Pi suitable for running continuously, 24/7?
    – Jacobm001
    Mar 23, 2016 at 21:14
  • Welcome to Raspberry Pi! It is preferred if you can post separate questions instead of combining your questions into one. That way, it helps the people answering your question and also others hunting for at least one of your questions. Thanks! E.g. 1) and 4) somehow relate to each other but 2) and 3) completely stand on their own. @Jacobm001, well the question would be: makes the use of a Pi-3 it different from that question?
    – Ghanima
    Mar 23, 2016 at 21:18
  • @Ghanima: I'm not sure one could reasonably suspect that the answer would be different between iterations.
    – Jacobm001
    Mar 23, 2016 at 21:20
  • 2) while the Pi cannot boot from USB stick it is perfectly capable to bootup and automatically mount said stick without user intervention.
    – Ghanima
    Mar 23, 2016 at 21:20

2 Answers 2


I run two Pi2s and a Pi3 headlessly (i.e. remotely, with no monitor/keyboard) and they're left on 24/7. The Pi devices are great for this type of use-case as they use a fraction of the energy of a full-size computer.

If you have a Pi3 and you'll be leaving it doing very long CPU-intensive tasks, you'll want to use a heatsink and maybe a fan, but it's only the Pi3 that gets toasty and then only when it's stressed. (I use heatsinks but not fans.)

Do some reading on how to properly set up your Pi for remote access. I would recommend setting up key based authentication for ssh, which enables password-free login from your own - trusted - devices.
Once that's working, either disable password auth for ssh altogether, or set up libpam-google-authenticator as challenge response on top of your regular password. Either option will prevent brute force attacks from being a problem.

  1. You can use xrdp, nomachine nx, or vnc to have a graphical connection, even to a headless R Pi.
  • I don't see how this is an answer to the question(s) posed in the original post. What are you saying here?
    – Bex
    Mar 24, 2016 at 8:38
  • Question 3 was can I connect graphically, or only via terminal. Those three programs allow you to connect graphically. Of course, SSH is the non-graphic alternative.
    – camdv
    Mar 24, 2016 at 15:41

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