Now when you flash the new Jessie image (released 2016-05-10) on the SD card and boot the first time, it auto expands the file system on the whole SD card. I want to stop that script. Reason i want this is because when backing-up the image from the SD card it consumes 16 GB of my disk space and i want to save that space. I am using a 16 GB SD card.

  • How do you backup the card?
    – Milliways
    May 23, 2016 at 6:15
  • Hit the read option in Win32DiskImager and it creates a backup image of the SDcard May 23, 2016 at 6:26
  • 2
    I can't say I am familiar with Win32DiskImager, but if it is like other imagers the resultant image will be the size of the device imaged - in this case the size of the SD Card. This is independent of the size of the partitions. If you search this site you will find hundreds of similar questions, although most of the "solutions" are geared to Unix/Linux.
    – Milliways
    May 23, 2016 at 7:48
  • I also see this auto expansion as potentially making it harder to produce copies of a standard working setup for distribution (in the past I used 'trucate' to chop the image off just above the unexpanded size, even though 'dd' had made an image of the whole SD card including the empty part). Does jessie lite not do the expansion?
    – paddyg
    May 26, 2016 at 17:47

3 Answers 3


Looks like this is going to be part of the newest updates; Desktop & Lite versions:


When flashing a new Raspbian image, the file system will automatically be expanded to use all the space on the card when it is first booted.

On Ubuntu you can edit the image to stop auto file system expansion.

Here is an example using 2016-05-10-raspbian-jessie-lite.img.

Try this:

fdisk -lu ./2016-05-10-raspbian-jessie-lite.img

You'll get this information:

Device Boot                             Start     End     Blocks    Id  System

2016-05-10-raspbian-jessie-lite.img1    8192      137215  64512     c   W95 FAT32 (LBA)

2016-05-10-raspbian-jessie-lite.img2  137216     2707455  1285120   83  Linux

So for the boot section your offset is (Start*512) = 8192 * 512 = 4194304

For the Raspbian filesystem your offset is (Start*512) = 137216 * 512 = 70254592

mkdir boot
sudo mount -t vfat -o loop,offset=4194304 2016-05-10-raspbian-jessie-lite.img boot

If you want to view/edit the Raspbian Filesystem. Not needed though.

mkdir test
sudo mount -t ext4 -o loop,offset=70254592 2016-05-10-raspbian-jessie-lite.img test

Then you need to modify the ./boot/cmdline.txt file.

sudo gedit ./boot/cmdline.txt


dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=serial0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline fsck.repair=yes rootwait quiet init=/usr/lib/raspi-config/init_resize.sh


dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=serial0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline fsck.repair=yes rootwait quiet

sudo umount ./boot

If you mounted the Raspbian filesystem:

sudo umount ./test

Now flash the new image to your SD card.

  • 2016-05-10-raspbian-jessie-lite.img

It won't automatically expand after booting up on your Pi.

Or you can flash the original image onto your SD card.

Before you plug it into your Raspberry Pi.

Edit the file: /boot/cmdline.txt

Remove the following text: init=/usr/lib/raspi-config/init_resize.sh

  • That's what I was looking for, thanks for sharing! Jul 22, 2016 at 11:16

"Remove the following text: init=/usr/lib/raspi-config/init_resize.sh. This no longer works with the Stretch release (there is no init parameter to remove)".

Remove /etc/init.d/resize2fs_once.

  • The init parameter still exists in Raspbian Stretch. Removing both the init parameter and the resize2fs_once file are necessary.
    – Scott
    May 17, 2018 at 3:34
  • 2018-11-13-raspbian-stretch-lite definitly has the call to init_resize.sh in boot/cmdline.txt until you boot the first time. The script removes itself from cmdline.txt
    – Andy
    Jan 7, 2019 at 15:28
  • Ubuntu Server 20.04 arm64 does not have neither init_resize.sh nor resize2fs_once. And it still performs the autoexpand. Any idea on how it does so?
    – MestreLion
    Nov 21, 2021 at 16:24
  • Ok, got it: for cloud-init distros such as Ubuntu, the resize setting is at /etc/cloud/cloud.cfg in the 2nd partition (labeled "writeable"). See this answer for details
    – MestreLion
    Nov 22, 2021 at 0:39

This no longer works with the Stretch release (there is no init parameter to remove).

The pishrink.sh (download script from github) script accepts a -s flag that will prevent expansion at the next reboot. You need a Linux machine or a virtual machine to run the script. The script works by rewriting /etc/rc.local to either expand the filesystem (default) or leave it as is (if the -s flag is given).

On a Windows 10 laptop, you can use win32diskimager to get the image from your SD card, and I used a Lubuntu image from osboxes.org to run under VirtualBox.

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