We developed a system, we are delivering it with raspberry PI to client. Our system is like admin panel, so Raspberry pi will work as Local server.

For Our code security, we want to remove all USB ports from raspberry PI 3/2, and remove HDMI port as well. Raspberry pi gives us a facility to remove SD card, so how can we consolidate it with raspberry PI ?

In nutshell:

1. How to remove/Block HDMI ?

2. How to remove/Block all USB ports ?

3. How to consolidate SD card in Raspberry PI so that no one can unplug it ?

System Configuration: Os: Ubuntu Mate 16 SDcard: 32 GB SDHC PI Version: PI-2 and Pi-3

If anyone could help me with this, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Air-gapping the Raspberry Pi 3
    – goobering
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 12:43
  • 2
    Try desoldering one...I think I've read people here saying they broke the HDMI loose and the rest still works. The USB may be more iffy but I'm sure someone has at least tried if you search around. If you are developing a product for a client, the most you have to lose testing that is one pi. WRT to gluing, epoxy is non-conductive, easier to use, and probably more durable than superglue.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 12:59
  • 2
    Be cautious about the properties of epoxy for sealing electronics. It heats while curing, then shrinks as it cools. This shrinkage can pull components off boards! Make sure you use something with low shrinkage, or apply a layer of silicone first to provide some cushioning between the epoxy and the components. In very warm climates, particularly where electronics are involved, epoxy can de-cure if its usage temperature exceeds its original curing temperature, leading to (at best) some sticky messes.
    – goobering
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 13:14
  • 2
    See: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/31884/…
    – goobering
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 13:26
  • 3
    Aside from the encapsulation issue, be aware that the Raspberry Pi 2 & 3's ethernet port is driven from the LAN9514 USB controller. If you disable USB in software, the ethernet port will also likely disappear.
    – scruss
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 13:42

1 Answer 1


To the best of my knowledge it's absolutely fine to (carefully) de-solder the HDMI and USB sockets from the Pi. Several people have documented this procedure, including the exceedingly well respected Adafruit, and similar questions have come up on this board in the past.

Per scruss's comment above it may also be possible to disable the USB controller in software, but doing so might disable your ethernet controller. If you do this after removing your physical sockets you will no longer be able to provide any inputs to the Pi (no USB WiFi, no ethernet, no keyboard, etc.) so be careful. Plan out the steps required beforehand and make sure you've always left yourself a way to issue commands.

A common solution to the removable media issue is to use epoxy to either seal up a socket, glue something into a socket (USB stick, SD card, etc.), or encapsulate an entire board (also known as potting). This works well and is widely used in industry. If you plan on trying this yourself, be aware that epoxy is generally a two part formula which, when mixed, causes an exothermic reaction. It gets hot. If your ambient temperature is already high this additional heat can push your components over their tolerance limits. Further to this, the maximum temperature reached during curing is the epoxy's 'set' point. If the epoxy cures fully and then is reheated beyond the curing temperature it will de-solidify until it's cooled again. Test everything very carefully before trying to sell it to anyone.

Finally, epoxy shrinks and hardens as it cures. The force exerted by the epoxy on the components can be enough to pull them off their traces. As, at that point, they're under a layer of nigh-on-invincible plasticky stuff, that results in a dead board. It may be practical to apply and cure a layer of (non-conductive, non-corrosive) silicone before applying the epoxy, as the silicone isn't quite so grabby.

There are many formulations of epoxy which have been developed specifically to have low-shrinkage, low conductivity, and lower viscosity to allow them to flow more easily into small spaces on PCBs. Make sure to read up thoroughly on the properties of whatever you choose.

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