Exchanging the micro SD card is a very nice feature. Thus it's possible to experiment with different OSes, different projects etc. I really don't want to miss that.

However, I experience the problem that the number of SD cards is increasing and it becomes harder and harder to figure out what the SD card is currently used for.

I am trying to work around this issue by buying cards from different manufacturers, so they optically look different. They also come with a micro SD to SD card adapter, so I write the OS and the project on a small piece of paper and put that paper into the enclosure of the adapter. That still does not solve the issue, because sometimes the paper gets lost and it's till possible to mix up the micro SD cards if you accidentally use two of the same manufacturer at one time (because the micro SD card itself is still not labelled).

SD card labelled OSMC

This might not sound like a typical Raspberry question, but I only have this problem since I have the Raspberry Pi (actually 3 of them). The number of micro SD cards is at 15 for the moment.

So, how do I best label micro-SD cards?


6 Answers 6


I label each card by putting a file in the boot sector e.g. touch /boot/SD9. In addition I write the number on the card with either a black texta or a white paint marker, depending on colour.

I also have a spreadsheet which I update with distribution, kernel and date.


Instead of using paper have you thought about a label maker or cutting up a postal/return address label that you can stick directly to the card? They are too small to make a full label but you could number them and keep a log that matches number to what is installed on the card.

They also make card wallets and holders or you can 3D print an SD card holder that will help organize your cards.

Another thing you can do is add a file that describes the contents to the boot partition of the card. By adding it to the boot partition it will be visible to your PC. You can even make it an empty file and use the filename to describe the disk contents.


I'm with you on having multiple cards to run and experiment with different operating systems. Since many Linux distros have an official logo/color (Ubuntu is orange, Arch is Blue etc.) I just mark the card with the specified color.

If there are multiple operating systems with similar colors then get creative. I colored my Kali SD card completely black (minus the contact points obviously).

If you can't write on the card then I suggest cutting tiny pieces of paper and taping them to the card. Get a fine tipped pen and write whatever you want, or mark the paper with a color dot. (I prefer this method because you can tape a new piece of paper if you end up switching to a different OS.)

This way you don't have to rely on piece of paper in the tray. You can just look at the card and instantly know what it currently has loaded on it.


I've tried labeling them with tiny, usually two-line labels printed with a Brother P-Touch series label printer. But I actually was stumbling upon this posting because I was looking for another solution.

Such labels printed are small enough to fit onto a microSD card and thin enough to work with most (normal-size) SD card slots or readers, so that method is fine for older Raspberry Pis.

But those labels already too thick for most microSD card slots, at least for those on the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3. They either shave off when putting the microSD card into the slot, or, if I managed that, they're much harder to get out again, especially with the Raspberry Pi 3 which has no more counter spring inside the slot.

So I wonder: Are the super-thin label tapes for Brother P-Touch printers which do not shave off from microSD cards? Because in general I'm very happy with that way to get my microSD cards organized.


I recommend fine-point metallic markers. Also good for labelling tools.


Found a thread somewhere else where the same topic has been discussed. Someone found thin enough labels and made a Microsoft Word template for printing them in the proper size. You still need scissors to cut the labels into that small size alongside a dotted line printed from the template.

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