OK so I have no 'real' computers in my place at the moment, other than the Nexus 5 I'm typing on, and an iPad mini 2. I have a Raspberry Pi 2 up and running, and I'd like to use it to create another SD card for my RPi 3. Is this possible using a USB card reader and CLi?


1 Answer 1


I wouldn't advise cloning a live system, but if you have enough space on the SD that you're running the Pi on, you could put the OS image on it, and expand it onto the new (USB connected) SD card, using the official install instructions.

It may take quite a while, but it does work.

Essentially, you'd put the new image file onto your existing Pi's SD card, plug in your USB SD card reader, figure out what the new drive is called, and:

sudo dd if=/path/to/image.img of=/dev/usb_sd bs=4M

Just be very careful you have the drives the right way around... the OS won't warn you if you try to overwrite your main SD card.

  • 1
    Hi Steve, thanks for the reply. I've made plenty of these SD cards in Mac OS Terminal, so heaven knows why I didn't just think of using the Linux instructions on the Raspbian website! I think I was overcomplicating things in my head! Thanks again.
    – user54325
    Sep 30, 2016 at 21:21

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