I want to develop a software that will be sell with a RPi 2 or 3. And I want users to use the product as long as they could with a desktop computer (average of 5 years). The RPi will run a small synchronous application using constantly his serial port to get the weight from a weighting indicator connected to a scale. The app will run 7/7 days, 8 hours approximatively but not all the time. It is not a service. Each time the user will want to get the weight, he will click on a button in the browser in his desktop and that will launch the application in the RPi for approximately 1 to 5 minutes (genereally after this time, the user close the web that get the weight from the RPi and that will also stop the application running in the RPi).

Does the RPi 2 or 3 is reliable enough? What are the tricks to do if no or what do you recommend? I'm asking this because I saw over the web they were problems like death of SD card.

  • 1
    You should make the SD card read-only. SD cards die when you write to them, not when you read.
    – GuySoft
    Dec 28, 2016 at 14:34
  • Never heard about that. If true this can really increase its life to 5 years ? Dec 28, 2016 at 14:41
  • 1
    Old but related: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/q/325/19949
    – Ghanima
    Dec 28, 2016 at 15:38
  • As the Pi has not been available for 5 years yet this seems like an unanswerable question. Dec 28, 2016 at 17:53
  • Over 5 years for example. Please pay attention to the title of the question. If you found the question unanswerable just, don't do. Dec 30, 2016 at 6:52

1 Answer 1


Maybe worth a read:


Of course, no one is going to put the "1 million years" to a test, but with a decent quality SD card, unless you are writing a high volume to it constantly, there's no reason you can't run one in a Pi 24/7 for 2-5 years. I've gotten into the bottom end of that range before I switched one out because it had a problem e2fsck couldn't solve -- I still think the card may well be fine if I reformatted it from scratch, but I do not see the point in bothering since it only cost $5-10 to replace.

The key point in getting an SD card that will last longer is more size.

As in, more than you need. If the total volume of information on the card is going to be ~6-8 GB, use a 16 GB card. If you are worried the user will then just fill it up, format it so there is only an 8 GB partition. If you are using a new, decent quality, name brand SD card, it will have some degree of wear leveling as described in the first link above.

Of further interest about that: https://electronics.stackexchange.com/q/27619/52138 (I would read at least the top two answers there, which provide a range of information...the second one is probably good for actual hints about brands, e.g., Sandisk seems to come out as a wise choice for a reason.)

This means despite the fact that you've only allocated 8 GB of space, the entire volume of the card will be in use; things that are frequently changed will be moved around, and there will be more places to move them to, meaning the same places get re-used less, meaning the card will last longer.

So, literally, one might expect a 16 GB card containing the same volume as an 8 GB card to last twice as long.

However, if you are someone who is selling other people a product and you wish to be responsible, create something of quality, etc., you should also have a simple system allowing your users to back up to a USB stick or something, and then restore to a new SD card from that. If you are not that kind of person then who cares how long the card lasts, hopefully you can make your money now and not have to care about where things are at in 6, 18, 36 months, etc.

  • I really appreciate your answer because I plan to sell abroad.So I plan to use Sandisk SD card 10 level,** 16GB formatted to use 8GB , ** develop a back up solution or because I'm not sure I will store anything on that SD card, I could just provide a web protected link allowing my clients to download the disk image (embedding the presinstall app) anytime they face a problem needing to reinstall the RPi. Thanks again. Dec 28, 2016 at 16:17

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