A simple question, I hope:
I have one Pi and I'm thinking about getting a second one, and would like to do as much preparation as I can before the second one arrives.
If I use berryboot on a Raspberry Pi to install an OS to a USB hard drive, and then move that USB hard drive to a second Raspberry Pi, will berryboot be able to detect the already-installed image so that I can select it without initiating a new install?


TL;DR: you'd have to move the original BerryBoot SD card with it, but it should work.

From the way I read the documentation, it doesn't appear that BerryBoot can auto-detect what OSes are installed on a hard drive. In that sense, you wouldn't be able to install BerryBoot on a new card and get it to autodetect an already-installed image.

However. If you used the BerryBoot card that you originally installed the OS with in the new Pi, then yes, it's almost guaranteed to work! All Pis of a given model have the same hardware, more or less.

If you wanted to swap the HDD back and forth between Pis, you'd either have to keep swapping the one BerryBoot card OR clone the card using something like dd.

  • I guess I could clone the original card, but I've got a whole other OS there that doesn't need to be on the new pi. Maybe I'll suggest this as a feature request for the berryboot devs. Alternatively, I could just install my new OS on the hard drive, configure-as-desired, back up all the changed files.. then install on the second pi from scratch and restore the backed-up files. Clunky and probably wouldn't save any time, but feasible. – Josh May 21 '13 at 22:59
  • 1
    you could also clone just the BerryBoot partition onto a new card – nc4pk May 21 '13 at 23:00
  • Yeah, or I could just buy the new sdcard in advance. There are solutions. I was just hoping I could do it the laziest way :) – Josh May 21 '13 at 23:01

I don't know, if this is still of your interest.

I have a pi with Raspbian installed on an external HD. Just got a PI2 and didn't want to make a complete new install. So I did the following.

  • Backup everything to a PC with rsync
  • used rsync to copy SD-Card to a new Micro-SD
  • download the newest berryboot ZIP for PI2
  • extracted the content and copied with overwrite everything to the Micro-SD
  • started the PI2 and skipped every Option (choosing Cancel or X)
  • ended up in berryboot with blank OS-List
  • opened cmdline.txt and added datadev=sda1 qmap=de (you may change this to your needs)
  • restarted the PI and - voila - it shows up my Raspbian on SDA1 and also boots into it

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