I am distributing multiple Raspberry Pi OS images, all images are almost identical, the only difference is that there is one file /usr/MyFolder/MyFile.txt which content is different for different images. So far the steps I take for each image are following:

  1. Load Raspberry Pi with micro SD that has image on it.
  2. Edit /usr/MyFolder/MyFile.txt
  3. Shut down Raspberry
  4. Using a card reader, read an image from micro SD card on Windows PC

I want to simplify this process and just edit these files directly from Windows PC. So basically what I want to do is to access this micro SD card from my Windows PC and edit the file /usr/MyFolder/MyFile.txt. I know there are some software for Windows that allows you to view Raspberry files, but I haven't heard of one that allows you to edit them as well. Is this possible and if yes how?


4 Answers 4


If you want to modify only one configuration file from MS Windows there is a very simple way. Default Raspbian has two partitions: one boot partition formated as fat and the root partition with all files for the operating system formated as ext4. MS Windows can only access the fat partition but you can easily symlink to a file on the fat partition from ext4. So just run the master image one time and do:

rpi ~$ sudo mv /usr/MyFolder/MyFile.txt /boot/
rpi ~$ sudo ln -s /boot/MyFile.txt /usr/MyFolder/MyFile.txt

The unix operating system (here Raspbian) will access the link /usr/MyFolder/MyFile.txt as usual file. Now you can simply clone the master image as often as you like and just modify MyFile.txt in the fat partition with your MS Windows PC.

  • Nice, this is what I call a creative solution! Do you know if there is a way to link the other way around from FAT to Ext4 partition. From what I know FAT does not support symlink, but maybe there is another creative solution?:) Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 14:41
  • @MykhailoSeniutovych No, I have no idea for the limited Microsoft Windows operating system and fat ;-) I know that ntfs can use hard links but it's bad supported by MS Win.
    – Ingo
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 18:26

I think @Dougie's comment is a good approach. I don't know that there are any open source or 'free' Windows programs that will write to Raspbian's ext4 filesystem. A quick Google search (you did try that, didn't you?) has at least one link to a commercial product that claims to support writing to an ext4 file system from Windows, the "Partition Guru" NOTE: This is not a product endorsement as I have not used the product, nor do I have any affiliation with the publisher.


You've got a USB reader. Get a second SDCard for your Raspberry, build Raspbian on that second card. Boot that in your Raspberry. Mount the first SDCard in the USB reader, mount the USB reader in your small board Linux computer (which can perfectly read/write/update (or otherwise destroy) any SDCard that it sees as a /dev/mmcblk0 or /dev/sdX device.

Using Linux to update Linux things is an order of magnitude easier than trying to get Windows to understand what it sees as alien filesystems.


if you need to adjust just a single setup record from Microsoft Windows there is a basic way. Default Raspbian has two parcels: one boot segment formatted as fat and the root segment with all documents for the working framework formatted as ext4. MS Windows can just access the fat parcel however you can without much of a stretch symlink to a document on the fat segment from ext4.

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