info-beamer

Pi 4 USB Boot hosted

Hiya! I’m trying to install hosted on a new Pi 4 2GB. I booted to a raspbian SD and enabled USB boot in raspi-config then flashed the hosted image to a USB drive. When booting with just the USB, I get the error ‘USB MSD timed out after 20 seconds’ and ‘Failed to open device: sdcard’

Is there any support for USB boot? Am I just doing something wrong?
I caaan use sd but I often find USB far more reliable :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance!

USB booting is not supported. You can only boot the OS from an SD card (or from the internal eMMC on Compute Modules).

info-beamer OS has a ton of optimizations to make it as reliable as possible on SD cards:

  • Key is to minimize reads, optimize to handle sudden power loss and try to automatically fix issues that still pop up. The custom OS works differently from normal Raspberry OS based operating systems: The complete operating system is always read-only and on the first FAT partition in a compressed squashfs. This partition is never touched, so it’s highly unlikely to wear out.

  • System updates write into a second partition and the partition order is flipped to make it active, so even if power is lost during updates, you don’t end up with a partially updated or corrupted OS. Update frequency is low enough and should have minimal effect on the SD lifetime. All of that is to ensure that the core of the OS always boots up. At that point it will try to mount the data partition - after all you need to write transient data (like images/video/etc) somewhere. If that fails for any reason, the OS can completely wipe and reformat the data partition and set it up again. All that happens automatically.

  • Finally, as all data on the data partition can always restored by retrieving it online (or using a peer-to-peer mechanism from neighbouring Pis) again, persisting the data immediately after every write operation isn’t required. As such many writes can be skipped completely or delayed if they are the result from using temporary files for example.

TL;DR: No need for USB. SD cards (unless you use really bad ones, but that the same with USB disks) work fine.

Thanks for the speedy response! Those seem like some neat optimisations - SD it is :slight_smile:

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