RPi 3 USB boot w/ OpenHabian image

I’d like to run OpenHabian w/ persistence and lots of data logging off of a Raspberry Pi 3. It seems to make sense to use the USB boot mode rather than run off SD card.

I should be able to just take the OpenHabian image and use etcher to write it to a USB drive, right?

I’m having issue with the USB boot though. It seems the USB boot support is hit and miss. Those who are using a similar setup, what USB drive device are you using? I’d like to get the exact same thing as you.

If using USB drive, which drive?
If using USB-SATA adapter + SSD, which adapter are you using? Should any SATA SSD/HDD work in this situation?

Are any of you still using a microSD card to boot into the USB mass storage drive? If so, how did you setup the microSD card?


This might help


I tried several USB sticks for testing before buying that USB SSD and they all worked fine.

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i tried to boot openhabian directly from an USB stick, which is not working.

No flashing green light an nothing on the screen.

i tried the same hardware with dietpi an it works fine…

So this is a feature wish. Make openhabian directly bootable from USB

Hi i managed to get my openhabian to boot from usb and every thing works fine i used this guide

The usb drive i used was from WD Labs pi drive 64gb as i had one not being used a little bit expensive but seemed to work for me.

Hi everybody,

just wanted to communicate my experience with booting from USB attached SSD.

  • Purchased a SanDisk SSD Plus 2.5" 120GB
  • Purchased a Sabrent EC-UASP SATA to USB 3.0 Tool-Free External Hard Drive Enclosure
  • Followed the instructions to change RPi 3 to enable booting from USB (without SD card installed)
  • Installed latest Openhabian using Etcher onto SSD (using iMAC)
  • Tried to boot RPi 3 => no success
  • Played around for days to figure out why, read tons of messages…
  • Purchased another Enclosure for SSD: Inland IL2561-U2 (USB2 compatible)
  • Again used Etcher to put Openhabian onto SSD (using new Enclosure now)
    => Success, my RPi 3 is now in the process of booting and installing Openhabian (no SD card installed, only USB SSD connected).

So in summary, my winning combination was:

  • RPi 3
  • Inland IL2561-U2 enclosure
  • SanDisk SSD Plus 2.5" 120GB

I assume that the Sabrent enclosure with its USB3 interface might have been the problem

Hope this will help somebody out there!

Continuing the discussion from RPi 3 USB boot w/ OpenHabian image:


I’m all new to OpenHAB and Rpi, and I also would like to boot my Rpi 3B+ from my 30GB USB stick without SD.
I found out that Raspbian is able to do that, but since I have no experience in OpenHAB and Linux, I would have no idea what I’m doing :smiley:
So since I would like to use the “hassle-free installer” of OpenHABian, and I also had a try of the option “move to USB” in OpenHABian config, I found the stuff in the picture attached. My question is: Is it possible to tick that option [BOOT] marked with red square somehow?
(Also tried:

  • dd in VMware Ubuntu with gparted [SD is just 16GB, had to expand for USB],
  • writing OpenHABian image with Etcher to USB [install fails]
    both without any success.)

Thanks in advance.

For those with later Pi’s (3b+) the OTPbit is already set. Just flash the openhabian image directly to your SSD. Boot the pi and expand the partition.

I have only a USB flashdrive with 30GB, it is not a SSD. But direct flash and install from that doesn’t succeed… install exits every time with some failure between a few minutes-2hours period.

Connect uart so u can get a shell prompt and read the error.