Tutorial: instructions for installation on SSD (openHAB 3.2 on PI/bullseye)

edit: as per force by mstorm I had to remove some parts otherwise the post gets removed

If you read the release notes of OH3.2, you see that you can only move on to the new version of Raspberry OS (“bullseye”) when you do a clean install from scratch.
Many users probably are asking themselves why not installing it on an SSD right away?
As always there are pros and cons as to wether to install the OS and openHAB on an SSD.
This thread is NOT about convincing or motivating you to move to SSD installation nor is it about discussing pros&cons of SSD operations.
You already made up your mind and want to switch to SSD or simply want to test it?
That’s what this thread is about: a simple cook book, just a small help, no politics…
However, keep in mind that SSD installations are not supported by the creators of openhabian. So when you have problems you are dependent on the help from other members here.

I have been running SSD as a boot device incl. root partition for a year now with absolutely NO problems at all. Recently I did a complete reinstall of OH 3.2 (bullseye) and wanted to share my experience.

The whole installation procedure is of course as always. SSD gets automatically resized to its maximum size but you should consider setting the boot order correctly (SSD, then SD).


  • as always: backup! sudo /usr/share/openhab/runtime/bin/backup and copy the file to your PC
  • copy bindings from your $openHAB-addons directory to your PC
  • download image and install Etcher on your PC


  • run Etcher and flash SSD (fairly easy)
  • follow the instructions how to finish installation as can be seen on the website
  • zram is NOT required

If you are done, detach SSD from your PC, attach it to your Pi and switch it on to start installation process.
Don’t care about partition size: Your SSD gets automatically resized to its maximum capacity by a Raspberry OS script.


  • optional: Change boot order
    Your EEPROM is configured by default to boot from SSD if NO SD-CARD is inserted! If you want to change that (especially if you have a bootable backup SD card in your slot :wink: ) then we need to change the boot order:
    • you could do it yourself (untested: sudo -E rpi-eeprom-config --edit and add BOOT_ORDER=0xf14) or you install raspi-config and let this tool do the work
    • sudo apt install raspi-config
    • sudo nano .bash_profile make a comment in front of the line dealing with raspi-config
    • sudo raspi-config
      here you can change the boot order (menu 6 → A6)
      Note: If you get an error message, force the system to update itself by changing the bootloader version (menu 6 → A7) to latest and then back to default without rebooting, and then retry changing the boot order.
  • Remember to copy your manually installed bindings to $openHAB-addons
  • optional: increase HEAP MEMORY:
    • stop openHAB service
    • sudo nano /etc/default/openhab
      replace it with this line: EXTRA_JAVA_OPTS="-Xms512m -Xmx800m"

Frankly I really disenjoyed reading this.
People to follow your advice will likely run into problems, maybe not right away but for sure mid-term on future occasions such as OS or OH upgrades and future openHABian code changes.
Despite of your disclaimers, many if not most of those problems will then be attributed to openHABian and WE, the openHABian maintainers, will have to invest and waste time of OURS (not yours) to support people because of this post.
And be it just the need to scan posts up to point where we can identify a poster uses an SSD.

Now given I spent a lot of time explaining to you in person why we do not support SSDs in openHABian and that we want to prevent right that from happening, I’m really deeply and personally disappointed having to read you are now coming up with exactly this.

This is really not helpful to our community as a whole and harmful to any developer’s motivation, and you are giving particularly us, openHABian maintainers, a really hard time with that queer move.

May I therefore ask you to remove this post, please.
You are free to replace it with some cookbook that works without openHABian.

To all users:
Running openHABian on Raspi off SSD is untested, not supported and not recommended.
If you think about SSD because you are looking for a means to mitigate the SD card corruption problem, use ZRAM and check out SD mirroring.
That’s tested and supported features that are available on any non-SSD openHABian setup.
They in effect provide superior availability compared to a move to SSD.
If you nonetheless keep wanting to run off SSD, at least please do not use the openHABian image. Get the default Raspi OS instead and manually install from there on.
Thank you.

cc @ndye


This is not true, I did NOT give any advice as can be read in my intro:

Yes, we had a discussion about SSD, where you expressed your concerns regarding support which I absolutely understand (however, I do not agree with the technical part of your post).

And I personally do disagree, that you “have to … waste time of [y]ours”. Why? Nobody is forcing you.

Again, this post is not about pros and cons of SSD. As said, it is only for those users who already made their decision to move on to an SSD to provide some assistance.

EDIT: link corrected

I don’t like the tone of where this is going.

I have run a rpi3 on a msata drive for ages. It was my production for ages now its just 0h2 to test things I helping people with. I never posted a tutorial

@Oliver2 You want to sit on the bleeding edge of technology and I use to as well. Now I more into set and forget. When you decide to decrease your level of support in the future Markus will be the one to pickup the slack.

I suggest you look at the openHABian code and you will quickly see why Markus takes it personally. I would like to see you start doing pull requests for changes to openHABian that you can contribute to the reliability openHABian. You will learn a lot about working as a team in a project where nobody is paid and no one is the boss.

@mstormi Now you got a post that you can link SSD related question to. Whenever anyone states “no politics” I get the popcorn out. With openHABian my journey into home automation has been a lot more rewarding and had decreased the barrier of entry for beginners significantly.


I think I can speak for everybody here who uses openHABian, that we are all really thankful for markus’ and ethan’s work. No doubt about it.
In the thread markus mentioned above I clearly stated this, too, a few days ago

Unfortunately all posts go into the wrong direction because of taking something “personal” (why?) or not reading what I have written or what my intention is.

So @Oliver2 will you be removing this as requested, please.

Or do I have to take action ?

Wow. I can‘t believe what I am reading. So there is no open speech here on the forum? Are we at that point that posts are being censored?

Markus, I think you are not aware that a few / many (choose the one that is comfortable for you) members here are regarding your attitude and the way you are acting here in the forum as „arrogant“, offensive, and probably in other similiar ways.
I think you should start thinking about your behaviour. It might be ok for you but it is NOT for the other members here.

as a good will I removed the name openhabian from my post.

Oliver, could you maybe make a reference in your first post to the reply of Markus starting from “to all users”? Make it clear that it’s not recommended for openhabian.

I don’t see a reason to remove the post as it contains interesting technical information and a good overview from Markus why not to do it for openhabian.

@mstormi , I use the docker openhab and my volumes are stored on an SSD. Is this also a not recommended setup? I always thought SSD was better then SD for stability so I never thought about doing research specific for openhab.

Just for the record:

I asked to either remove OR EDIT the post so it is obvious to readers that it does not apply to or is otherwise related to openHABian.

I asked kindly and even explained in length why it is giving users and myself a hard time.
I even provided @Oliver2 with the opportunity to do it himself but there was no reaction in 7 days.
That’s where your ‘free speech’ has long ended, Oliver. That wasn’t ‘goodwill’ of yours but overdue.
Just in case anyone is not aware: as moderator I could have edited or ‘censored’ it myself right away if I had wanted to.

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It does not give users a hard time. I personally appreciate this kind of documentation. Please do NOT remove. If you have personal issues with each other sort it out elsewhere please. I think the pro’s and con’s are well documented and users can decide what they want to do.

I am running openHAB from a HD-Drive (externally powered) that is connected via USB and it runs very well and stable. I used openHABian to move it and I appreciate the functionality openHABian provides.

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Please speak for yourself only.
It (SSD migration) did already create problems for some users and foreseeably will do for more, on next or next-but-one update of openHABian, as I explained in the linked thread on SSD migration.
I don’t mind if you want to ignore my recommendation and do it like this, if you want to take the hard route you are free to (note I didn’t ask to remove the technical information so you can still read it).

What I want to avoid however, and that’s what this thread is about, is that any user attributes the problems to come to openHABian.
And many will if they follow this tutorial in its original openHABian based form, hence my reply.

My 2 cents:
I wasn’t aware that openHABian was not supposed to be used from an SSD.
I have been using it for years without any problem.
Honestly speaking considering the low reliability of the SD cards, the possibiilty to use an SSD should be a high priority for the developers.

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Honestly speaking (as the developer you address):
People to “know” should contribute their share rather than tell volunteers what should be their priorities.

Wow. You are taking it personally, but I didn’t meant to.
Mine was just a general consideration.

So was mine. (Speaking for possibly any OH developer.)