FlightAware Discussions

Moving PiAware FS to USB key?


Hi all!

I read that USB keys/their controllers tend to have better wear leveling mechanisms (or something along those lines) making them last much longer than microSD cards in a Pi. There is a tutorial explaining how to move a Raspberry’s file system to a USB drive (it still boots from an SD card, but most write operations will happen on the USB stick), but I think it is written for Raspbian: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=44177. Does anyone know if this will work for PiAware as well?



I am not convinced of the idea of too much wear of microSD card, unless you have purchased a low quality card from a non-reputable manufacturer. Below is my experience which supports my opinion.

I have been using microSD cards in my 2 Pi (RPi & OPi) continously since beginning of 2015 to now (i.e. 3.5 years) without any of the two cards failing. I use 8GB, Class 10 microSDS cards, one from Kingston, other from Adata.

In addition to above two “regular-use” cards, I have couple of microSD cards which I use for trials of x64_x86 distros on my Laptop. I insert these cards in a USB card reader, burn an image on it, and boot the Laptop/Desktop directly from microSD card. These “distro-trials” microSD cards are from same two manufacturers, all class 10, some 8GB, some 16 GB, and one 32 GB. Although these “distro-trials” microSD card are not in regular use, but have undergone rigor of innumerable re-imaging and also a large numbers of full formatting (i.e. writing all zeros).

None of my “regular use in Pi” micro SD cards have failed in these 3.5 years.

Out of the several “testing” microSD cards, only one has failed after extensive numbers of formatting and re-writes.


yes. I have tried it with success (raspbian, debian and berryboot images) on my 3B.

or directly without SD card in the slot, as shown here

at the end reads

Note that if the USB boot bit is set, you do not need to insert
an SD card into the Raspberry Pi for USB boot to work


I think permanently writing and rewriting is what kills them, like extensive logging or writing into a database to store data.


Fascinating, but I am running a Pi 2 and it says: “USB boot is available on the Raspberry Pi 3 models only.”


Okay. As my card does not really store critical data it might be easiest to create an image to spare me the re-install process in case it does fail at some point.


Easy and reasonable solution.