How to adjust Raspberry Pi via boot partition

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If you don’t plug in a keyboard to set up WiFi, you’ll struggle to find the right display configuration. Or some other very normal setup options. But in many cases, you can make these changes easily and quickly. Here’s how to adjust the Raspberry Pi in / boot / before booting.

What is the boot partition in Raspberry Pi?

When setting up the Raspberry Pi, an operating system needs to be installed. An operating system installed on the Raspberry Pi by writing it to an SD card

In this process, the card is divided into two or more partitions. One of these partitions contains the operating system, formatted with the EXT4 file system.

The other is called “boot” and is related to / boot /. This partition has a range of data, configurations, and other boot options, formatted with the FAT file system. The / boot / partition is required for every Raspberry Pi distribution.

You can actually use / boot / to adjust Raspberry Pi hardware settings, which is noticeable in another way. Can access the / boot / partition on any computer with a card reader. This is in contrast to the main operating system, which is almost only readable on Linux computers.

You can access / boot / in Windows, macOS, Linux or any other operating system. It is important that you can also browse it from the operating system installed on the Raspberry Pi.

So the / boot / partition is very useful. But what can you do with it? Insert SD card of Raspberry Pi into PC, open / boot /

Adjust the Raspberry Pi via the boot partition

Label the Raspberry Pi distribution

Running multiple projects on a Raspberry Pi can be a bit tricky. For example, you maintain a spreadsheet to know what each Pi is doing. Also note what hardware is connected, such as the camera or touch screen, and in which case the Pi is located.

But you can only have one Pi, with lots of microSD cards to easily switch between projects. Even then, you may find it difficult to recall what is on each card.

Simply create a text file in the / boot / partition with a useful name, such as “security cam.txt” or “print server.txt”. You can add project details to the body of the file. This allows you to quickly identify an SD card without booting.

Fine-tune Config.txt for better hardware compatibility

Raspberry Pi doesn’t have a system BIOS, but it has a config.txt file, found in / boot /.

This is the home to tweaks for the Raspberry Pi, with options for almost anything you can imagine. The file has a list of settings using the “property = value” format, one per line. Note the problem of lack of space. Comments can be added with the # character to start a line.

Each part of the config.txt file is clearly marked, with comment lines explaining what each setting does. Although this file should be edited carefully, there is enough information to prevent you from making changes that have serious consequences.

The series of tweaks performed here will depend on the hardware setup. For example, you might want to turn on the camera module when booting:

start_x=1

To get images via HDMI, use:

hdmi_safe=1

This combination of different HDMI settings creates a comprehensive, comprehensive fix that forces HDMI to work.

Another notable tweak to config.txt is rotating the screen, using display_rotate. For example, rotate 90 degrees with the command:

display_rotate=1

Rotate 180 degrees

display_rotate = 2

Config.txt is the most important hardware configuration feature on the Raspberry Pi. Although raspi-config cannot be ignored, config.txt has a bigger impact, allowing configuration before booting.

Create a blank file to enable SSH

Using SSH to remotely access the Raspberry Pi saves a lot of time. You want to update the operating system, but cannot connect the Pi to the TV. Raspberry Pi and SSH remote access are the fastest way to do this.

Later versions of Raspberry Pi based on Debian have disabled SSH by default. This is a security measure that may inconvenience the user.

Solution. Just create a special file in / boot / to enable SSH.

Open the / boot / partition on the computer and create a new file. Label it ssh and delete the file extension. Keeping a ssh flag file on your PC is valuable. This way, all you need to do is drag and drop the file onto the / boot / partition every time you install the Raspberry Pi OS.

This file acts as a flag when Pi starts, instructing the operating system to enable SSH.

You will be prompted to change the default user password "pi" when you first log in.

Save WiFi authentication information in wpa_supplicant.conf

Set up the Raspberry Pi into the wireless network. Plugging directly into the router can save you time, but you don’t have enough ports or the Pi is too far away.

To solve this problem, we need to log into Pi’s desktop environment. Setting up with the mouse and keyboard does not take too much time. You can set it up in the command line, by editing the wpa_supplicant.conf file, but you can also edit this file before Pi boot.

In the / boot / partition, create a new wpa_supplicant.conf file. Open it in your PC’s text editor (for example, Notepad on Windows or Notepad ++ if you like). Copy and paste the following lines:

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
 
 update_config=1
 
 country=US
 
 network={
 
 ssid="SSID"
 
 psk="PASSWORD"
 
 key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
 
 }

First, change the country accordingly (for example, GB for the United Kingdom).

Accordingly, set the SSID and PASSWORD fields to match those in the wireless network. Save the file, then close it and launch Pi. The device will soon connect to WiFi. Visit the router’s administration page to view the IP address for the Pi.

You can then access the Raspberry Pi remotely via SSH. As with SSH, keeping a copy of the wpa_supplicant.conf file on your PC for quick setup is valuable.

Fix errors with / boot / partition

Raspberry Pi 4 4GB has an error. Specifically, this error is related to USB port detection in Ubuntu.

This error prevents ports from being detected in the 4GB version of Pi 4, but there is a workaround. Until the official fix is released, you can adjust the amount of RAM available for the operating system.

Open / boot / firmware and find the file usercfg.txt. Launch this file in a text editor and add:

total_mem=3072
  • This changes the available RAM from 4GB to 3GB.
  • Save and close the file, then boot up the Raspberry Pi 4. The USB ports will now work.

Copy data from PC to Raspberry Pi

Quickly copy data from PC to Raspberry Pi, using / boot / partition. Just copy the data to a new directory and it will be accessible when you boot the Pi.

Note that the size of the / boot / partition is limited.

This method is only suitable for small files, such as MP3s or photos, instead of video files. It is not an ideal solution

With so many options to configure Raspberry Pi in / boot / partition, you will save your time.

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