volumio Boot USB

Hello everyone,
I’m trying to speed up the startup of my raspberry pi 3 with volumio on SD card (50s) by booting on a USB key.

The USB boot works with a raspbian version.
But impossible to boot on volumio. (Under the same conditions)

Is someone already doing this?


You won’t get any boot speed improvement with USB.
And its currently not possible in Volumio

while not yet supported within std Volumio setup, you can do it if you run Volumio under Berryboot as explained here.
(Note that it comes with some inherent caveats & benefits due to Berryboot setup, as explained there).

Indeed, while you will probably not see performance improvements per say, it could avoid some eventual SD card corruption issues though.

In this case, I will wait until it is natively possible to do the test.

thank you

Volumio is fine tuned to preserve SD Card as much as possible:

  • System is loaded on RAM
  • All temp files are written on RAM (config files etc)
  • Swap is disabled under normal operations

Sure, and it is very reliable, but there could still be some issues.
Maybe one possible improvement (for FAT partition at least) could be to mount /boot only when needed, or mount it RO by default, an remount RW just for rare config writes, etc…
For reference, there’s an old open issue discussing all those matters (more flexible partition location, etc…).

Certainly could. I have to completely reinstall at least once every couple of months no matter what SD card I use. Any power outage and I have a 50/50 chance of corrupted SD card. Really don’t know why they are so against boot from USB, since I went to SSD’s on my other PI’s I’ve not had a single corruption but with Volumio :frowning:

@jpcw untill a supported method is available, you can try this alternate install method.

We are not against USB boot. Only that we need to focus on priorities when developing new functions, and USB is not one of those.
If you’re having corruption issues the FIRST major cause is ALWAYS insufficient power from the power supply. Change it to a better one or with shorter cable.

I would like to add my comments.
A lot has been written/discussed about SD card corruption. I was a bit concerned at first but have now had Vollumio up and in use every day for a month. In our area of France we have had a lot of power supply shutdowns due to flooding and storms over the last week or so. Still no problems with Volumio on SD card. Yesterday, after having read the latest post, I decided to do the best I could to corrupt/destroy my SD card ( after doing a fresh backup and flashing to a spare card ) I connected to the supply via one of those cheap plugin timers - the type that has little pins around the edge of a clock dial. I set it to switch off the supply to my device every 15 mins. or so, then back on again for 15mins. I set this to repeat for about 12 hours. After the test everything is still working perfectly. I realise that I have possibly shortened the life of the SD card but the test proved a point.
If users are having corruption or failure issues then in my opinion they should be looking at other aspects of their build.


I try to set up Volumio installed on an SSD, but until now I cannot start from SSD with an installed Volumio image.

Now, I have read, that until know Volumio do not support booting from SSD, but this post is from 2018. What is the current status? Is it planned to implement this feature?

Thanks a lot.


We’re not clairvoiyants…it might help if you would tell us which machine you having problems with…
PI, Tinkerboard, perhaps not an arm platform but an x86 (which oneJ??

Good Morning,
you’re right. You’re not a clairvoiyant. But I thought it was clear, because this thread started 2018 with someone who had a problem to setup a raspberry pi 3 and boot from usb. That’s exactly my problem. I flashed the current Volumio image to an SSD, but it doesn’t boot. A current Raspberry Images works fine. So it seems that Volumio still doesn’t support booting from USB, right?

the initial answer from Michelangelo is still correct, Volumio cannot boot from usb with a Raspberry PI, so not anything other than an SD card.
Raspbian is a different OS, whereas Volumio is based on Debian (jessie at the moment.

thanks for you reply.

And the reason behind this is? Still lack of resources?
I truly would love to have a possibility to run Volumio from an USB attached SSD. Mainly for the fact, that currently, I do have huge IO-Wait, caused by r/w actions to the SD card. Due to the fact, that reading/writing to an SSD goes way more efficient than to/from an SD card, I would see this as a huge improvement, certainly at startup. Right now, it takes me about 15 minutes to have the volumio web-interface up, due to the fact that I have such an extensive filebase. It would certainly help a lot when things would run from SSD. So, please, let us know, what we can do, so we can help you here?

Did anything change on this subject?

I use Volumio with Nanosound ONE case with M.2 SSD expansion board,
it would be great to have Volumio installed on the M.2 drive.
Will it be ever possible?

Looking at Volumio’s response, it’ s not an easy fix to have it boot from USB. As actually from OS point it’s handled by bootcode.bin file in the boot folder. But I expect this has been tailored (looking at the size) for the best experience with Volumio.

So at this point I could possibly only use the M.2 drive a storage for my music library.

tested it ( rpi 4 /4g Debian, 3.xx volumio,dac dragonfly )
on a usb stick but volumio is right you gain nothing this was done on a
sandisk extreme pro 3.1 read (max.) 420MB/s / write (max.) 380MB/s
some nice friend rebuild it for testing and yes it worked, you could boot from usb
gaining no speed only few seconds in boot time for the rest it was slower or simulair as a sd version.