Debian NVME boot

Hello all,
have ordered the board.
What I have read up to now vis-a-vis NVME booting does not inspire me with confidence.
Using an sd card for anything other that backing up text files or similiar is fair enough, but booting, sorry no. We do not live in the middle ages.
When I used the Raspberry PI, I got rid of that option (sd card) quickly.

Ideas/suggestions anyone?



Hey Aubrey

AFAIK NVME booting is not possible till the firmware gets that functionality. This seems to be planned but not yet implemented. I image it will get implemented eventually.

I ordered mine from Waveshare and when it arrives i plan to boot like this:

  • Burn image onto SD card.

  • Change the fstab and grub config to only have the /boot device on the SD.

Rest of the system will be mounted from the kernel when it boots from the NVME.

This should be a fairly standard Debian install with a separate /boot partition. Or better described, you move the rest and keep /boot and MBR where it is within the SDCard image.

This way only the MBR and the grub+kernel is on the sd. All else is read and written in the fast NVME. Kernel gets loaded into RAM so no speed issue there.

If i have that setup i will make a dd copy of the ssd so i can clone it and make another one when this SD should break (eventually).

AFAIK this should be fairly easy. A special Rsync as root and some editing in fstab should be enough with the grub setting that the root partition is now on a different place.

That beeing said, as i dont own the device yet i cant even tell for sure that it uses grub as bootloader could be as well systemd boot or lilo or any other custom made bootloader just for the VF2.

Thanks for the reply.
However, this being 2023 already, I am not prepared to take a journey back to the dark ages and boot from an SD card.
What you describe is what we went through when the Raspberry PI 4 got its first NVME boot firmware about 2-3 years ago.
The people who supply the board should get the finger out and suppy a working firmware/Debian image that supports this.



Hey Aubrey
Well if your ordered recently like me i think i will get my board at the earliest February or March of this year. A lot can happen till then maybe the firmware catches up till then.

That being said you order a development board, stuff like this is excepted. At least i expect it when i did my research and ordered it. Just give it time or use a more polished product like the Pi.

You have a point, still I like things to work in an efficient manner.*
Up to now, what I have seen of the documentation, does not enthrall me either…
Let us wait and see.



  • This is not bleeding-edge stuff either, people have this (NVME boot) running on different architectures/hardware already.

I get what you mean but the booting from different partitions is standard in the Linux wold for ages. So the technical solution to this problem is normalized to that degree that it is routinely done. For me this is no issue as i will have full NVME speed and i have only a slight inconvenience with the dd backup of the SD.

Well we will have to agree to disagree.
I prefer all of my stuff (/) on my personal machine on an NVME from the start.



Alright. But know that is is considered bad practice not at least to have a seperate /home :slight_smile:

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Not on my own (private) box.