Booting from usb HDD

I would like to boot OSMC from a usb hdd (boot loader on sd, file system on hdd). I’m new to Linux but I reckon I can do what’s needed for this (loud cheers). My question is this: will OSMC updates be able to handle the fact that the FS is on a hdd? Alternatively, is there some noob way to achieve this - assuming Berryboot is off the cards?

Using the installer from the download page gives you the option to select so this is configured for you. After imaging with this selection, simply boot the pi with the sdcard and USB drive connected and everything is installed to USB for you.

Thanks for the fast reply. Good new about the installer. It would be great if you could answer a couple of follow-ups. Will the hdd get wiped during the install? Does the entire hdd have to be formatted as ext4 or can it just be a partition - I need to be able to use the drive on a Mac as well? Assuming all that is possible, will OSMC be able to handle the fact that 2 hdd will be connected to the Pi?
Thanks again for taking the time to reply during what must be a really busy time for you guys.

It will wipe and use the whole hard drive. I think you’ll find that a spinning hard drive will be noticeably slower than a sd card install on a decent sd card. There is really no reason to boot from a hard drive or usb thumb drive any more as the corruption problem was fixed long ago. Of course there is still the possibility of corruption due to improper shutdown or crash but it’s just as likely to happen to a usb drive as to the sd card, There is nothing better than a regular backup routine.

I would just use the external drive for media files.

Sounds like good advice guys. Thanks to all who replied. The reason I was asking was because I was giving Openelec a go while waiting for TVheadend to be functional on OSMC. It corrupted 2 sd cards on reboot. Used to be an over-clocking problem I believe, but seems to have problems with Rpi2. I just got latest OSMC (I know it’s not official, but it appeared after a manual update). AppStore button is not working yet so I can’t get TVheadend from there and Debian Jessie doesn’t have it. Waiting nearly patiently😉 keep up the great work.

Using the Linux installer I don’t see an option to boot from USB. Are there instructions for enabling this manually?

Are you sure you have the latest OSMC installer downloaded from our website ? The option for a USB install has been there for a long time…

I followed the link at Download - OSMC to get instructions for Ubuntu

sudo sh -c “echo ‘deb /’ >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/osmc-installer.list”
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install osmc-installer

And then ran osmcinstaller

Under Install Options I see an option to Install on a USB Stick. Is that what I should select even though I am configuring the SD Card?

I was expecting something similar to the RaspBMC installer where there is a device selection where I would select the SD card but then have a separate checkbox to select Install Raspbmc to a USB drive.

Given that I have installed on the SD card is there an easy way to enable running on the USB drive?

My primary motivation is I have what appears to be a flaky SD Card so I’d like to see if running from USB will alleviate my need to reinstall on a somewhat monthly basis.


This will function in exactly the same way.

If you are asking if you can move your current install to a USB install, then my answer would be, not easily. But if your motivation is due to a flaky sdcard, then it would be likely that you would just be moving a corrupt install to USB, probably not helpful…