Power & Source of Big Ideas

Boot from drive connected to USB?

Moderators: chensy, FATechsupport

Is there a way to boot without SD card? Directly boot via hard drive or flash disk connected to the USB?
Friendlyarm people need to answer the direct question (for Raspberry Pis the answer is that only the new Pi3 is able to boot from USB drive, no other Pi).

I once used "plop" boot manager for USB boot without BIOS support (UHCI, OHCI and EHCI) on an old laptop with dead harddisk (plop was booted from CD):

It is free software and can be compiled, so maybe it can be used with H3 based Neo/M1. If that is possible, then plop would be booted (very quickly since small) from an SD card and continue booting from USB drive you have configured.
I would like to avoid having to use SD card all together. I have few external hard drives laying around.
Booting from hard drive would make sense for small personal media server.
> I would like to avoid having to use SD card all together.
Seems not possible.

All Nanopi H3 OSes use U-boot for booting:

And U-boot does always boot from an SD card (or NAND), not USB:

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