How to boot Pi 400 from USB SSD only

Can I install Manjaro Xfce or Mate onto a Crucial SSD to boot without the microSD card being present?
If so, is there a procedure somewhere…
Or is it as simple as using balenaEtcher (or equiv) direct to the SSD without using the microSD card first.

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You dont need a SD card. The Pi supports USB boot.

Yes but you need the eeprom flashed with the right firmware first for it to boot. So if it does not boot you need to do that. I have no clue what version of firmware it is flashed with from the factory.

I heard today that the Rpi 400 should ship with the updated eeprom already flashed, so you should be able to just plugin a USB and boot from it without SD card.

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@Strit is right. I used balenaEtcher (on Windows 10) to flash my 500G SSD.
Very straight foward. balenaEtcher warned about size of SSD.
Rufus didn’t allow the SSD to be selected.
Booted from USD and Manjaro started its install choices and resized /dev/sda2 to 435G.
Alas, though, the WiFi is not working and I can’t see in journalctl -b the chip even being detected.
WiFi works on Ubuntu 20.10 which I can boot separately from the microSD card.

No doubt this will be fixed in due course.
If there is anything I can check please do say.

Very happy with performance on Xfce. 918.5MiB used with FF running.

Until we can redo some packages do this I posted in another thread.


I made on Raspberry Pi4 a dd from SDcard to USB SSD, should be an image. But it doesn’t boot.

Has the right version of firmware been flashed to the pi4’s eeprom?

[ray@pi4 ~]$ sudo rpi-eeprom-update 
BCM2711 detected
VL805 firmware in bootloader EEPROM
BOOTLOADER: up-to-date
CURRENT: Thu Sep  3 12:11:43 PM UTC 2020 (1599135103)
 LATEST: Thu Sep  3 12:11:43 PM UTC 2020 (1599135103)
 FW DIR: /lib/firmware/raspberrypi/bootloader/stable
VL805: up-to-date
CURRENT: 000138a1
 LATEST: 000138a1

actually, stable is Jan/16.

This depends on which package you have installed. I choose not to go with the git version. I instead go with their “Latest Release”. I will wait for them to consider it is stable enough to move what is in git to the “Release Status”.

We have been down this road before.

in PiOS regular update,
rpi-eeprom_11.6 tag stable(1/16).
and rpi-eeprom_11.7 tag beta(2/16).

The last time I installed the git version it was buggy then tried to downgrade it and would not let me. I eventually had to reflash the eeprom with a bootable recovery image on a sdcard. I just do not like messing with an eeprom putting unstable things in git on it. They make changes that breaks other things and then have to come back and fix what what they broke.

I provide the git version in the repo and if you want to install it it is up to you. I will not test it first either due to my last experience with it.

btw, I fresh eeprom in PiOS.