Linux howto (how to burn image to SD card in linux)

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  petrockblog 2 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #84411


    Hello all

    This project made my soul sing, having grown up it all these wonderful devices I could not help but trying it out, but I have hit a snag.

    Using Debian (7.7), how do I best go about burning the image to my 16Gb SD card, I have downloaded the RetroPieImage_ver2.3.img and tried the following :

    Searched the forums for “linux burn howto” “dd command” “unetbootin howto” and more without finding what I’m after.

    Tried DD’ing the image to my SD card like this :

    dd if=<source> of=<target> bs=<byte size>

    source :

    target :

    dd if=/home/martinsson/Downloads/RetroPieImage_ver2.3.img of=/dev/sdb1

    And it worked – but the raspberry does not boot up.

    I also tried unetbootin (in vine) which also worked, but with the same result, no boot up.

    When looking at the SD card in the thunar file manager i see all the right files for a linux distro (have seen alot of them).

    I have tried formating the SD card to both EXT2 and EXT3 in Gparted before burning the image using the diffrent methods above, no luck though.

    I can’t rule out hardware failure on the RP, or insuficient powersupply (have tried alot of different methods though, TV’s USB, cellphone charger etc.)

    Further thoughts are the DD command, i left out the bs=<byte size> part of it, maybe that’s it.

    Any suggestions from you linux users out there would be great.

    Thanks for a cool project and making it available to us!



    the image contains partitions and should be written to the main sdcard block device device, not a partition of said device. so if you device is /dev/sdb it should be written to that not /dev/sdb1

    sdb1 would have been partition 1 of an existing partition table on the sdcard.

    However I recommend to avoid accidents you use dd if=image of=/dev/disk/by-id/YOURUSBDEVICE (so you don’t overwrite a system disk or something)

    for example on my system cards in my sdcard reader will show up as

    (with existing partitions having -part1 and -part2 appended)



    Major facepalm 🙂 I don’t know what’s wrong with me, honestly, this was slightly embarrasing…

    root@debian-workstation:/home/martinsson# dd if=/home/martinsson/Downloads/RetroPieImage_ver2.3.img of=/dev/sdb
    6758400+0 records in
    6758400+0 records out
    3460300800 bytes (3.5 GB) copied, 1126.67 s, 3.1 MB/s

    Worked like a charm ! Huge thanks for pointing out my blunder buzz !

    Now for setting up my wireles keyboard as a controller and adding some rom’s, this might mean I’ll be back here demonstrating even more blunders 🙂



    Glad you got it sorted 🙂

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