Creating Pi boot SD card... from Linux?


I tried using my relatively new Ubuntu system to format an SD card for a Raspberry Pi B+ and to extract the NOOBS files into it. I must have set up the partitions badly because the Pi didn’t even attempt to boot from it. The only workaround was to (shudder) create the card using SDFormatter on my Windows 7 machine.

Personally, I dislike having to depend on a Windows machine for such a task. Does anyone have any guidance on what the Pi expects to find when booting from a NOOBS card? For the record, the NOOBS file was downloaded just last week from the Raspberry Pi downloads page, and the SD card in question is a 64GB Class 10 Lexar card. I haven’t tried the same operations on Ubuntu with a 32GB card (yet).


You need to format the entire card as FAT32 I believe, this should be possible from Linux- we’re doing it with Raspbian on Pi’s to make our Pi 2 SD cards!

FAT16/EXT etc will not work.


Oddly enough, there’s always a very small partition (at the beginning?) in the megabytes range that is left unformatted. It may not even be a partition. (I’m at work and stuff is at home, so I can’t verify any of this at the moment.)

I did notice that SDFormatter on Windows formatted the 64GB card as “exfat” which Ubuntu did not like at all. (I was trying to use Ubuntu to get its opinion on what SDFormatter had generated.)


In case anyone comes across this old question, I think the answer may be to follow the instructions at:

I haven’t tried it, but it is the link recommended for formatting with Linux by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, on the NOOBS page at: