Using the Raspberry Pi is a lot of fun. With so many projects, a $50 computer will last several months. But installing the Raspberry Pi can take a long time.
If you don’t connect a keyboard for Wi-Fi setup, it’s hard to find the right display configuration. Or some other installation option that shouldn’t take that long to figure out.
But in many cases, you can make these changes quickly and easily. Here’s how to set up your Raspberry Pi in /boot/ before you even boot it up.
What is a Raspberry Pi boot partition?
During this process, the map is divided into two or more sections. One of them has an operating system formatted with the EXT4 file system.
The other is always named «boot» and is called /boot/. It contains a lot of boot data, configurations and other options and is formatted with the FAT file system. Note that the /boot/ partition is required for every Raspberry Pi distribution.
Aside from the fact that you can use /boot/ to tweak your Raspberry Pi’s hardware settings, it’s notable in a different way. The /boot/ partition can be accessed on any computer using a card reader. This is different from the main OS, which can almost always only be read on a Linux machine.
So you can access /boot/ on Windows, macOS, Linux, whatever. Importantly, you can also navigate to it from the installed operating system on your Raspberry Pi.
So the /boot/ partition is useful. But what can you do about it? Insert your Raspberry Pi’s SD card into your PC, open /boot/, then read on to find out.
1. Name your Raspberry Pi Distro
Running multiple projects on your Raspberry Pi can get a little confusing. For example, I keep a spreadsheet so I know what each Pi is doing. I also note what hardware is connected, like a camera or touch screen, and in which case the Pi.
But you can only have one Pi with multiple microSD cards to easily switch between projects. However, even then, you may find it difficult to remember what is on each card.
Just create a text file under /boot/ with a useful name like «security cam.txt» or «print server.txt». You can add more detailed information about the project to the body of the file.
This allows you to quickly identify the SD card without downloading.
2. Tweak Config.txt for better hardware compatibility
While the Raspberry Pi does not have a system BIOS per se, it does have a config.txt file located in /boot/.
This is the home of settings for the Raspberry Pi, with options for just about anything you can imagine. The file contains a list of settings in the «property=value» format (without quotes), one per line. Note the absence of spaces. Comments can be added using the # symbol to start a line.
Each section of the config.txt file is clearly marked, with commented lines explaining what each option does. Although this file should only be edited with care, there is enough information to prevent you from making changes with serious consequences.
The kind of settings you make here will depend on your hardware settings. For example, you can enable the camera module on boot:
Meanwhile, if you find it difficult to get an image through HDMI, please use
This option combines various HDMI settings to create a common, comprehensive fix that should get HDMI working.
Another notable config.txt setting rotates the display using display_rotate. For example, rotate 90 degrees with