Running Freedombox HSK from SSD

Problem Description
Since the Olimex Lime2 of the HSK has a SATA-port, and SD cards tend to break, and are rather slow, I was woundering, if I would install and boot the Freedombox image to a SSD.

  • Has anyone done this,
  • is there any documentation I didn’t see
  • what could possibly go wrong?

Expected Results
I hope it would run even more reliable, and maybe even faster.


  • FreedomBox version: 20.7
  • Hardware: Freedombox HSK (OLIMEX Lime2)
  • How did you install FreedomBox?: Installed the stable branch from

I believe, having your main root file system on SSD/HDD is possible.


First there is a u-boot boot loader install in the SD card before and outside the first partition (boot partition). This is started by the firmware. After that u-boot will search for a u-boot script in /boot. This script is then has the commands for locating and running the kernel, initrd and a device tree file.

Possible approaches:

  1. Just remove the SD card and have the extract contexts imaged to SSD/HDD and remove SD card. If the firmware has the ability to boot SATA disk, then everything should work as is. I doubt this will work.
  2. Another approach is same as above but keep the SD card but without the ‘boot’ and ‘root’ partitions. I believe the u-boot will search for boot parition in SD card (wont find it) and then use the boot partition on SATA disk (which I believe it is able to access).
  3. Simplest approach is to simply move the ‘root’ partition into SSD. The boot partition and u-boot boot loader will stay on the SD card.

Each approaches require understanding the the u-boot boot process and may require a change to u-boot boot script. Checkout and Olimex forums for further information.

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