Aug 30

Raspberry PI: using read-only root partition

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Two years ago I wrote an article discussing how to set up OpenWRT filesystem configuration for controlling writes in the flash card: Raspberry PI and OpenWRT flash partition proposal and rescue boot support for embedded systems.

This current article is mainly for referencing a very good article about how to work with Raspbian with a read-only filesystem and share a fast and dirty cookbook about how to play with that. First of all the reference to: Protect your Raspberry PI SD card, use Read-Only filesystem.

My cookbook about how to get the essence of that article is simple, locate in your /etc/fstab file the line:

/dev/mmcblk0p2  /               ext4    defaults,noatime  0       1

and modify that line with:

/dev/mmcblk0p2  /               ext4    defaults,noatime,ro  0       1

After rebooting your system is going to work in read-only mode. I don’t remember if I modified anything else of the booting process but I don’t thing so.
Because sometimes I have to modify anything in the flash card, I added the next two lines in the ~/.bashrc file:

alias rw='sudo mount -o remount,rw / ; sudo mount -o remount,rw /boot'
alias ro='sudo mount -o remount,ro / ; sudo mount -o remount,ro /boot'

Now just with the command rw it’s really easy to get the root filesystem in the write mode, and when I finish my updates just typing ro it’s go back to read-only mode.

I hope it’s useful for you.