How to Set Up Dual Boot on Your Raspberry Pi


Dual booting your Raspberry Pi can greatly enhance its functionality by allowing you to install and switch between two different operating systems, such as Raspberry Pi OS and Ubuntu, depending on your needs. This can be particularly useful for testing, development, or simply using specific applications that run better on one OS than the other. Here's how to set up a dual-boot system on your Raspberry Pi.

Equipment Needed

  • Raspberry Pi (Pi 3 or newer recommended)
  • MicroSD card (16 GB or larger recommended)
  • MicroSD card reader
  • Imaging software (e.g., Raspberry Pi Imager)
  • Internet connection

Prepare Your SD Card

Before setting up dual boot, you'll need a properly formatted SD card with enough space to hold both operating systems. It's recommended to use a 16 GB or larger SD card.

  1. Format the SD Card: Insert your SD card into the card reader and use an imaging software like Raspberry Pi Imager to format it. Select "Erase" or "Format as FAT32" to ensure the card is clean and ready for use.

Install PINN

PINN (an enhanced version of NOOBS) is a tool that simplifies the process of setting up a dual-boot environment on a Raspberry Pi.

  1. Download PINN:

    • Visit the PINN GitHub page and download the latest version of PINN Lite.
    • Extract the ZIP file to a folder.
  2. Copy PINN to the SD Card:

    • Copy all the files from the extracted PINN folder to the root directory of the formatted SD card.

Install Operating Systems

  1. Insert the SD Card into your Raspberry Pi and connect your Pi to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
  2. Boot your Raspberry Pi: Power on your Pi and select PINN on the boot menu. PINN will initialize and present a list of operating systems that you can install.
  3. Choose the Operating Systems: Select the checkboxes next to the operating systems you wish to install. For a dual boot, you might choose Raspberry Pi OS and another like LibreELEC or Ubuntu.
  4. Install: Click "Install" after selecting your OSes. PINN will download and install them to separate partitions on the SD card.

Configure Dual Boot

After the installation is complete, every time you boot your Raspberry Pi, PINN will display a menu allowing you to choose which operating system to launch. You can set a default OS and a timer for automatic selection if no input is received.

Optimize Your Setup

To make the most out of your dual-boot Raspberry Pi, consider the following:

  • Update Both OSes Regularly: Keeping both systems updated will ensure you have the latest features and security patches.
  • Use Adequate Power Supply: Running multiple operating systems may require more power, especially if you are using newer Raspberry Pi models.


Setting up a dual-boot system on your Raspberry Pi can expand its capabilities and allow you to explore different uses and applications across multiple operating systems. Whether you’re developing software, creating media centers, or just exploring, dual booting offers the flexibility to switch contexts quickly and efficiently.