Capable of booting off USB or M.2 in the future?

Just ordered myself an RP4B - can’t wait to test it.

Question - will it ever be capable of booting of the M.2? Or is not able to do it - period - being hardware locked to uSD or eMMC?

quote from the FAQs.

Currently Android is running on eMMC and microSD card only. Running on USB3 or NVMe SSD is a little bit trouble some since the CPU can not load USB/NVME directly to boot. So we must put an external bootloader in SPI flash or eMMC or microSD card to loader the image in USB 3 or NVMe SSD. ROCK Pi 4 has reserved SPI flash on board but currently not mounted by default shipping. We are still considering it since if the program in SPI flash is corrupted, it will be trouble some for user since the SPI flash is not removable. We will work on Android running on USB 3 or NVMe SSD.

Same for Linux

Ok, thanks - so basically they don’t have the SPI image that enables it completed yet.

So - I will research how to use eMMC to bootstrap an OS on the M.2 until it’s working.

I am very interested in this. Please keep up updated on your research.


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We want to do some testing of our own kernel. It would be nice if U-Boot could at least boot from Ethernet. Is anything like that planned?

Ethernet is not activated until kernel wuth device tree is here, it’s not x86 systems

Ethernet and PXE booting is tested on mainline u-boot, on current Rockchip u-boot 2017, it’s broken. We are moving to the mainline u-boot now. There are some features we want to port to mainline u-boot. We also implemented the NVMe driver on the mainline u-boot now. It works now booting NVMe from u-boot, which is not yet implemented on any other rk3399 boards.

If you can wait, please wait for our update, or you can build the mainline u-boot now, with the rk3399-evb config and dtb, it works on rock pi 4.


Any update on this? I’m about to get my m.2 this week along with a Rock Pi 4b with 4 GB RAM.

Would love to jump right onto the M.2 device instead of using a USB since that was really the main point of this purchase.
Thank you

Hi, djremixed

I am sorry that you can not directly boot from NVMe yet. You need bootloader in uSD card or eMMC. The rest(kernel/rootfs etc) can be put on the NVME.

Hi jack,

What model of SPI chip should be used on RockPI4 board? I am willing to solder it down and experiment.

Hi, Zoran

The footprint is SOP8, and the voltage level is 3.3V, the size should be larger than 4MB(32Mbit). Most Windbond or GB can work, example model is W25Q64FV(8MB).

Hey @jack, is there any update on when we can boot off the NVME?