Different SD cards same board

Hello, we got a jetson xavier nx here currently running of a 16GB SD card. Considering that the jetson is occasionally being used by different people. I want to flash my own SD card for now. Question: is it possible for us to use different SD cards to boot the same board - most likely different versions pn the cards as i am planning to flash it with the latest jetpack. it is currently using:
L4T 32.5.1 [ JetPack 4.5.1 ]
Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS
soi can plug mine whenever i need to use the board and my friends can plug the other card whenever they need to use the board.
What effects could this have on the performance of the board, if any?
Second sub question: if an M.2 ssd is inserted? what extra complications would this give rise to? considerding it still needs the sd card inserted to boot?
Thanks guys.

You might have some partial success. It is important to note that much (or all) of the boot content is actually in the QSPI memory of the Jetson, and not on the SD card. Earlier releases had a certain amount of content in QSPI, plus part of it on SD card. More recent releases have all content for boot in QSPI. A series of older SD cards will work with that older QSPI flash content, and a series of newer SD card releases will work with the newer QSPI content, but you cannot mix older and newer SD and QSPI.

The QSPI is a moving target, but it is a slowly moving target. I don’t know which release transitioned from older style “boot content partly on QSPI” to newer style “all boot content on QSPI”. Can someone suggest which release this is?

I don’t know for certain, but I’m thinking L4T R32.5.1 probably has the newer QSPI “all boot content” layout. This would mean that any of the newer release L4T versions, when placed on a new SD card, would work with that hardware, but some of the older releases would fail unless the Jetson itself is flashed.

I can’t answer the SSD question, but if the SSD is only mounted after boot, and not used as a rootfs, then this would be trivial and a non-issue; if the SSD is being used as a rootfs partition, then it would get complicated.

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thank you linux dev, I get the gist of how it works now. I guess safest is to get a reasonably sized ssd, use it as boot and avoid the sd card continuous swap idea. Do u have any ideas on the largest capacity ssd card size supported by the xavier nx? best to use that as root and have everyone live happily ever after - hopefully xd.

I don’t know the max size of SD, but I can tell you it is rather large in comparison to the eMMC model’s memory. Is this an eMMC model or SD card model? That part is not clear, but some information will change depending on if this is an SD card model versus eMMC model.

In the case of an SD card model, then just flashing the Jetson itself to a recent version would allow a few releases of more recent SD card rootfs to work.

Am planning to use both the SD card and an SSD later on. So ultimately i will move the root to the ssd as well since it will be much larger. the SSD model is something like NVMe PCIe Internal SSD - M.2 2280, 8 Gb/s. In fact it is the size of this ssd that I am asking. Say is a 1TB nvme ssd supported, assuming i move the rootfs to such an ssd?
For reference something like: https://www.amazon.com/Black-500GB-High-Performance-NVMe-PCIe/dp/B07BR9FV1C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1539883702&sr=8-1&keywords=WD+Black+500GB+High-Performance+NVMe+PCIe+M.2+2280+SSD+-+Gen3,+8+Gb/s+-+WDS500G2X0C&dpID=31plnrt2UJL&preST=SY300_QL70&dpSrc=srch&linkCode=sl1&tag=jetsonhacks-20&linkId=e588b172812a8d46339e0a9115df3907&language=en_US.

I also don’t know the max SSD size, but being 64-bit, I have no doubt that the maximum is far far in excess of 1TB (SD cards have different connections and are likely not capable of addressing anywhere close to a full 64 bits). Someone else may be able to answer.

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alright, thanks @linuxdev

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