I updated the system with latest jetpack for TX2 last night and found that the external drive cannot be updated or upgraded even it is a boot/root drive. The update procedure flashed the eMMC all over again. All my installed programs were gone. As a result, the eMMC became the boot drive again.
Is this happened to all Jetson products?
How do I update the system without using sdkmanager?
Yes. I followed the above link to make a sata drive as boot drive. I am not sure if it works this time or not because the system has been updated. It works for L4T 28.1 but it probably doesn’t works for L4T 32.7.4.
Can I clone/copy the contents from eMMC to an external drive with “dd” command?
since you just need rootfs to be on your SSD, whereas other bootloader stuff will still reside in eMMC, you may format your SSD into one single partition, and make sure you only copy the partition itself instead of the entire eMMC.
Then modify /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf on both devices so root now points to the SSD. Like, root=/dev/sda1, for example.
Another option, if you can keep the disk unmounted (or read-only), is to use a repartitioning tool which understands the filesystem. An example is “gparted”. You could make a clone, and then use “gparted” to resize the partition.
I resized the partition with gparted and modified the extlinux.conf to assign the sata drive as boot drive but it doesn’t work. Fortunately, the system could still bootup from eMMC. Last time, it could not startup without the sata drive after modifying the extlinux.conf.