Jetson Nano Flash on USB Drive

Dear Nvidia jetson team.

I am interested to buy a Jetson nano product (not yet set on 4/2 gb one). Before buying the product though, I’v decided to dig a little bit on the installation part.

  • Please correct me if I am wrong as I am a newbie on this flashing and booting stuffs.

→ The issue, I see that it only supports an easy integration through an SD card, which is, you know, slow, and provides more bottlenecks even more when you use it as a swap memory.

A [My though as the solution] Hence, I am trying to figure out a way to flash it on an Arcanite USB drive which has up to 10x read-write speed than the SD card one. Good thing is that NVIDIA does provide a way to flash it through a USB, however, I encounter several confusing things.

Regarding the A issue:

  • I see that in the before you begin section, it mentioned some folders which I cannot find the content of. Could you pinpoint me on those folder contents?
  • For the Flashing to a USB Drive’s step 6, I am completely confused with the wording there. Do I need to plug an SD card in a combination with a USB drive, or do we just create this folder in the USB drive?
  • In case that things are not working as expected, could I revert back to do the installation with an SD card instead?

Thanks for your help, appreciate all the work you guys did,



  1. Actually, the real tool that can fully support jetson platform is sdkmanager. Which will download the driver package “Linux_for_Tegra” on your x86 host. Those contents are in this driver package.
    NVIDIA SDK Manager | NVIDIA Developer

Why I say “fully support” is because we only launch sdcard image on Nano and NX sdcard module. Other platforms need sdkmanager to flash. Even nano/nx “production module” require sdkmanager. We don’t provide sdcard image for that module.

  1. The step 6 requires the driver package as I said in (1). And there is no method to totally boot from external storage. What we are doing is moving the rootfs /kernel to the USB drive.

Please note that jetson NX/NANO have 2 kinds of module. The one that can use sdcard image is not for production but more like for evaluation or taking an experience. Another one which uses emmc as internal storage is for production/customization.

Hi @WayneWWW,

Got it now, thanks a lot for the explanation.