Shrinking Raspbian OS Image

I’ve been using Raspberry Pi for my projects and have many Raspbian OS image backups. It’s eating up storage space on my PC, so I decided to shrink those images so that I can create more space. I’ve found several sites explain how to do it and writing this post mostly for myself to repeat the process since it’s a little complicated.

If you will follow the steps, please do so at your own risk. Manipulating partition may cause damage to your system.


– Assumptions
– Steps
1. Find out SD card mount points on your PC
2. Create OS image from SD card
3. Shrink root partition
4. Update partition table
5. Trim empty space from the image file
– Summary
– Reference




  • Linux PC (I used Ubuntu 16.04)
  • Micro-SD card reader like this (in case your PC doesn’t have SD card slot)
  • Micro-SD card which contains Raspbian OS you want to shrink


  • GParted (Partition management tool)
    If it’s not installed on your PC, please do so.


1. Find device name of SD card on your PC
1-1. Before insert SD card into your PC, check all the mounted devices by typing:

Output should be like this:

1-2. Then, insert the SD card and check it again.

1-3. Compare the outputs. Since Raspbian has two partitions, there should be two new lines added. In the example above, /dev/sdb1 and /dev/sdb2. Also, the device name of the SD card is /dev/sdb. The last character in a mount point represents the partition number.


2. Create OS image from SD card
2-1. First, unmount the partitions.

2-2. Copy the image from SD card to PC. In the below example, please replace “/dev/sdb” with device name which you found out in above steps, and “raspbian.img” with anything you want for the file name on your PC.

2-3. Change owner of the newly created image file.


3. Shrink root partition
3-1. Raspbian has two partitions, “boot” and “root”. “boot” is very small and it’s not worth to compress. So, let’s find out the start sector of “root” partition by typing:

The output should be like this. Take a note of value of “Start” of the bigger partition. It’s start sector of “root” partition. In example below, it’s “94208”.

3-2. Create a loopback device with the Raspbian image so that GParted can recognize the image as device. Please replace “94208” with the value you got in previous step.

3-3. Launch GParted.

It will open a new window.

3-4. Click “/dev/loop0” and select “Partition” > “Resize/Move”.

3-5. Then, change “New size” of the image.
Note: This step is a little tricky. It seems it requires some margin but I couldn’t figure out how much margin it exactly requires. Seems it differs based on the “Minimum size”. I needed to do trial-and-error till successfully complete resizing.

3-6. Click on “Resize” button.

3-7. Select “Edit” > “Apply All Operations”.
Note : If you get “resize2fs: New size smaller than minimum” error, go back to step 3-4.

3-8. Click on “Save Details”.

3-9. Open saved “gparted_details.htm” file on browser and search a line starts with “resize2fs”. The value followed by “K” is new size for “root” partition. Take a note of this value. In example below, it’s “4934656K”.

3-10. Click on “Close” button and close GParted.

3-11. Remove the loopback device.


4. Update partition table
4-1. Create a new loopback device for the whole image

4-2. Launch fdisk to update partition table.

4-3. Delete 2nd partition (i.e. root partition).
4-3-1. Type “d” and enter.

4-3-2. Type “2” and enter to select 2nd partition.

4-4. Create new 2nd partition.
4-4-1. Type “n” and enter to create new partition.

4-4-2. Type “p” and enter to make it a primary partition.

4-4-3. Type “2” and enter to select partition number.

4-4-4. Enter the start sector of 2nd partition. (See step 3-1)

4-4-5. Type “+” and the new size for 2nd partition (see step 3-9).

4-5. Apply all the changes by typing “w” and enter.

Then you’ll get a warning message like below but you can ignore it.


5. Trim empty space from the image file
5-1. Find out the end sector of the 2nd partition by using fdisk.

The output should be like this:

Note down the end sector value of 2nd partition. (i.e. “9963519”)

5-2. Remove the loopback device.

5-3. Trim the empty space from the image file. Please replace “3688447” in the example below with your end sector value from the previous step.

That’s it. Now the Raspbian image has been shrinked. In the example below, the size is now 1.8 GB. (originally it’s 30 GB)


It’s not very easy but it can definitely reduce the size of the SD card image. If you want more free space on your PC, you can zip the image file.

Here is an example (32 GB SD card) of comparison between before, after, and after + zip.


To write Raspbian image (.img or .zip) to SD card, please see this.


– Shrinking Raspberry Pi SD Card Images

– How to BackUp and Shrink Your Raspberry Pi Image

– Installing operating system images on Linux



Writing Raspbian OS Image to SD Card on Linux

This is how to write Raspbian OS image to SD card by using Linux command line. Since the steps below use “dd” command which may cause damage to your system if used wrongly, please be careful about the usage.


– Assumptions
– Steps
1. Download Raspbian OS Image
2. Find device name of SD card on Linux
3. Write Raspbian OS image to SD card
– Reference



  • Raspberry Pi board
  • Micro SD card
  • Linux PC
  • Micro SD card adapter


1. Download Raspbian OS Image
1-1. Download Raspbian OS zip archive from the official site to your Linux PC.


2. Find device name of SD card on Linux
2-1. Before insert SD card into your PC, check all the mounted devices by typing:

Output should be like this:

2-2. Then, insert the SD card and check it again.

2-3. Compare the outputs. Newly added device is for the SD card. Since the last part (“1”) is the partition number, the device name for whole SD card is /dev/sdb. Take a note of the device name.

2-4. Unmount the SD card partition(s). Type below, replacing /dev/sdb1 with your SD card device name.


3. Write Raspbian OS image to SD card
3-1. Type below to unzip the archive and write it to SD card. Please replace “” with the file name of your OS image archive and “/dev/sdb” with your SD card device (see step 2-3).

In case you are writing .img file, type below:



– RPi Easy SD Card Setup



Enabling Hands-Free Profile on Raspberry Pi (Raspbian Stretch) by using PulseAudio

The purpose of this post is to enable Bluetooth Handsfree Profile (HFP) with PulseAudio on Raspbian Stretch so that Raspberry Pi can act like as a handsfree speaker phone or a handsfree car kit. This is an updated version of this post. When I wrote the previous post, I was using Raspbian Jessie and some steps needed to be updated to apply Raspbian Stretch.

There is one thing needs to be mentioned before start. The original plan was to use Raspberry Pi3’s on-board Bluetooth chip for this project. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. It seems that the problem is related with the chip. So, we have to use a Bluetooth dongle instead.


Here is the list of contents of this post.

– Prerequisites
– Steps
1. Preparations
2. oFono Installation
3. PulseAudio Installation & Settings
4. Connecting Your Phone
5. Making a Call
– Summary
– Reference



Below are the required application versions to enable Bluetooth HFP according to PulseAudio release note.

  • Bluez 5.0 or later (v5.43 is pre-installed in Stretch)
  • PulseAudio 6.0 or later (not pre-installed in Stretch, but it supports v10.0)
  • oFono 1.13 or later (not pre-installed in Stretch, but it supports v1.18)


1. Preparations
1-1. Connect Bluetooth dongle and USB sound card with Raspberry Pi.
1-2. Connect the microphone and speakers to 3.5 mm audio jacks on the USB sound card.
1-3. Boot up Raspberry Pi Board.
1-4. As described, we don’t use on-board Bluetooth chip. So we’ll disable it. To do that, open “/etc/modprobe.d/raspi-blacklist.conf”.

1-5. Add lines below and save.

1-6. According to a Raspberry Pi Fundation blog post, Bluetooth audio is handled by ALSA through bluez-alsa in Stretch. However, since in this post we are using PulseAudio, let’s uninstall bluez-alsa.

1-7. Then reboot the board.

1-8. After reboot, check dmesg and make sure there is no Bluetooth-related errors.

1-9. Also, make sure hci0 is UP.

The result should be like this:

If it’s DOWN for some reason, then turn it up.


2. oFono Installation
2-1. oFono is not installed by default, so let’s install it.

2-2. Make sure if it’s successfully installed.

2-2. Then, start the service.

You can check the service running like below.


3. PulseAudio Installation & Settings
3-1. In Raspbian Stretch, PulseAudio is not pre-installed. Install PulseAudio and its Bluetooth module:

3-2. Check the version. If you are using “August 2017” version of Stretch, it should be v10.0.

3-3. Open “/etc/pulse/”.

3-4. Add “headset=ofono” on the line of ‘module-bluetooth-discover’.

3-5. Restart Raspberry Pi.


4. Connecting Your Phone
4-1. Launch bluetoothctl.

4-2. Then, input below commands.

4-3. Start searching your phone. Make sure your phone is discoverable.

4-4. After detecting your phone, turn scan off.

devices command shows a list of found devices.

4-5. Then, pair, trust and connect to your phone by specifying the Bluetooth device address (in this case it’s “XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX”, please replace it wity your device’s address).

If everything is ok, you should see “successful” at the end of the result for each command like below.


5. Making a Call
To make a call, you can use oFono test scripts which is included in the source code.
5-1. First, download the source and extruct.

5-2. Then, you can make a call by:

If you want to end the call, then type:


Since Raspbian Stretch supports PulseAudio v10.0, the steps are now a little simpler than previous one. I confirmed both sending and receiving audio are fine during a hands free call. I confirmed Bluetooth audio streaming (A2DP) is working too.



– Raspbian Stretch has arrived for Raspberry Pi

– Connect Bluetooth Headset To Raspberry Pi 3 (A2DP & HSP)

– PulseAudio 6.0 Release Notes –

– PulseAudio Documentation –




Headless Setup for Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi Zero W

This is brief steps to setup a headless Raspberry Pi 3 or Raspberry Pi Zero W (Wireless). No keyboard, mouse, or display required. WiFi is necessary since we’ll access to Raspberry Pi via ssh over WiFi.


– Prerequisites
– Steps
1. Burn Raspbian OS on micro SD card
2. Enable SSH
3. Enable WiFi access
4. Boot up Raspberry Pi board
5. Check Raspberry Pi’s IP address
6. Access to Raspberry Pi via SSH



  • Raspberry Pi board (Pi 3 or Pi Zero W)
  • Micro SD card
  • Micro SD card reader like this (in case your PC doesn’t have SD card slot)
  • Linux PC (for burning OS image, accessing to Raspberry Pi via ssh)
  • Micro USB cable for power supply


1. Burn Raspbian OS on micro SD card
Download Raspbian Image and burn it to micro SD card as usual. I used Raspbian Stretch.


2. Enable SSH
Inside of the newly created “Boot” partition on the micro SD card, create an empty file named “ssh”.


3. Enable WiFi access
Also, create a file named “wpa_supplicant.conf” with lines below. Note that for <SSID> and <PASSWORD> portion, you need to set your own wifi network name and password.


4. Boot up Raspberry Pi board
Eject the micro SD card from PC, insert it into Raspberry Pi board, and boot it up.


5. Check Raspberry Pi’s IP address
Find out Raspberry Pi’s IP address in order to access via ssh. I used “nmap” command since I don’t have many devices connected with my wifi network.

Note: You need to specify netmask of your own wifi network.



6. Access to Raspberry Pi via SSH
ssh from PC to the IP address you found out.


Qt Creator Cross Compiling Environment for Raspberry Pi3 with QtRpi

This is the steps how I created Qt Creator cross compiling environment on Ubuntu PC for Raspberry Pi 3 by using QtRpi. Thanks to QtRpi, it’s pretty straightforward. I followed the official site and its GitHub page. The purpose of this post is mostly for myself, to reproduce the steps in future (on other PCs or when I need to reinstall, etc).


Here is the list of contents of this post.

– Assumptions
– Steps
1. Preparation
2. Install Qt
3. Deploy Qt to Raspberry Pi
4. Qt Creator Configuration
5. Verify Cross Compiling Environment
– Troubleshoot
– Reference

Let’s get started.


Here are some assumptions before starting the steps:

– Ubuntu Linux running on host PC
– Raspbian running on the target Raspberry Pi 3
– Qt Creator running on host PC
– SSH access from host PC to target Raspberry Pi

In the steps below, I used following:

Ubuntu 16.04 as host
Raspbian Jessie (2017-07-05) running on Raspberry Pi 3 as target
Qt Creator 4.3.1 running on host


1. Preparation
1-1. Install dependencies

1-2. Configure environment variables
In my case, the environment variables are below since Qt version is 5.7.0 and target device is Raspberry Pi 3. In case you use different version or device, click here and see “2. Configure your environment variables” for other options.

Also, set your target’s IP address.

1-3. Password less SSH login
Generate SSH key and copy it to the target so that you can log in without requiring a password.

Just press enter when you asked about pass phrase.  Then, copy the key by typing:


2. Install Qt
The beauty of QtRpi is that scripts will take care of all the installation and deployment.

2-1. First, clone QtRpi from GitHub.

2-2. Then run “” script. This will take a while.


3. Deploy Qt to Raspberry Pi
3-1. Run “./” to deploy Qt

3-2. This step is a workaround for font display. (see troubleshoot section for detail.)
3-2-1. Login to Raspberry Pi.

3-2-2. Copy font files.


4. Qt Creator Configuration
To cross-compile and deploy from Qt Creator SDK, some configurations are required.

4-1. Device Configuration
4-1-1. Launch Qt Creator on host.
4-1-2. Navigate to “Tools” > “Options…”
4-1-3. In Options window, select “Devices” from left side bar.
4-1-4. Select “Add…”
4-1-5. Double click on “Generic Linux Device”

4-1-6. Enter information below into “New Generic Linux Device Configuration Setup” window.
Configuration name : Rpi 3
IP address :
Username : pi
Authentication type : Key

4-1-7. Click on “Next”, Then “Finish”. Then, it will automatically start “Device Test”.
4-1-8. Click “Close” to close “Device Test” window.
4-1-9. Click “Apply” on “Options” window (just in case?)

4-2. Debuggers
4-2-1. In Options window, select “Build & Run” from left side bar.
4-2-2. Click on “Debuggers” tab
4-2-3. Click on “Add” button
4-2-4. Put information below:
Name: GDB multiarch
Path : /usr/bin/gdb-multiarch

4-2-5. Click on “Apply”

4-3. Compilers
4-3-1. Click on “Compilers” tab
4-3-2. Navigate to “Add” > “GCC” > “C”
4-3-3. Enter information below:
Name: GCC rpi
Compiler Path: /opt/qtrpi/raspi/tools/arm-bcm2708/gcc-linaro-arm-linux-gnueabihf-raspbian-x64/arm-linux-gnueabihf/bin/gcc

4-3-4. Click on “Apply” button
4-3-5. Navigate to “Add” > “GCC” > “C++”
4-3-6. Enter information below:
Name :G++ rpi
Compiler Path:/opt/qtrpi/raspi/tools/arm-bcm2708/gcc-linaro-arm-linux-gnueabihf-raspbian-x64/arm-linux-gnueabihf/bin/g++

4-3-7. Click on “Apply” button

4-4. Qt Versions
4-4-1. Click on “Qt Versions” tab
4-4-2. Click on “Add…”
4-4-3. Navigate qmake path to “/opt/qtrpi/raspi/qt5/bin/qmake”
4-4-4. Enter “Qt rpi %{Qt:Version}” as “Version name”.

4-4-5. Click on “Apply” button

4-5. Kits
4-5-1. Click on “Kits” tab
4-5-2. Click on “Add” button
4-5-3. Enter (or select) information below:
Name : Rpi 3
Device Type: Generic Linux Device
Sysroot : /opt/qtrpi/raspbian/sysroot
Compiler: C: GCC rpi
Compiler: C++: G++ rpi
Debugger : GDB multiarch
Qt Version : Qt rpi 5.7.0

4-5-4. Click on “Apply” button, then “OK”.


5. Verify Cross Compiling Environment
Let’s check if everything is OK by building a sample project on host and executing it on RPi.

5-1. “File” > “New File or Project”
5-2. “Application” > “Qt Qucick Controls 2 Application”, then click on “Choose…” button.
5-3. Enter project name and click on “Next”.
5-4. Click on “Next” on “Define Build System” and “Define Project Details”.
5-5. Check on “Rpi 3” on “Kit Selection”.
5-6. Click on “Finish” button on “Project Management”.
5-7. Open .pro file from project tree.
5-8. Add two lines below at the end of the file and same it.

5-9. Select “Projects” icon on left side bar.
5-10. Click on “Rpi 3” under “Build & Run”.
5-11. Click on “Run” icon on the left side bar.


Originally, I’ve added the following environment variables to ~/.bashrc on Raspberry Pi after deploying Qt to Raspberry Pi based on video on official site.

However, when I run a program from Qt Creator on host PC, it seems that those variables are not set and no font is displayed on the application window. (getting below messages in “Application Output” on Qt Creator.) If I launch the same application from Raspberry Pi’s console, the issue doesn’t happen.

I’ve not been able to figure out the cause but found a workaround (step 3-2 above).


– QtRpi FAQ

– GitHub