Upgrade from RPi3B+ to RPi4B

I’m running IPFire (core update 180 at this point) on a Raspberry Pi 3B+. Since my initial attempts to run on a 4B, I haven’t tried again. I’m wondering if there is an easy way to take a backup from my 3B+ and apply it to a 4B? I’m currently running the built-in ethernet on the 3B+ plus a USB ethernet adapter on the red interface:

ID 0b95:1790 ASIX Electronics Corp. AX88179 Gigabit Ethernet

I would reuse the external adapter and use the built-in ethernet on the 4B. Otherwise, I would want to start with the same configuration I’m currently running.

Thanks for any insights.

If the backup is the IPFire backup (menu System > Backup) from the WebGUI then “yes”. There are a few additional steps needed.

Do the backup and save it to another device (a different hard drive, or a usb thumb drive, or another computer). See:

Read the Wiki page on the Raspberry Pi 4B. There are some Revisions of the RPi4B that require extra steps:

Follow the normal installation on your new RPi4B:

Do the Restore of your backup on your new RPi4B:

Run this to migrate to the new hardware:

Hope this helps!


Jon - Thanks for this. That last step was the key missing piece.

One other question… Would there be any issues with doing the new SD card on 181 for the new hardware and restoring to that? I know that I need to do a fresh install to increase the size of my boot partition either way, but it would be one less step if I don’t update the 3B+ as part of this swap.

Yes, use a new SD card. (I should have mentioned that above!)

All of the steps above are on a RPi4B (except for the backup).

That will give you one extra backup (the old RPi3B+ SD card).


Is there an easy way to figure out which revision of hardware I have without booting up an OS? If not, I will get a basic Raspberry OS image up and running to see what I’m dealing with.

the only way I know of is to boot up a raspbian image for the raspberry pi. I wish it was a little easier also!

Geez, I had a bit of deja-vu and started to wonder about my original conversation in these forums 2 years ago :slight_smile: So… no need to boot Raspbian, since I did it a couple of years ago …

I just noticed that both revisions of the Pi 4B in wiki.ipfire.org - Raspberry Pi 4 Model B link to the same forum conversation. Is that intentional? Both 1.4 and 1.5 require the same boot.cmd changes?


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yes, luckily it’s the same fix for both Revisions!

Thanks. I was able to boot the Pi and validate that far. Now I just need enough time to properly bring down my current firewall and replace it.


Thanks again for the pointers Jon. I was able to make the swap with minimal pain and I can definitely feel the speed difference.

One question… at one point I think these devices had trouble booting without a monitor attached? Is that still true (if it ever was)? I had a monitor plugged in to get through the setup, but have now removed it. I’m worried if I end up rebooting I will end up having to hook up a monitor to do the reboot.

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I have not experienced that issue. And I’ve only read about rebooting issues without the serial console connection (via a USB to Serial-TTL). Since you don’t use a serial console connection I think you’ll be OK.

To know for sure unplug the monitor and reboot IPFire via Shutdown in the WebGUI.

Testing reboot is a good idea. I will have to give it a try next time I have a window of opportunity.

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