Project Spaces?

I see this mentioned in the ads in the MagPi magazine for the PiDrive but no mention anywhere else.
Can you explain what Project Spaces are and how we access then? I’ve got two PiDrive on order and would like to have some ideas before they arrive.

If I’m interpreting it correctly, they mean that rather than formatting the drive into a single partition, you could split the drive into multiple partitions, each for a single project. Thus they would be entirely separate, and could be mounted/unmounted individually for convenience or security.

You can do this with any drive, and it isn’t really anything specific to a PiDrive.


The new PiDrive Foundation Edition has a custom version of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s NOOBS OS installer software on the included SD card. This version installs OSes on the PiDrive instead of on the SD card. After installation, when an OS is selected from the menu, the system will boot from the SD card, then transfer operation to the drive (run OS, apps and user data there). So the role of the drive is not just add-on storage, but it becomes the primary storage for the system (similar to how the hard drive took over main storage duties from the floppy in PC’s).

In the standard version of NOOBS, various OSes are presented in the setup menu for download and installation. The NOOBS installer then re-partitions the sdcard and installs the selected OSes in the partitions. Raspbian (full version with PIXEL GUI) and Raspbian Lite (core version with command-line interface, no GUI) are two of the OS options.

In the new PiDrive version of NOOBS, Raspbian (full) and multiple instances of Raspbian Lite are presented in the setup menu. The multiple instances of Raspbian Lite are the “Project Spaces” and have predefined partition sizes from 8GB to 32GB. Up to five Project Spaces may be installed plus an additional instance of Raspbian Lite that uses the remaining space on the drive (or splits it with Raspbian-full if this is also selected for installation). So if a user chooses to install all of the menu items, upon reboot they can choose to launch Raspbian-full (with GUI, web browser, productivity and programming tools, etc.) or launch one of the Project Spaces (which will launch the instance of Raspbian Lite and start at login with command-line interface). Each Project Space (instance of Raspbian Lite) is independent, with its own config.txt, cmdline.txt and raspi-config settings. So you could use different passwords, regional settings, device names, video settings, overclocking, memory allocation, etc. for each project. Projects are created via command-line programming and users can find many, many on-line, step-by-step, instructions for creating Pi projects.

It’s like having a stack of SD cards each preloaded with Raspbian Lite to start projects on, but in this case it’s installed on the drive and project software runs on the drive instead of on the SD card. This may be desirable in applications with high write duty cycle or in cases where high write throughput is needed.

The PDF at the link below is a document in progress providing info on Project Spaces. It includes several example projects with detailed command-line entry. After further editing it’ll be posted on the product support page.

For those that already have a PiDrive and would like to try the Foundation Edition software, please see the other forum thread announcing the PiDrive Foundation Edition 250GB, $26.99, I provided a link to the files and installation instructions in one of the posts.


Link to Project Spaces document, work in progress:

Thanks both for the reply and the doc. I may have missed it, but if I’m in space three and the Pi reboots, will it return to running space three? On each reboot, doors the Pi display the OS (space) choice screen and then timeout to the last used space? I’m guessing it has to be something like that in order to allow for reboots.
Personally, besides the fact that it allows us to avoid death by SD failure, the Project Spaces feature has got to be the star of the show.
Looking forward to seeing this combo running a robot.

Oh yeah - these aren’t BerryBoot instances, right? I fail to understand why or how those instances are valuable but that’s another topic for another day.

@dwcsjca, can you give me a quick answer to the reboot question ?

Hi, sorry for the delay. Yes, after power-up, the NOOBS OS loader menu will be presented for 10 seconds after which it’ll automatically launch the last item launched. If within the 10 seconds another item is highlighted for selection (i.e. single mouse click), the timer will stop and NOOBS will wait for the user to manually select.

BTW, there’s detailed info about the standard/official version of NOOBS on github at:

The PiDrive Foundation Edition version of NOOBS is based on this. Although there are differences, the github info provides a good understanding of how the basic machine works.


Regarding your other question about BerryBoot, correct, these are not BerryBoot instances. BerryBoot is a completely different software solution, although its purpose is also loading OS’s. As you may know we’ve been promoting BerryBoot in our WDLabs products. I would characterize the basic difference (in terms of how we position the objective of BerryBoot versus PiDrive Foundation Edition) is that BerryBoot provides a large selection of plug ‘n’ play OS’s for download and installation versus Foundation Edition that provides an optimized platform for building multiple and separate R-Pi projects featuring the R-Pi Foundation’s official OS, Raspbian.


Finally got a chance to build out one of my two drives. I really like the enclosure that I bought with it - the one intended to be used as a base for the Pi enclosure. Everything fits well and it was fairly inexpensive.
Installed the primary Raspian and three project spaces (the largest three).
Loading up one today to become a motion detector with 8mp camera. That in turn, I hope, I can get connected to my Synology box, but in any event, it will be able to do lots of recording with the drive behind it.
Ultimate goal for the next one is running OpenCV for a autonomous robot platform.

Hey @AL_S :slight_smile:

Thank you for the good feedback and comments!
The plans look great and interesting. Do share the final results and the way you managed them so other people can check them out.
You can share them also in this topic here.

Let us know if you have any questions or if you need help with anything!


Hi Captain,

I’m looking to combine project spaces to create a NAS on my raspberry pi 3. I don’t really need so many project spaces, I pretty much just want one project where I have a bunch of storage and can watch videos. Any way to do this?

Any help is appreciated,


Hi, you can install just the last menu item, Raspbian Lite, and it will expand to the available space on the drive. On a new install, just select the last menu item in the OS install menu (make sure to have network not connected). To reinstall after a previous install, reboot and press the key when prompted to go into “recovery mode”. This will take you to the OS installation menu where you can select Raspbian Lite (only). Note that this will reformat your drive and any prior info will be lost.

Hope this helps.

Thank you for your help!

I’m also wondering if there is any way to install different OS besides the ones provided on the pre-loaded micro SD card. Can we clear the SD card and install another OS and have everything be working with PiDrive?


I see in the FAQ that you can download additional OS with Internet connection. Do I need to have wired connection to do this?


I just revived my Pi Drive from around Dec. 2016. I would like to install multiple instances of the current Raspberry Pi OS on the drive. Are there instructions or a tutorial how I can do this rather than multiple project spaces?