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Exposing Raspberry Pi’s network setting files to /boot so that they are visible on a PC

I needed to clone my current Raspberry Pi SD card image to use for another headless project (on another network), but then realized the network settings were my home ones. I had access to a PC only, so could not (easily) modify the settings for that other Pi to connect to the other network. To avoid that for the future, I’ll just move the network setting files to /boot (which is accessible on a PC) and make a Symbolic Link to these in the original location:

cd /etc/network
sudo cp interfaces /boot/interfaces
sudo mv interfaces interfaces.bak
sudo ln -s /boot/interfaces interfaces

cd /etc/wpa_supplicant/
sudo cp wpa_supplicant.conf /boot/wpa_supplicant.conf
sudo mv wpa_supplicant.conf wpa_supplicant.conf.bak
sudo ln -s /boot/wpa_supplicant.conf wpa_supplicant.conf

With this change applied, I’ll be able to plug in the SD card into a PC, modify the network settings and get the Pi connected in no time. Security-wise this is probably not a good idea, but I am taking the risk anyway.

5 thoughts on “Exposing Raspberry Pi’s network setting files to /boot so that they are visible on a PC

  1. Pingback: Expose the network settings on your Raspberry Pi to the boot partition | Raspberry Pi Pod

  2. ChrisKrz

    That’s really an excellent idea! thanks for sharing it.
    Especially helpful for users that operate their pi headlessly in remote locations without access to a hdmi screen.
    Am I correct in assuming that security concerns arise only in case someone has physical access to the SD card? If that is found to be true, I don’t think the risk is any bigger than it would be by leaving the files on the ext4 partition.

    1. Martin Post author

      Yes, the concern is that exposing these files on the FAT32 /boot partition makes it quite easy for anyone to see the wifi credentials, but as you say same is valid for anyone more experienced and the ext4 partition..

  3. blamarpa

    Excelent. Can be used when preparing diferent rpis with same image in ext4 partition or when you want a readonly system but need to configure some parameters like ip, hostname or wifi networks.

  4. Pingback: Make Raspberry Pi Files Visible On A PC #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi « adafruit industries blog