Kernel Module Install

This technique will update your kernel to the latest, and if you upgrade your Raspberry Pi which replaces the kernel you'll need to re-run the instructions! You'll also need to re-run if you change from a Pi Zero / Pi 2 / Pi 3 / Pi 4 as these all use different kernel types.

There's two ways you can use this display.

The easy way is to use 'pure Python 3' and Pillow library to draw to the display from within Python. This is great for showing text, stats, images etc that you design yourself. If you want to do that, skip this page and go to the Python install/usage page

The hard way is to install a kernel module to add support for the TFT display that will make the console appear on the display. This is cute because you can have any program print text or draw to the framebuffer (or, say, with pygame) and Linux will take care of displaying it for you. If you don't need the console or direct framebuffer access, please consider using the 'pure Python' technique instead as it is not as delicate.

You will not get a GUI/LXDE display, this is only for text console usage. The display is waaay too small for LXDE

Prepare the Pi!

Before you begin, its a good idea to get your Pi completely updated and upgraded. We assume you have burned an SD card and can log into the console to install stuff.

Run

Download: file
sudo apt update -y
sudo apt-get update -y
sudo apt-get upgrade -y

To fully update and upgrade your Pi!

After that is complete run

sudo shutdown -h now

to shutdown the Pi safely. Remove power and attach the miniPiTFT. Watch that the pins plug into the first 2x12 headers! The rounded corner and mounting hole should line up.

Attach power to the Pi and re-log in. The PiTFT should be lit but nothing on the screen.

Run the following at the terminal

Download: file
cd ~
git clone https://github.com/adafruit/Raspberry-Pi-Installer-Scripts.git
cd Raspberry-Pi-Installer-Scripts
chmod +x adafruit-pitft.sh
sudo ./adafruit-pitft.sh

For configurations, select #6 for the miniPiTFT 1.14"

For rotation, select 90 degrees option #1

When it asks if you want the console to appear, say yes unless you plan to write the framebuffer manually (if you're not sure about that, default to yes)

When you get asked to reboot, reboot!

Zat's it! You will now have the miniPiTFT with a console display on it

If you ever get a display like this, it means your kernel changed - either due to an upgrade/update or because you switched Pi boards. The solution is to simply re-run the scripts above!

This guide was first published on Oct 23, 2019. It was last updated on Oct 23, 2019. This page (Kernel Module Install) was last updated on Nov 13, 2019.