One of the great things about the Raspberry Pi is that it has a GPIO connector to which you can attach external hardware.

The GPIO connector actually has a number of different types of connection on them. There are:

  • True GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) pins that you can use to turn LEDs on and off etc.

  • I2C interface pins that allow you to connect hardware modules with just two control pins

  • SPI interface with SPI devices, a similar concept to I2C but a different standard

  • Serial Rx and Tx pins for communication with serial peripherals

In this tutorial, you are not actually building anything, but you will learn how to configure your Raspberry Pi and install useful libraries ready to start attaching some external electronics to it.

This tutorial is written for Raspbian based distributions.

This guide was first published on Dec 14, 2012. It was last updated on May 07, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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