The Raspberry Pi is a very compact little PC that can be used for many things, such as running a media centre, a web server, or a mini-computer for running robotic projects. The Pi has a keyboard and a mouse built in, but it is quite cumbersome to use. So, which way should you go: the wired option or the wireless option? There are pros and cons of both methods, but you may find that using a wireless keyboard and mouse on the Raspberry Pi is much more comfortable!
Here are the steps I took to get a wireless keyboard and mouse working on my Raspberry Pi: 1. Get a wireless keyboard and mouse 2. Set up the keyboard and mouse using an X11 program called xsetwacom 3. Use a program called raspi-config to set up the keyboard and mouse 4. Use raspi-config to disable the virtual terminal in the Raspberry Pi 5. Run the xsetwacom command to disable the keyboard backlight 6. Use a program called raspi-config to enable the virtual terminal 7. Use the xsetwacom command to enable the keyboard backlight 8. Set the keyboard and mouse to the correct mode (input
Using accessories on your Raspberry Pi can often be a headache. Different ports, different operating systems, it doesn’t always work the same way as on a normal computer. In this article we will focus on the keyboard and mouse, can you use them with Raspberry Pi? Wireless keyboards and mice can be used with the Raspberry Pi by simply plugging the included USB dongle into a USB port on the Raspberry Pi. The operating system installs them automatically and they work immediately. Bluetooth accessories must be paired first. This article will tell you how to use them if you already have them, which ones to buy if you need them, and other ways to control your Raspberry Pi without a keyboard or mouse.
How to install a wireless keyboard or wireless mouse on your Raspberry Pi
In most cases, installing a wireless keyboard or mouse on your Raspberry Pi is the same as installing its wired counterparts.
With USB adapter: Plug and Play
If you have a USB adapter with your hardware, it’s easy: Plug the dongle (which is usually included in the mouse) into an available USB port on your Raspberry Pi or other computer. Raspberry Pi OS and most other distributions will automatically detect it and you can use it immediately. I have several wireless keyboards with the USB adapter and they all work fine, no configuration needed. Raspberry Pi Bootcamp sale: 10% off today. Take it to the next level. I’m here to help you get started with your Raspberry Pi. Learn all the necessary skills in the right order.
Installing a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse on the Raspberry Pi OS
If you don’t have a USB adapter because your keyboard or mouse uses Bluetooth technology, you’ll need to take a few extra steps. Perform the following procedure on a Raspberry Pi OS using a desktop computer:
- Activate the Bluetooth interface if you have not already done so. To do so, click on the Bluetooth icon in the top right corner: alt= width=175 height=67 data-ezsrc=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Can-You-Use-Wireless-Keyboard-and-Mouse-on-Raspberry-Pi.jpg />
- Then click on the Bluetooth icon again and select Add Device… alt= width=175 height=167 data-ezsrc=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/1623762863_336_Can-You-Use-Wireless-Keyboard-and-Mouse-on-Raspberry-Pi.jpg />
- The Raspberry Pi starts by detecting Bluetooth devices. Make sure your keyboard is in pairing mode, it should then appear in the list.
- Select a keyboard from the list and press Even.
Depending on your hardware, there may be an additional step that requires you to enter the PIN on the keyboard, but in most cases the link is direct. You can now use a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse on your Raspberry Pi OS without having to configure it. The only thing you may need to change is the keyboard layout. In that case, you can read this article that explains how to do that. If you are using the Lite version, pairing the bluetooth keyboard is also possible with the following command sequence: sudo bluetoothctl agent on default-agent scan on After you get the MAC address, connect to it: trust connect But I find this too complicated and in most cases useless. Using SSH is much easier if you have another computer (more on this at the end of the article).
Guidelines for using the wireless keyboard and wireless mouse
If you are reading this article because you are wondering if a wireless keyboard and mouse is a good choice for you, I can tell you that it is probably a good idea. I have two products that I recommend depending on how you are going to use them.
For computer use
The first case is when your goal is to use the Raspberry Pi as a regular computer. I tested it with a Raspberry Pi 4 and it works fine for basic tasks, so why not? In that case, you need a comfortable keyboard. There are many models, but I recommend the SunFounder model. It’s a Bluetooth keyboard, so you don’t have to use USB ports, it works with any operating system (Linux, Windows and Android) and it has a decent battery capacity. alt= width=600 height=338 data-ez= data-ezsrc=http://server.digimetriq.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/1623762864_115_Can-You-Use-Wireless-Keyboard-and-Mouse-on-Raspberry-Pi.jpg /> This keyboard has a touchpad, so you don’t need a mouse. But if you use your Raspberry Pi for 8 hours a day, you might prefer to use a standard mouse. Personally, I use this model from Logitech, but you don’t need something this expensive because the advanced features don’t work under Linux (no driver). You can use this option from Microsoft instead. I have already used it on my laptop and it works great. In both cases, a USB adapter is included so you don’t have to configure anything – just plug and play.
For other purposes
I usually use my Raspberry Pi for small projects. I’ll test something for you, install the operating system and see how it works, install a service, test the configuration, etc. I don’t have to type as much. In my case, I prefer this keyboard from Riitek. I bought it with my first Raspberry Pi and I never changed. There is a USB adapter, I have not tested any system where it does not work. It has a touchpad, and it’s small, so it’s easy to carry around. The battery capacity is incredible, I use it every day and I don’t think I need to charge it every month! It’s also ideal if you want to use it to replace a desktop computer, like Kodi. It has all the necessary shortcut keys (play, pause, fast forward/fast rewind, etc). My only regret is that it has an AZERTY, while all operating systems work in QWERTY by default.
Using the Raspberry Pi without a keyboard or mouse
In this last part we will see that a keyboard or a mouse is not mandatory for the Raspberry Pi. Yes, sometimes it’s more convenient to have one, but there are many times when you don’t need one.
Connect to the Raspberry Pi via SSH
The first option is to use a desktop or laptop computer and connect to the Raspberry Pi computer via SSH. This gives you an added advantage when using the monitor from a desktop or laptop computer. This is the option I use most often. When using SSH, you should use the command line interface (CLI), not the graphical user interface (GUI). The disadvantage of this method is that it is only available in CLI mode, and if you are not used to it, it may take some time to learn. If you need help getting started, check out these articles: Master your Raspberry Pi in 30 days Sale: 10% off today. Download eBook. Unlock the secrets of the Raspberry Pi in 30 days. Learn useful Linux skills and practice some projects.
Depending on your level and goals, using the command line may not be the best option for you. In this case, you can consider another solution: using remote access software. VNC is the most popular option that comes to mind because it comes pre-installed in the Raspberry Pi operating system. Allows you to view the graphical user interface from a remote computer. If you have another computer on the same network, this is a good option. VNC is not the only solution, you will find other (and better) options in this article.
Finally, another option is to use an on-screen keyboard instead of a physical keyboard. Basically, it’s an application that pops up automatically when you boot up the Raspberry Pi, with a virtual keyboard. You will need a mouse or touch screen to operate it, but a keyboard is not required. This is obviously not a solution for desktop use, but for the first installation it can save you buying a keyboard just to type in things like your Wi-Fi password and a few commands. Interested? You can read my article on the different screen keyboard solutions you can try here. I use them with the touch screen (which I tested here) and they work well. I hope this article has answered your questions, but if you still have doubts, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Raspberry Pi resources
Don’t know where to start? Understand everything about the Raspberry Pi, stop constantly looking for help and finally have fun with your projects. Check out the Raspberry Pi Bootcamp course now. Learn the Raspberry Pi in 30 days Want to learn more than the basics? If you are looking for the best tips on how to become a Raspberry Pi expert, this is the book for you. Learn useful Linux skills and put various projects into practice with step-by-step tutorials. Download the e-book VIP Community If you just want to communicate with me and show your support, you can also join the Patreon community. I share behind-the-scenes information and give you early access to my materials. You will also receive an encouraging message when you sign up. For more information, click here All my recommendations for tools and equipment are also on this page.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I connect my wireless mouse and keyboard to my Raspberry Pi 4?
Raspberry Pi 4 is a new generation computer board that is the successor to Raspberry Pi 3. It has many capabilities like an upgraded processor that can run at 2.5GHz, more RAM, an improved wireless system, and a micro SD card reader. It has been an exciting year for the Raspberry Pi community. Additonally, it is one of the best ways to get started with the Raspberry Pi 4. Hi everyone! This is Ranjith, from submitaction.com. I am doing a review on how to connect mice and keyboards with your Raspberry Pi 4. If you just got a Raspberry Pi 4 and you need to connect your wireless keyboard and mouse with your Raspberry Pi 4, this guide will help you out.
Will any wireless keyboard work with Raspberry Pi 4?
Keyboards and mice are one of the most common peripherals that you will use if you like to interact with your computer remotely or if you need to control your computer from a distance. Wireless keyboards and mice are becoming more and more popular. They allow you to use your peripherals without having to connect them physically to the computer. A couple of weeks ago, I received a new Raspberry Pi. I was excited to get it and give it a test run, but I quickly realized that I didn’t have the right accessories with me. I went on Amazon, looked for wireless keyboards and mouse, and bought a couple of them. Only, they didn’t work on my new Raspberry Pi.
Can I use a different wireless keyboard and mouse?
Maybe the best way to use a wireless keyboard and mouse is to use different ones for each computer. However, this is a rather expensive practice. You can use the keyboard and mouse with the Raspberry Pi, but if you want to use them with Windows or OS X, you will need to buy a USB adapter. While wireless keyboards and mice are certainly convenient compared to plugging in all your peripherals, they have a few downsides. The obvious first one being that they have limited range, i.e. if you sit too far away from your computer or TV they might wake up or lose connection. Another issue, is that they cannot be used in conjunction with a wired keyboard and mouse. This means that if you want to play a key game like World of Warcraft or Dota 2, unplug your wireless keyboard and mouse and plug in your wired ones.
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