Raspberry Pi is a $35 USD credit card sized computer that can be used to control PIXEL. There are currently three ways to use PIXEL with a Raspberry Pi.

Method 1: Command Line – Remote shell into your Pi and play GIFs and scroll text from the command line

Method 2: GUI  – Start X-Windows on your Pi and use the GUI

Method 3: iOT/Server with Rest API – still and Beta and development. You will control PIXEL over the Web via the Pi and developers can also take advantage of the REST API. See the tutorial on Adafruit but use this latest version instead.

Follow the instructions below to setup your Raspberry Pi. Raspbian is recommended for Raspberry Pi and PIXEL, other distributions most likely will work but have not been tested. Works and tested on the Raspberry Pi B+ and older Raspberry Pi models.
If you are running your Raspberry Pi headless (no monitor or keyboard), use the following commands to access and control your Raspberry Pi. The PIXEL console app may be run remotely from a SSH session and does not require an X Windows session (startx).

Optional: Assign the .local domain to your Raspberry Pi so you don’t need to remember your Pi’s IP address and instead access using raspberrypi.local

sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon

If you don’t remember your Raspberry Pi’s IP address, you may use this command to scan your network

nmap -sn

Remotely access your Raspberry Pi from your PC/Mac. Note the default password is: raspberry

ssh pi@your_raspberrypi_IP_address 

To remotely transfer a file from your PC/Mac to your Raspberry Pi’s home directory

scp /localpath/filename pi@your_raspberrypi_IP_address:/home/pi
Step 1. Move the toggle switch on the side of PIXEL from the “Bluetooth” position to the “PC” position. Plug PIXEL into a free USB port on your Raspberry Pi using the included USB A-A cable. A USB A-A cable has a USB A connector . Then check if it’s recognized using this command. 
ls /dev/ttyACM0*

You should get back:



Step 2. If you have a recent Raspian image on your Raspberry Pi, Java 8 will already be installed and you can skip step 3. Check by issuing this command:

java -version

Step 3. If Java 8 has not been installed, follow these instructions to install Java 8 on your Raspberry Pi. PIXEL’s apps do require Java 8.

Step 4. Run the respective PIXEL app from the command line or X Windows (startx) if using the PIXEL PC GUI app.
java -jar pixelc.jar --gif=your_animation.gif
  • Sign up for the PIXEL Newsletter

    * = required field
^ Back to Top