Keyboard does not work with Raspbery PI - Until you get a suitable one- you can do this....

When ordering the raspberry there was a link to required equipment. You know, USB keyboard and mouse for starters and a TV/Monitor that handles DVI. (hidden within that link, somewhere in the depths of link annotations and some labyrinths of complexity..another link to a page of compatible hardware)

  • OK? A USB keyboard is a USB keyboard.. well unfortunate with the Raspberry its a bit more 
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    complicated than that. Due to power economy and USB port limitations most keyboards will not work because they exceed the 100ma USB current consumptions and start to throw kernel errors as the built in fail-safe kicks in and turns off USB all together..

  • Fine! Lets plug that 4 port 2Amp USB hub in... nothing. (oops no driver for this specific hub...and many others...)

Dammit!!  You  are now stuck at the login screen, on your 32" TV and want to give this thing a go.. but you cannot type anything!

The quick solution:

  1. Take out your SD card (assuming you got versions near 05/2012 )  plug it into your PC and you will be presented with a FAT32 parition. 
  2. Open the parition  up and you will see a file called "boot_enable_ssh.rc" rename it to "boot.rc"
  3. Edit "boot.rc" and add the last line "startx"
This will start LXDE in root mode..
That will get you into the system, i think any mouse you plug in should work so you can navigate around.
You will come to realise that LXDE will moan that you are running as root and cannot contact X server because of something or another.. security risk.. something else.. So as i found out there is no on screen keyboard available which makes life difficult. So you going to have to to the extra mile and do the proper way.

The Long Solution ( and best practice method )
  1. in "boot.rc" remove startx, reboot the RPi
  2. On model B plug in the lan and SSH into raspberry using putty, or just login to the terminal...
  3. Auto Login: 1

    In Terminal:
    sudo nano /etc/inittab
    Scroll down to:
    1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 115200 tty1
    and change to
    #1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 115200 tty1
    Under that line add:
    1:2345:respawn:/bin/login -f pi tty1 /dev/tty1 2>&1
    Ctrl+X to exit, Y to save followed by enter twice
  4. Auto StartX (Run LXDE) 1

    In Terminal:
    sudo nano /etc/profile
    At the scroll to the bottom and add:
    ctrl+x to exit, Y to save followed by enter twice

So now you can use any mouse to work in the LXDE, use the on-screen keyboard to type and now you can isntall Bluetooth adapter and use that wireless media centre remote to type, just like on Windows.


  • If you  want to log in as root then login with the pi user and the password provided at the rasberry site. Do "sudo passwd root"  type in your password twice. Log out of the session and log back in as root.I know that is bad linux practise... but you know.. its easier if you just messing around and cannot be asked with all the security things.
  • in terminal I always find it Easier to use Midnight Commander. So if you logged in as pi then just do a quick "sudo apt-get install mc" press "y" to install the packages. Once done just type "mc" enter. and life is allot more GUI'sier...