Which Raspberry Pi operating system images have a serial console enabled out of the box? This is needed for a client to debug why they are not getting HDMI out of their Raspberry Pi 4. The client does not have the technical know-how to change the boot partition's config.txt offline, so needs something that will have a serial console enabled with no modifications.

  • How do you expect someone who can't edit one file to attach a 3.3V serial terminal?
    – Milliways
    Mar 31, 2020 at 21:28
  • I can guide him over skype to do that. Not to install Linux.
    – Reinderien
    Mar 31, 2020 at 21:30
  • Wait, is the boot partition FAT32 in raspbian?
    – Reinderien
    Mar 31, 2020 at 21:32
  • 1
    Raspbian comes with boot as FAT32 and the remaining partitions exFAT. You could edit the config.txt file on any PC or Mac. Maybe create a small program they run?
    – user115418
    Mar 31, 2020 at 21:33
  • Root and boot are two different partitions... And so far as I remember, config.txt is in boot.
    – Reinderien
    Mar 31, 2020 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


All Raspbian images have a serial console prepared to just enable it, but it isn't enabled out of the box. You have to add this line to /boot/config.txt:


The file config.txt is stored on the boot partition of Raspbian that is formated as fat so you can modify it on nearly all other computer with different operating systems. Attach the flashed SD Card with a card reader to another computer and add that line to config.txt. Of course you can do it also on the booted SD Card in the RasPi. Then attach the USB adapter cable and use the serial console.

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