I am making a little portable computer, and would like a text terminal operating system for the raspberry pi, mainly to eliminate the need to bring around a mouse to use it.

  • you can run most desktop managers without a mouse ... even MS windows is like that ... there is a keyboard key combination for doing everything
    – jsotola
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 1:45
  • Try installing Raspbian Buster Lite, there's no GUI on that one.
    – Dougie
    Commented Apr 13, 2020 at 20:57

2 Answers 2


Raspbian Lite boots to a command prompt with the option to force login or bypass if you want.

You could actually install the full version of Raspbian and configure the system to boot into command line mode by default via the raspi-config utility.

Then when you have a mouse and space handy you just start the GUI system up with the command


So you get the best of both worlds.

Remember some small wireless keyboards come with a trackpad that emulates a mouse for very little space loss.


or you could (when the GUI opens up) hit the windows key or equivalent, and type "terminal". it should pop up, so then you can use the arrow keys to select what you want, and then hit enter. You can search for any application this way, really.

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