I compiled the image using Buildroot (2020.02.3) by first running make raspberrypi0_defconfig and then by running make menuconfig to enable ccache and remove ifupdown scripts.

I then ran make to compile it to get a sdcard.img file which I wrote the files to sd card using dd.

When I boot the Raspberry Pi Zero, I see kernel messages and the last message I see is of init process starting and then the screen goes blank. Trying to switch to different TTY(s) by pressing Ctrl + Alt + F1 (F1 to F7) don't work. I don't have any windows manager, so I expected a simple login prompt.

When I used the Raspberry Pi OS (32-bit) Lite - Minimal image based on Debian Buster, I was able to boot just fine and get to the login prompt. I can login and it all works, except when I use the image built from buildroot.

What could it be?

  • Which shell did you include in the image? It looks like you forgot to include one. Jun 30, 2020 at 12:39
  • 1
    I was relying on the defconfig to go with sane defaults. It had the value for BR2_SYSTEM_BIN_SH as busybox' default shell
    – Ashfame
    Jul 1, 2020 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


I switched the default shell to /bin/sh, essentially the variable BR2_SYSTEM_BIN_SH="bash" from busybox' default shell and I got the login prompt upon boot.

With make menuconfig, it was available under System Configuration > /bin/sh

I made some other changes as well, but I am quite sure this is what fixed it. I will accept my answer when I am sure of that.

  • Please accept your own answer with a click on the tick on its left side. Only this will finish the question and it will not pop up again year for year.
    – Ingo
    Jul 5, 2020 at 16:45

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