I am basically trying to turn on a led by using pi4j library. My code is pretty simple:

public static void main(String args[]) throws InterruptedException {
    GpioController gpioController = GpioFactory.getInstance();
    GpioPinDigitalOutput pinOut = gpioController.provisionDigitalOutputPin(RaspiPin.GPIO_17);

I am exporting the jar file from my computer, copying to my Raspberry Pi 4 than running in there.

To check if my led is not broken or GPIO is set, I've executed following Python scripts and I see my led works perfectly:

import RPi.GPIO as GPIO
GPIO.setup(17, GPIO.OUT)

What am I missing?

  • 1
    Do you get any errors? My concern is that Pi 4 is not supported going by the list at pi4j.com/1.2 Also check that the pin numbering pi4j.com/1.2/pin-numbering-scheme.html matches the BCM numbering.
    – user115418
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 16:32
  • 1
    @Andyroo I don't get any errors, I can even see the console writes on my pi. I also couldn't find anything regarding to pi4 on pi4j documentation but I didn't worry a lot since it didn't give me any errors...
    – osumatu
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 16:37
  • 1
    As @andyroo has said. 1) the Pi4 is not supported. 2) you are using the wrong GPIO numbering scheme.
    – joan
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 16:51
  • 1
    The Pi4 has GPIO located at different addresses and pull-ups are different, so the library will need to be modified.
    – Milliways
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 21:45
  • 1
    Or you can try BlueJ, or what Pi Mag suggests. More details in the following Q&A (Appendix B of my answer) : raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/111679/…. Cheers.
    – tlfong01
    Commented Oct 12, 2020 at 0:26

2 Answers 2


Indeed as mentioned in the comments, Pi4J is using a different pin numbering scheme. "Under the hood", WiringPi is used to control the GPIOs. This library uses a different numbering scheme. This means BCM pin 17 you are using in Python is pin 0 in the WiringPi scheme.

See below a full table with BCM, WiringPi, and physical pin numbering (see link 2 below).

Raspberry Pi numbering scheme with BCM and WiringPi numbering

Next to that, the internal wiring of the Raspberry Pi 4 is different compared to the previous ones, so you'll need to upgrade your WiringPi to the latest version 2.52 with:

$ gpio -v
gpio version: 2.50

$ cd /tmp
$ wget https://project-downloads.drogon.net/wiringpi-latest.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i wiringpi-latest.deb
$ gpio -v
gpio version: 2.52

As a side note: we are working on a new version of Pi4J which will make things easiers, but work-in-progress... ;-)

More info in my blog posts on:

  1. Using Pi4j (V1) on the Raspberry Pi 4
  2. Raspberry Pi history, versions, pins and headers as a Java Maven library
  3. Oracle Java Magazine: Getting started with JavaFX on Raspberry Pi
  • I see there is a difference in pin numbering but when I change my code for GPIO_00 (Which is the WiringPI pin for GPIO_17) I get runtime error saying: Unable to open GPIO direction interface for pin[0]: No such file or directory.
    – osumatu
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 10:18
  • Just an idea, can you try another pin? E.g. pin 40 = BCM 21 = WiringPi 29 as used in the example at blogs.oracle.com/javamagazine/…
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 17:40
  • Yes indeed, for some reason some pins are working and some are not. I am basically just brute-forcing to see which ones I can use. Thanks for the reply.
    – osumatu
    Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 11:29

Since I don't have enough reputation to comment...

In the PI4J library, you use constants like "GPIO_16"... However, these are not the GPIO pins that you find in the RPI documentation. They are the WiringPI pins.

A mapping is here: https://pinout.xyz/pinout/wiringpi

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