With something like


in boot/config.txt I can enable an external activity LED, which is useful if the Pi is in a case and the on-board LED cannot be seen. Unfortunatelly, this disables the internal LED, so when the external LED is disconnected (or broken), nothing can be seen at all, even if the case is open.

Is there a way to enable both, basically duplicating the LED status to the GPIO pin, instead of replacing it?

  • Use a different pin for the external? Oct 14, 2020 at 21:11
  • @Steve Robillard, how would that improve the situation? Oct 14, 2020 at 23:29
  • You could then have both working so if the external dies the onboard would still work. Oct 14, 2020 at 23:35
  • 1
    @SteveRobillard I don't get it. The problem doesn't depend on which pin the LED is attached. Setting it to any gpio pin seems to disable the internal one.
    – PMF
    Oct 15, 2020 at 9:28

2 Answers 2


An alternative answer to duplicating a led is to create another in /boot/config.txt
using dtoverlay=gpio-led[,gpio|label|trigger|active_low]=<val>

(this assumes that your existing act_led is using mmc0 as the trigger.)
Once you reboot, it will magically appear in /sys/class/leds/ as my_status_led
The trigger can be any value already used by act_led.
See /boot/overlays/README for a list of settings for dtoverlay=gpio-led (scroll down to Name: gpio-led for a list of parameters.)
Personally I would use gpio26 since it is near gpio21 which I use for my illuminated shutdown button.

#act led now on gpio 25



#act led now on gpio 
  • Did you read my question at all? I know how to set the LED to external. I want the internal and the external LED to work simultaneously.
    – PMF
    Dec 17, 2022 at 17:09
  • Welcome @XPXWORD! Your answer is a bit vague as it is; you've included the same code snippet twice. Could you add more details about your proposed solution? The overlays README doesn't seem to say anything about using two different pins for an activity LED but maybe you have some more info to share.
    – David
    Dec 23, 2022 at 9:22
  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Dec 23, 2022 at 9:24

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