I'd like to use the Raspberry Pi as a small server. My Linksys WRT610N router has a rear USB port and I'd like to use it to supply power to the Raspi. That way, the Raspi doesn't need to have a dedicated power supply!

Only two wires will be connected to the Raspi:

  • an Ethernet wire,
  • the USB power supply wire connected to the router's USB port.

Will the router's USB port be enough to supply power to the Rasperry Pi?

Thank you!

  • Model A or B? Please note Model B uses more power Jul 25, 2012 at 20:11
  • 1
    I'm talking about model B. This page describes what the Rapberry Pi needs according to the model: Model A -> 300mA, Model B -> 700mA. Jul 25, 2012 at 20:15

2 Answers 2


Be aware that the USB port the Raspberry Pi uses for power does not have the data wires connected at all so the Pi cannot negotiate power requirements with the USB host and this can cause all kind of strange behavior. See this forum post in which Liz herself (foundation member) chimes in on this. Worst case scenario for you is the Pi works for a while then the router's firmware decides to go into a power saving mode which cuts amperage over USB to 100mA and you experience completely unpredictable failures with the Pi. Check the Power section of USB's wikipedia page for more detailed information about when USB power could drop down to the basic 100mA output. This is also a problem with cheapo powered USB hubs which is why a lot of people on the Raspberry Pi forums say not to power the Pi from a USB hub.

  • I agree - Use a dedicated power supply like htc charger. Its only a few bux of ebay with cable and it is actaully a recommend charger. Another drawback is that the RPI does not support Power Over Ethernet. DOH DOH DOH WHY?
    – Piotr Kula
    Jul 31, 2012 at 9:57

I measured the power consumption of my WRT610N router with a Belkin Conserve Insight power monitor.

The WRT610N has two antennas (2.4GHz and 5GHz), and I disabled one of them. To load the system, I used sysbench --test=cpu --cpu-max-prime=20000 run.

                       |                   |  RPi connected   |
                       | RPi not connected +------+-----------+
                       |                   | idle | full load |
| 1 antenna activated  |              5.8W | 8.1W |      8.3W |
| 2 antennas activated |              6.6W | Did not measured |

The WRT610N power supply can provide 18W (12V * 1.5A), so it can manage the additional 2.5W consumed by the RPi.

My RPi is powered by my WRT610N since one month, and I did not noticed any problem.

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