I have a Raspberry Pi Zero W running Arch Linux ARM (Linux 5.10.59-1-ARCH), configured to connect to my local WiFi network.

If I take the Pi, connect it to a display via a mini-HDMI adapter and apply power to the USB port, it boots as expected, joins my local network, and I can SSH to it without any issues.

If, however, I take the Pi and apply power to the USB port without first connecting it to an external display, the Pi never joins my local network. I don't know if this is limited to the WiFi network connection (i.e. the Pi boots without incident but cannot connect to the network without an external display plugged in), or if the Pi is not booting at all.

If I move the SD card to another Raspberry Pi Zero W, the problem is reproducible, suggesting that it is a software configuration issue rather than a hardware one.

Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations? I am not sure how to troubleshoot the issue, as I cannot reproduce it when a display is plugged in, and I cannot SSH to it when the display is disconnected.

  • Have you examined the boot log for any clues?
    – MatsK
    Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 7:15

1 Answer 1


Found the answer in the Arch Linux ARM forums here.

Removing dtoverlay=vc4-kms-v3d from /boot/config.txt does the trick.

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