I can't seem to figure out to get my 2.8 touch screen to work with a Kali (1.9) OS. Everything I read is aimed at Raspbian and Wheezy to use a TFT. I need a mobile platform to operate Kali from Pi but using a screen. Is there a way to install drivers and modules for the Adafruit 2.8 touch screen for other images like Kali?



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I googled Adafruit Raspberry Pi TFT Kali Linux and found (on the official Adafruit instructions page for the TFT) that their kernel.deb files (the drivers/modules needed to run the TFT correctly) are for Raspbian only.

You could compile your own kernel using their Patchfile but Adafruit doesn't have any tutorials and don't plan to support this in any way.


To use our kernel .deb files you must be using Raspbian or derivative. This wont work with Arch or other Linux flavors. As Raspbian is the official OS for the Pi, that's the only Linux we will support! Others can recompile their own kernel using our patchfile, but we have no tutorial or support or plans for such.

As for compiling your own kernel, just search Compile Raspberry Pi Kernel on Google. You'll get plenty of results. Here's the first one, the eLinux RPi page on the topic, to get you started.

  • I appreciate your advice but was wondering if Kali could just be added to Raspbian as an application? In other words, could I strip off the Kali boot kernel and just put the Kali framework (programs) as additional programs to the Raspbian image? Kali for Pi is based on Debian, which Rasbian is also based on. Since Kali is a bunch of programs shouldn't I be able to just add to my already TFT supported image? Just a thought.
    – Bob
    Aug 30 '14 at 18:03

There is now a TFT compatible Kali release. I have yet to get it to boot properly, but that may be because I'm trying to boot it with a regular HDMI screen (as I don't have an adafruit TFT screen (yet!))


I tried the Adafruit instructions but they did not work. After poking around found this site (https://whitedome.com.au/re4son/sticky-fingers-kali-pi/) and it worked like a champ.

  • 1
    Generally speaking, link only answers are discouraged as they're subject to link rot. A better answer would summarize the basic points contained in the link.
    – Jacobm001
    Jul 25 '17 at 15:41

Thanks for the reply. I have discovered that each display has it's own configuration that needs to be loaded as part of the boot.ini. There are compatible drivers (or modules) depending on the screen maker. Kali has released several portable screen images for the RPi since Kali 2.0. I've seen builds for everything from 2.8", 3.2", 3.5", 5" and up to 7". When you get to 7" you might as well be plugging in with HDMI since the screen requires quite a bit more voltage. Even at 5", I've been using the HDMI port instead of GPIO or DVI. The smaller screens tend to only show portions of the desktop for any GUI, which makes the terminal almost a necessity. Please continue to offer suggestions as you come across them. Share your knowledge. Thank you.

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