Yesterday I bought the famous RC552 RFID read/write module to use with my Raspberry Pi 2B (I've also got an Arduino in the mail right now) and I've been trying to get it to work but I just can't. I started by installing python-dev. I then installed SPI-PY by downloading it from GitHub (https://github.com/lthiery/SPI-Py) and used sudo python setup.py install to install it. I then connected the module to my Pi using this diagram: enter image description here

Then, I downloaded this library from GitHub (https://github.com/mxgxw/MFRC522-python) and ran the Read.py example application to try it out. Upon doing so, I got the following message: can't open device: no such file or directory. The program then halted. I tested to see if it was a line of code causing the problem, by placing the command print "Test" at the top of the document. I saw the following:

can't open device: no such file or directory

I definitely know it's something in the code now. I moved my print command down the document, until it was under this line:

MIFAREReader = MFRC522.MFRC522()

Once it was under this, I only saw the error message. So I know it's this line.
I decided to try a different project, so I downloaded this one (https://github.com/ondryaso/pi-rc522). I ran the Read.py, but got the same message.
What's going on? Did I do something wrong? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Apologies for putting the links as code, the editor said I couldn't post more than 2 links because my rep is below 10.

  • 1
    At a guess the SPI devices aren't present so leading to can't open device: no such file or directory. Could you edit your question and add the result of "ls -l /dev/spi*" without the quotes. Similarly add the result of "uname -a" and "cat /etc/os-release". – joan Oct 6 '15 at 8:50
  • Also, can you double-check your wiring? The diagram you use has the correct wiring, but a simple mistake can be enough for SPI to not recognize a device. Make sure you have the orientation of the GPIO header correct - pin 1 is located close to where the SD card goes, with pin 40 close to the USB ports. Early rPi's (model A/B) had a marking on the board next to P1 but this has been dropped on the rPi 2 model B. – Phil B. Oct 6 '15 at 12:34
  • joan - the result of ls -l /dev/spi tells me that /dev/spi doesn't exist. Maybe that's where the error is coming from? uname -a gives Linux raspberrypi 4.1.7-v7+ #817 SMP PREEMPT Sat Sep 19 15:32:00 BST 2015 armv7l GNU/Linux and cat /etc/os-release gives PRETTY_NAME="Raspbian GNU/Linux 8 (jessie)" NAME="Raspbian GNU/Linux" VERSION_ID="8" VERSION="8 (jessie)" ID=raspbian ID_LIKE=debian HOME_URL="http://www.raspbian.org/" SUPPORT_URL="http://www.raspbian.org/RaspbianForums" BUG_REPORT_URL="http://www.raspbian.org/RaspbianBugs" – techhead287 Oct 9 '15 at 1:41
  • I have found this to be a great related article ... raspmer.blogspot.de/2015/07/… – Kolban Jan 21 '16 at 15:50

Make sure the SPI Interface is enabled:

Edit the file /boot/config.txt and add the following two lines:


Reboot the Pi and check if the SPI Interface software is running:

$ dmesg | grep spi

You should see something like:

[    8.577659] bcm2708_spi 20204000.spi: master is unqueued, this is deprecated
[    8.578491] bcm2708_spi 20204000.spi: SPI Controller at 0x20204000 (irq 80)

You can also check:

$ lsmod

which should list:

spi_bcm2708             5429  0

I found this solution here and it worked for me.


To get this working, the easiest is to fire up the graphical environment and go to menu->Preferences->Raspberry Pi configuration and there enable in the interface tab the spi line....

the diagram you show is for the old raspberries, the new one have 40pins, not 25

  • 1
    Hello and welcome to rpi.se. Most of this is probably better suited as a comment than as an answer. Answers should not be used for requesting additional information from the questioner - that is better suited as a comment, nor to open a discussion about possible solutions - that is better suited as a chat. Consider editing your answer so that it is an answer to the question, and move the other parts. – Bex Jan 11 '16 at 8:37

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