I recently installed Raspbian Jessie into my Raspberry Pi, which i could access today as a christmas present. I have successfully plugged in a USB mouse, but i have no USB keyboard. To see if i really had to buy a new keyboard or not, i want to know: what types of keyboards does the Raspberry Pi support? I want to know and discover more of the Pi. From what i know, i only know about keyboards is that they obviously work and one type that is supported is USB.

Here is the hardware of the Raspberry Pi 2 B+ board, for the folks:


CPU: Some quad core one

GPU: I, literally, don't, know. But there is one, most likely.

BIOS: There's no BIOS.

SD's: I used only a single 8GB microsd for this. And a USB that runs off and makes everything in a micro-SD card. I didn't even use an adapter since, well, that USB i talked a paragraph before.

External media: Mouse as the USB. For some reason after i plug it the mouse works after unplugging it.

I don't know anything else about my Pi.

  • Hello and welcome. I am not aware that there are (wired) USB keyboards out there that do not work with the Pi (at least I have never heard of such an incidence) - but here a list of known working models. There could be issues with some Bluetooth keyboards and the necessary pairing. I think I read about this here but cannot find it right now.
    – Ghanima
    Dec 25, 2015 at 22:00
  • 1
    Note that you don't really need to tell us the specs of your board, only the model, as all boards of the same model share the same specs. But thanks for taking the time to do so! Dec 26, 2015 at 10:11

1 Answer 1


Welcome to the Raspberry Pi community of Stack Exchange.

Any "normal" USB keyboard that you might use with a (say) Ubuntu {I see you are in other SE communities including that one} PC should work for you - the Raspbian distro is derived from the Debian one of the same version ("Jessie", although older ones were previously used).

As per Debian, the change from "Wheezy" to "Jessie" marked a switch from sysV init to systemd "by default" but from an OS point of view you could find yourself fairly at home on a Pi, IMHO!

The boot-up process is (a little) different, as you spotted there is not a BIOS, instead the NOOBS system occupies the first (VFAT) partition on the SDCard and that normally switches to whatever you have chosen in one or more of other partitions. For Raspbian and other distributions the /boot part of the eventual filesystem contains config.txt and cmdline.txt which play a special part in how your system operates.

Compared to a PC Distribution there are extra libraries and stuff to work with the General Purpose Input Output (GPIO) bus which is that row of pins that look like what you might plug an IDE HDD connector cable into (don't do that) - instead that is what you use to attach a wide variety of hardware both ready-made and things you can build yourself to do all sorts of things with.

The Pi does seem to have 4 USB 2.0 ports however there are limits to the power that attached devices can draw - usually for the power hungry things you will need to use a powered USB HUB for things like external HDDs should you wish to use them.

The Pi 2 that you have is indeed a quad-core {ARM7} processor (running at around 1GHz) IIRC with 1GB of memory separately on the PWB - the GPU is also included inside the same package. Earlier Pis had a single processor with the same GPU and 0.5GB (or 0.25 on very early ones) and ALL of that was squeezed into two ICs packaged "one-on-top-of-the-other"!

This only touches the surface of what you have just got - so hang around here for a while, ask good questions (use the search box on the top right corner of the screen to avoid asking questions that have already been asked many, many times before), and enjoy your Christmas present!

  • 1
    I'm typing right now this with my Raspberry Pi. No joke.
    – Star OS
    Dec 26, 2015 at 7:57
  • And then while i'm using Linux and Empyphany (or something like that) browser Google thinks it's Mac and Safari
    – Star OS
    Dec 26, 2015 at 16:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.