I bought a raspberry pi2 and 7 inch waveshare touchscreen. The SD card came along with the system already flashed. It turns on and everything works, but how do I activate the virtual keyboard. Do I need a USB keyboard initially to do so?

1 Answer 1


First thing to do:

  • Open terminal

Second you will need to update the repositories:

  • sudo apt-get update

An upgrade to the whole system isn't needed but it is recommended:

  • sudo apt-get upgrade

Now we can install the virtual keyboard:

  • sudo apt-get install matchbox-keyboard

Rebooting is recommended:

  • sudo reboot

Now you can access the keyboard:

Menu >> Accessories >> Keyboard

Access the keyboard

If the keyboard isn't visible on the menu you can enable it by going to:

Menu >> Preferences >> Main Menu Editor

There you will be able to enable the keyboard.

If everything has gone perfectly you will now have an onscreen keyboard.

Onscreen keyboard

  • 4
    To do all this I will need a external keyboard and working internet connection, right?
    – user473180
    Jan 15, 2016 at 13:43
  • 1
    Yes internet and keyboard is required for this steps but after the setup you can use your virtual keyboard without internet.
    – Michielvk
    Jan 15, 2016 at 13:44
  • Since I don't have an external keyboard, I connected my pi to the laptop using LAN, and the computers connected to the net with WiFi. All your given commands run successfully except sudo apt-get update. It shows something wicked happened resolving...( the site address). Please advise
    – user473180
    Jan 15, 2016 at 15:24
  • 1
    An alternative to matchbox-keyboard is desperately needed. I just tried this on a freshly installed Raspbian November 2018 and it's a buggy mess on the verge of breakdown. Its keys are constantly twitching when the window is touching the screen edges, and just having the keyboard running prevents any other window from going full screen (maximised windows just cover the top/bottom half of the screen instead, with no explanation) -- even when the keyboard is just a floating window.
    – Andreas
    Jan 11, 2019 at 1:13
  • 3
    @Andreas I am not sure if there are any alternatives. I just searched a little with no success. If anyone does find an alternative; please post it here.
    – Michielvk
    Jan 11, 2019 at 9:40

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