I recently made a mini portable computer with my raspberry pi 2, using this display: https://www.adafruit.com/products/2423 It's all set up and works well, however it would be good if I could occasionally switch to a larger display for some tasks through the HDMI. I am not interested in having both screens working at the same time. What is the easiest possible way to switch between displays? I am running Kali 2.0.1 for raspberry pi 2.

Thanks, Tom

  • An external HDMI monitor should be detectable on boot-up. Depending on your OS choice there will probably be a utility (possibly requiring super-user powers on a *nix distribution) to change this as needed. On Raspbian there is the tvservice command. I do not know whether the Kali one has the same command. Don't forget to use the search box on the top right of this page to look for questions and answers that include, say: "kali" and "hdmi"...
    – SlySven
    Jan 21, 2016 at 11:03
  • @SlySven the boot up screen begins on the TV but it then stops and only works on the smaller screen. I will look into tvservice.
    – Tom
    Jan 21, 2016 at 11:12
  • I am using the same display and have successfully installed the driver for it. The display works great, but now HDMI doesn't work at all if I want to switch to a monitor through HDMI.
    – ThN
    Jul 20, 2016 at 12:57
  • Thanks for this tip! And regards to the +5V, a simple DC 5v-2a on-off rocker or block switch will do. (soldering required). Just label this switch (display on/off). Its a hack but it works.
    – user67823
    May 27, 2017 at 22:17

2 Answers 2


I've been searching for the same. Here's the only thing I've come up with:

First you need to know my hardware configuration:

  • I power the unit by using the Raspberry Pi's power input -- not the power input to the screen.
  • I power the screen with the GPIO jumpers.

When I want to use the HDMI monitor, I pull the +5 jumper off the Pi.

When I want to use the touchscreen, I reattached the +5 jumper to the Pi.

It is a bit kludgey.... but it works.


It's easy if you use the external supply via USB for the screen. Just leave the connector inside and disconnect at the supply side.

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