I've been using the Sainsmart 3.2" and 3.5" TFT LCD (http://www.sainsmart.com/sainsmart-3-5-inch-tft-lcd-320-480-touch-screen-display-for-raspberry-pi-2-b-b.html) with my Raspberry Pi 2's. I recently bought the Pi 3 and can't seem to get the screen working.

I used these instructions to get it working on the Pi 2: http://www.circuitbasics.com/setup-lcd-touchscreen-raspberry-pi/

It seems to fail at the point I download notro's drivers from github (they download successfully, but on reboot, all I see on the hdmi display is the colored test square, and the SPI display is still backlight white with no image). It fails on this step even if I mix up the order.

sudo REPO_URI=https://github.com/notro/rpi-firmware rpi-update

Has anyone been able to get an SPI display working with these drivers or is there something else I need to be doing? I am using Raspbian Jessie.

2 Answers 2


I was able to get it working with the manufacturer image for pi2. I still don't know how to get it working with a base Raspbian image (which would be nice), but here are the steps I took.

  • Downloaded Manufacturer Image for Raspbian on the raspberry pi 2. (and uninstalled bloatware I could find)
  • Update the pi with sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Updated the distribution with sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

With this, the screen now works on a pi 3, but TFT touch no longer works.. I tried sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-ui-mods and sudo apt-get rpi-update as suggested in other forums as well, but these caused my UI to become unresponsive or unusable on boot.


On newer Linux kernels (> 4,4) the way to install drivers have changed to device tree. You need to install them into the /boot/ folder.

A description how you can get it to work from a base installation can be found here: http://geeks-r-us.de/2017/06/14/raspberry-pi-mit-touchscreen-lcd/ (it's in German but google translate works well)

  • Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a try and see if it works! (I've been using my pi 3 without touch, but if I could get touch working again that would open up some possibilities :)
    – Jem
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 13:15

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