I recently ran apt-get dist-upgrade on my Raspberry Pi B. Afterwards the spi-devices /dev/spi* were gone.

This is the changelog of the upgrade:

Package changes:
+device-tree-compiler 1.4.1-1+rpi1
+firmware-linux-free 3.3
-libexpat1 2.1.0-6+deb8u2
-libexpat1-dev 2.1.0-6+deb8u2
+libexpat1 2.1.0-6+deb8u3
+libexpat1-dev 2.1.0-6+deb8u3
-libraspberrypi-bin 1.20150212-1~nokernel1
-libraspberrypi0 1.20150212-1~nokernel1
+libraspberrypi-bin 1.20160523-1~nokernel2
+libraspberrypi0 1.20160523-1~nokernel2
-linux-image-rpi-rpfv 3.18+63+rpi4
+linux-image-4.4.0-1-rpi 4.4.6-1+rpi14
+linux-image-rpi-rpfv 4.4+63+rpi5
-raspberrypi-bootloader-nokernel 1.20150212-1~nokernel1
+raspberrypi-bootloader-nokernel 1.20160523-1~nokernel2

I noticed in /lib/modules/4.4.0-1-rpi/kernel/drivers/spi/ the file spi-bcm2708.ko is missing instead there is one called spi-bcm2835.ko, in /lib/modules/3.18.0-trunk-rpi/kernel/drivers/spi/ the file spi-bcm2708.ko still exists and the other one doesn't. My original install was done using the unattended installer v1.0.8.

dtparam=spi=on is already set.

Is there anything I can do?

Alright, I found the problem myself: Somehow the new kernel got installed, but not activated in /boot/config.txt. After I changed the kernel and initramfs lines everything worked again.

1 Answer 1


spi-bcm2853 replaces spi-bcm2708.

All I can think of is you have gone from a very old to a recent kernel where device tree is mandated.

Add the line dtparam=spi=on to \boot\config.txt and reboot.

  • I forgot to mention it, but dtparam=spi=on is already set.
    – BenjaminH
    Jun 15, 2016 at 15:42

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