What I am trying to achieve : I have a RPi2. I don't have a Wifi dongle that can be used with the RPi2. I decided to connect an ESP8266 to RPi2 so that ESP8266 will act as the Wifi receiver for RPi2. Can this be done? If this can't be done, I prefer buying a RPi3 instead of spending money on a Wifi Dongle.

What I have done till now : Google says that to connect an ESP8266 to the serial port of Pi, I have to disable kernel startup messages and serial console login (These by default uses the serial port of Pi)

I have already tried the following to disable the serial port

  • Removing console=serial0,115200 from /boot/cmdline.txt
  • sudo raspi-config and selecting Advanced Options and disabling the serial port in it
  • Following this link i have done

    sudo systemctl stop [email protected]
    sudo systemctl disable [email protected]

to disable serial console login. But when I asked this question, I was told this step is not required.

After trying all these steps, I still don't get a reply from ESP8266 if I send an AT command. I am using minicom to send the AT command.

  • You don't mention connect how or for what, have you considered using your local LAN (WiFi oin the esp8266) and Ethernet or WiFi on the Pi. Jul 13, 2016 at 7:29
  • What model of esp8266 board do you have? How is it powered? They tend to use more power than can be supplied by the gpio. Also, what mode is the esp8266 in? I've used some esp8266 and while your approach would work once you worked everything out, I think you will be disappointed by the throughput of the serial connection, specially compared with a rpi3.
    – jogco
    Jul 13, 2016 at 8:12
  • I use ESP-01. I power it from RPi itself. Jul 13, 2016 at 10:03
  • If you power it from 3.3volt on the GPIO, be advised that the recommended maximum current draw is only 50 mA, whereas the Esp8266 may use more than 200 mA. Normally, a 500 mA supply is recommended.
    – jogco
    Jul 13, 2016 at 20:05

1 Answer 1


If you want to use the ESP8266 as the main WiFi receiver, i would prefer putting the module into SDIO mode, and follow this link to configure it.

If you are connecting it with UART, all you can do is just sending AT commands to the module and receiving result back. If you are using this way, you will need to implement a driver to parse the AT commands and you will have a big performance hit.

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