I've just set up a Raspberry Pi 3 with a SmartiPi touch case and the official touchscreen display. Everything is working fine... except that there is no touchscreen keyboard. I do not have a bluetooth keyboard, so I'm stuck.

I've read that I need to install the on-screen keyboard using this command: sudo apt-get install matchbox-keyboard

Then be available in the main menu under "Accessories" > "Keyboard" (you'll need to restart to see it appear!)

activate on screen keyboard

The problem is that without a keyboard I can not type the command. :( I also cannot connect to our wifi without entering the password... which I can't type without a keyboard. :(

So... I was wondering if there was any way that I could connect my Rapberry Pi 3 via bluetooth to my PC and then use the keyboard on my PC to type the necessary commands?

I'd rather not buy a bluetooth keyboard only to type these two commands...

Thank you in advance for your help!

  • 2
    You don't need to buy a bluetooth keyboard. You can use a regular USB keyboard; notice the regular USB jacks on the Pi 3. If you don't have access to one of those, you'd can take the card out and edit it on a system which can access ext4 filesystems (i.e., not MS Windows), allowing you to add a wifi password, etc. But I strongly suggest you spare yourself the hours of head scratching and further questions and splurge $10 on a cheap USB keyboard.
    – goldilocks
    Aug 25, 2016 at 18:11
  • WRT to your actual question, probably yes if you wrote (or found) some software for that purpose but you almost certainly won't be able to get it working without being able to do something on the pi side first so -- no point.
    – goldilocks
    Aug 25, 2016 at 18:12
  • 1
    @goldilocks +1 "I strongly suggest you spare yourself the hours of head scratching and further questions and splurge $10 on a cheap USB keyboard", totally agree, from experience (and frustration) it is much easier to get a USB keyboard and then SSH in.
    – Peter
    Aug 25, 2016 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


You can SSH into the Raspberry Pi from a regular computer (use PuTTY for windows). Then punch in your aforementioned command (sudo apt-get install matchbox-keyboard) and restart using sudo shutdown -r now

You would need to have your Raspberry Pi on the same network as your PC. Either you could use ethernet, or setup wifi (by editing files on the SD card)

  • On a Mac can just use the Terminal, you will be able to see the address on your HDMI TV and then just "ssh [email protected].??", password "raspberry"
    – Peter
    Aug 25, 2016 at 20:32
  • Or see the address on the router's setup interface, if applicable.
    – Pranav
    Aug 25, 2016 at 20:49

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