I have seen lots of people using their Raspberry Pi Zero as a USB device by connecting it to a host computer via USB and are able to SSH into it locally (https://learn.adafruit.com/turning-your-raspberry-pi-zero-into-a-usb-gadget/overview)

However, this cannot be done the Raspberry Pi 3 or any other of the RP boards. So I am wondering what feature does the Zero have, that allows this to work, but is missing in the RP 3?


The raspberrypi 0 has a USB OTG port which can act as a host or a client, unlike regular USB ports which can only be one of those. Or in the case of charging only ports neither host or client.


RPi boards other than Zero cannot connect to a host computer via USB because data pins on their microUSB connectors are not connected to anything. Here's a screenshot of RPi 3 schematics:

enter image description here

  • OTG pins cannot be routed to USB-A ports, only to microUSB. All broadcom chips have OTG capability, Pi-zero is unique exactly because those pins are routed. – Dmitry Grigoryev Oct 28 '16 at 14:40

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