Ordered a Raspberry Pi 3B and sensehat a couple of days ago, they've arrived and I have set it all up as per the instructions.

I've run sudo apt-get update,sudo apt-get upgrade -y and sudo reboot

but then upon trying to run the example code:

from sense_hat import SenseHat
sense = SenseHat()
sense.show_message("Hello world !!")

I get the following error:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/home/pi/Desktop/testing sensehat.py", line 2, in <module>
    sense = SenseHat()
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/sense_hat/sense_hat.py", line 39, in __init__
    raise OSError('Cannot detect %s device' % self.SENSE_HAT_FB_NAME)
OSError: Cannot detect RPi-Sense FB device

Furthermore, the SenseHat LED display continues to show the rainbow even after the login screen.

I've had a bit of a look around and done some diagnostics.

sudo dmesg returned:

[    4.764770] rpi-sense 1-0046: Read from reg 240 failed
[    4.764826] rpi-sense: probe of 1-0046 failed with error -22

which I figure is probably the reason I am having issues, but I don't know what that message means, nor how to go about rectifying the issue.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


I've just bought the same hardware and had the exact same issue.

After reading what felt like hours of webpages (not not understanding 99% of it), adding:


to the bottom of /boot/config.txt has resolved the issue.


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