That other question was asking for what my range of options were for SSHing into my RPi from a Mac. Ethernet Gadget is one of several possible solutions. This question is about the specifics of the Ethernet Gadget solution. This question is not a dupe of the other. It's the same as first asking: what kinds of sandwiches do you sell? And then being told that PBJs are one type of sandwich that I could buy, and then me asking a second question about what kind of jelly is used in the PBJ. Two separate questions. Not dupes.

I have a Raspberry Pi 1 Model A here, and a MacBook Pro laptop. I'm trying to follow this Ethernet Gadget tutorial which will allow me to treat my RPi as an ethernet device and SSH into it from my Mac terminal.

It's a great tutorial but leaves me a little vague/fuzzy about the whole order of events. Here's my take on the process:

  1. Plug the SD card into my machine (in reality my Mac doesn't have an SD slot so I need to use a USB-to-SD adapter, but same principle here)
  2. Burn my OS (Raspbian Stretch) to the SD card
  3. Post-burn, edit a config.txt and a cmdline.txt file (as that link explains) that are now on the SD card
  4. Take my SD card out of my Mac and plug it into my RPi
  5. Power my RPi on
  6. Connect my RPi to my Mac via USB ethernet cable (or USB?!?)
  7. I should now be able to SSH into my RPi from my Mac terminal

Can anyone confirm/clarify the sequence of events here? Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of SSHing from Mac into Pi A
    – MatsK
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 17:44
  • That's the basic procedure I use connecting my Zeros to my Macs. Unfortunately, I won't be able to test on my A for a few days, but if it supports USB gadget mode in the same way, what you've described should work. To answer item 6., you use a normal USB A male (Mac side) to micro USB B male (RPi end) data cable. It shows up as either a serial port or network port, depending on whether you added g_serial or g_ether in step 3. Note that for a serial connection, you do have to add a command that requires you be able to access the RPi, so networked is the way to go the first time.
    – bobstro
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 17:58
  • Thanks @MatsK but I'd ask you to reconsider the duplicate comment: that other question was asking for what my available options are (of which this solution is but one option). This question is asking for clarification on the specifics of this one particular option. So in my mind they are not dupes.
    – smeeb
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 18:03
  • "USB ethernet cable (or USB?!?)" -> Just a plain ol' USB cable (that can be used for data, some may only be for charging).
    – goldilocks
    Commented Sep 19, 2017 at 13:05

1 Answer 1


The tutorial you linked to only works with the Pi Zero and Pi Zero W. It does not seem to be mentioned explicitly in the Adafruit tutorial except in the title, but the original tutorial makes this clear:

To make it clear though, this can only work with the Raspberry Pi Zero.

If you do get a Pi Zero numbers 5 and 6 in your question can be accomplished by plugging a USB cable into your Mac and the Pi's USB port (no power cable needed). The following from the linked tutorial makes this clear.

That's two whole ways of being able to connect to your Pi zero just by plugging in a micro B cable! You don't even need to power your Pi seperately, as power is provided from your computer.

  • 1
    Add a USB Ethernet or WiFi dongle is by far the simplest method. Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 17:37
  • 1
    "The Raspberry Pi Zero (and model A and A+) support USB On The Go, given the processor is connected directly to the USB port, unlike on the B, B+ or Pi 2 B, which goes via a USB hub.". Ref.: gist.github.com/gbaman/50b6cca61dd1c3f88f41
    – MatsK
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 17:46
  • 1
    You use that and then connect it to your home network or you can do something like this pihw.wordpress.com/guides/direct-network-connection Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 18:14
  • 2
    There is very little difference between an original B and an A (the A has no ethernet and only 1 USB) Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 18:29
  • 1
    That is what the USB to Ethernet adapter is for. Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 19:00

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