I'm researching the Raspberry Pi features and understand that the Pi can be used to WOL other devices.

My question is can devices WOL the Pi?

Yes I know I can leave it on and running but I would like to be able to shutdown OSes and even reboot into the NOOB/ BerryBoot to switch Oses from time to time.

Can the Pi be WOL? I also plan to do this remotely.

2 Answers 2


The Pi does not have anything like power-down or sleep. It is active and running all the time unless you turn it off. So if it is running there is no need to "wake" it from sleep with WOL (Wake On LAN). If it is turned off by sudo poweroff, it also powers down the ehternet port thus not accessible from the network and therefore cannot be powered on again.

You still can reboot the Pi over SSH. But for selecting another OS you have to be right in front of the Pi. So I don't get the whole point.

  • I have a PiDrive attached to it. So if I can shut down and make it sleep to save more energy. I would like to be able to remotely access it( external internet) either via SSH or VNC( preferred) and select Os options
    – Kendall
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 12:35
  • Assuming your Pi is up and running. How do you select the OS via SSH or VNC? Are there special commands/programs you are using?
    – kwasmich
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 12:48
  • I currently use BerryBoot and have VNC enabled by default. I have a power button so I turn on and then access BerryBoot via VNC on other device to select and boot preferred OS.... Would like to be able to reboot to switch OS over internet.
    – Kendall
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 12:51
  • 1
    I don't think it is possible on the Pi as there is no "soft power on". You will have to use something that sits between your PowerSupply and the Pi and disconnect and reconnect it to initialize the boot sequence. An ESP8266 or Arduino with Ethernet-Shield could do that.
    – kwasmich
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 13:06
  • 2
    You can use the RUN pins to trigger a restart, which is a bit easier than toggling the actual power (as long as you don't mind leaving it on after shutdown): raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/a/66550/5538
    – goldilocks
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 15:04

Althought the Pi can be shutdown, like any other computer. In my experience, the only way to restart it while off and connected to power is disconnect and reconnect power. Many people, don't believe the Pi can be shutdown, but that just is not true. From terminal or SSH remotely
sudo poweroff
will shutdown the Pi, or from the GUI you'll have the option of Logoff, Reboot, Shutdown, etc., but there is no WOL support. If you want to shut it down and remotely start it you'll need something else that can remotely cut/provide power like a smart plug wifi outlet. Once the Pi is off, if you turn the smart plug off and back on, the Pi will start up.
If you just want to restart the Pi
sudo reboot
works without issue with no need to disconnect power at all.

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