The Raspberry Pi A & B are powered through the microUSB port. If the Raspberry Pi is plugged into a computer instead of a power transformer, could you send data through that connection? I know iPhones and iPods have a similar approach where you can charge the iPod and transfer songs so I don't think it's unreasonable for the Raspberry Pi to do the same.

I think such a setup would be interesting for projects where I dedicate the Pi towards a single task and I just send it commands from my computer.

  • No. Do it over Ethernet. Jul 24, 2013 at 19:45
  • Hello cspirou, since this question is quite old and has an accepted and upvoted answer, I would strongly suggest to not alter its scope (to include the Zero). Instead I would prefer to clearly outline the area this question covers (which type of Pi(s)) by using the appropriate tags and/or edits to the text body. The facet of the Zero could be addressed best in a new question - which you could phrase with the things you brought up as a first answer.
    – Ghanima
    Dec 30, 2015 at 11:26
  • @Ghanima - Thanks. I will try to modify my question with your suggestions.
    – cspirou
    Jan 3, 2016 at 15:08

2 Answers 2


No. The microUSB port is power only -- the other pins are not connected.

You can see that the data pins are not connected on the schematic.


Well yes you can, but it will not be a software configuration deal.

Since the data lines are absent in this port unless you modify your pi to add them you will not be able to achieve this. What you can try under your own risk is to get them from one of the available USB ports and add them to this port. Another less radical option is to make a cable yourself that powers up the Pi through the GPIO and transfers data through USB at the same time. Again, that might void the warranty.

Good Luck!

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