I would like to use I2C and SPI pins as a gpio on my raspberry pi zero w. To be more clear, BCM 3-5-7-11-13-14 pins on the link [1]. I want to disable I2C1, GPCLK0, SPI0, UART, PWM0. Is it possible and how if so? I assume I need to make changes in dtb files.

3 Answers 3


Just make sure all of the interfaces are disabled in 'Raspberry Pi Configuration':

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or from the command line 'sudo raspi-config':

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  • Hmm, that was easy. Does raspi-config app change the pin configuration of cpu within dtb files? Afaik, the configuration of the pins (i2c, uart etx) declared in device tree files.
    – msaiducar
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 9:20

Just make sure any reference to SPI, I2C, etc. are commented out in file /boot/config.txt (put a # at the start of the line).

Actually normally no special action is required. The very act of setting a GPIO to be an INPUT or OUTPUT will break any existing association with SPI, I2C etc.


I was going to say that best source for REAL answer is datasheet , unfortunately it is buried in this little snippet:

SYNOPSIS The function select registers are used to define th e operation of the general purpose I/O pins. Each of the 54 GPIO pins has at least two al ternative functions as defined in section 16.2. The FSEL{n} field determines the functionalit y of the nth GPIO pin. All unused alternative function lines are tied to ground and w ill output a “0” if selected. All pins reset to normal GPIO input operation. Of course that implies the "alternate function" is NOT selected in raspi-config as already pointed out.

PS raspi-config IS the "official" place to setup alternate pins function - NOT boot config. BUT I did not verify that!

  • 1
    raspi-config just edits /boot/config.txt. I'm not sure that it is included in any distribution other than the raspberrypi.org Raspbian based distributions.
    – joan
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 15:54

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