I am attempting to set up my Pi-0-w to wake up a computer on a local network. However, Wake-on-LAN is not an option. Does anyone have ideas for an alternative? Perhaps a way to wake through a USB connection?

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    Is there a reason why WOL is not an option? Perhaps this is the problem you should be trying to solve. Otherwise you may want to look at this question and this related post on making the Pi-0 behave like a USB device such as a keyboard. Dec 20, 2018 at 9:43
  • @RogerJones Actually I asked that other question, however there were no answers of yet so I am trying a more general question.
    – try-catch
    Dec 20, 2018 at 17:05
  • @RogerJones, Yes, more than one. The main computer I want to do this with does not support it, and also I would like for the solution to be "plug-and-play", without having to configure each PC.
    – try-catch
    Dec 20, 2018 at 17:07
  • Fair enough! My only suggestion is trying to get your Pi0 to act like a USB keyboard and send the appropriate key code to wake your PC as per the question I referred to. But, even that may need some configuring on the PC to allow USB devices to wake the PC up and also to prevent the USB bus from going into Suspend Mode. May not even work, hence why I'm not posting this as an answer. Good luck. Dec 21, 2018 at 8:48
  • @RogerJones I have tried the idea of emulating a USB keyboard pretty extensively, and have not been able to get it to work. I am able to emulate the keyboard, but not enough to where I can signal a wake with it. I am now attempting to emulate a bluetooth keyboard, to see if that will work any better.
    – try-catch
    Dec 21, 2018 at 21:38

2 Answers 2


I have used a crazy solution.

I've programmed a Particle Photon (but any wifi arduino will do) to "reset" the Raspberry Pi using the reset pin.

Expensive and crazy but works :)

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    OP wanted to turn on their PC, not reset their Pi. Dec 20, 2018 at 9:35
  • It is true, I am looking to wake the PC, however this idea of interfacing with an Arduino might be the ticket.
    – try-catch
    Dec 20, 2018 at 17:10
  • @RogerJones You are indeed right but if you can reset a Pi with arduino it means that you can "push a physical button" with it. That button can be any button, including the on button on your pc :)
    – Pitto
    Jan 12, 2019 at 18:42

If you're okay with cracking open your computer case, you could use the Pi's GPIO through an optoisolator to trigger the PC's power button, like what is described in this tutorial. You would replace your PC's power button with the optoisolator (or wire the two in parallel), then use the Raspberry Pi's GPIO to control the optoisolator.

You could also use a relay board like the PowerSwitch Tail or a similar product controlled by your Pi Zero to remotely turn on and off power to the PC, then set the PC's BIOS to "restore from AC power loss" (this will make the computer turn on whenever power is restored). This would also use the GPIO pins.

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