I have run raspi-config and enabled SPI and also verified that /boot/config.txt contains the line:


However, when I run lsmod | grep spi I get the following:

spidev                 16384  0
spi_bcm2835            16384  0

In /dev I can see: spidev0.0 and spidev0.1.

Is SPI enabled and functional? I have a feeling it's not working because my SunFounder LED screen, which relies on SPI, is not working.


I have been using raspi-config always found it working. Sometimes my modules are not working. So I usually use two little test programs to check. One program is to repeatedly send out bytes and use a scope to make sure the waveform looks OK. The other test program is a loop back test. I connect MOSI to MISO, send a byte and read back.

You might like to try my test program. It is plug and play, no libraries are required.

I have tested my program with IDLE python. To run in terminal mode:

Don't forget to run with sudo - otherwise the loopback test recvByte returns 0x0. – @glenneroo Apr 24 at 20:49

# spi_test05 tlfong01 2019apr07hkt2043 ***

# Computer = Rpi3B+
# Linux    = $ hostnamectl = raspberrypi Raspbian GNU/Linux 9 (stretch) Linux 4.14.34-v7+ arm 
# Python   = >>> sys.version = 3.5.3 Jan 19 2017

# Test 1   - repeatSendByte() - SPI port repeatedly send out single bytes.  
# Function - Repeat many times sending a byte, pause after each byte.

# Test 2   - loopBackTest()   - SPI port send and receive one byte.
# Function - Send one byte to MSOI and read it back from MISO. 
# Setup    - Connet MOSI pin to MISO pin to form a loop.

from   time import sleep
import spidev

spiPort0 = spidev.SpiDev()
spiPort0.max_speed_hz = 100000

def spiSendRecvOneByte(spiPort, sendByte):
    sendByteArray = [sendByte]
    recvByteArray = spiPort.xfer(sendByteArray)    
    return recvByteArray

def repeatSendOneByte(spiPort, sendByte, pauseTimeBetweenBytes, repeatCount):
    print('\nBegin repeatSendByte(),....')
    for i in range(repeatCount):
        spiSendRecvOneByte(spiPort, sendByte)
    print('End   repeatSendByte().')

def loopBackOneByte(spiPort, sendByte):
    recvByteArray     = spiSendRecvOneByte(spiPort, sendByte)
    recvByte          = recvByteArray[0]

    print('\nBegin testLoopbackOneByte(),....')
    print('      sendByte  = ', hex(sendByte))
    print('      recvByte  = ', hex(recvByte))
    print('End   testLoopbackOneByte(),....')

def testRepeatSendOneByte():
    repeatSendOneByte(spiPort0, 0x5b, 0.0001, 20000000)

def testLoopbackOneByte():
    loopBackOneByte(spiPort0, 0x5b)


''' Smple output tlfong 01 2019apr07hkt2047
Begin testLoopbackOneByte(),....
      sendByte  =  0x5b
      recvByte  =  0x5b
End   testLoopbackOneByte(),....

# *** End ***


Appendix A - SPI Pinouts

rpi spi pinout

  • Don't forget to run with sudo - otherwise the loopback test recvByte returns 0x0.
    – glenneroo
    Apr 24 '19 at 20:49
  • Ah, many thanks for pointing that. Actually I wrongly assume that the program is always run in IDLE which doesn't need sudo. I should remember to add the remark in the next version that don't to run with sudo if the program is run in text mode.
    – tlfong01
    Apr 29 '19 at 14:59

SPI is working.

The needed modules are loaded (spidev, spi_bcm2835) and the needed devices are present (dev/spidev0.0 /dev/spidev0.1).

  • "Working" as in recognized by the OS but not necessarily operational. Using @tlfong01's loopback script, receiving data on MISO doesn't work on this Pi but running the script on a different Pi (using the same SD card) works as expected.
    – glenneroo
    Apr 24 '19 at 17:43
  • @glenneroo Did you read the question "Is SPI enabled?". The answer is yes.
    – joan
    Apr 24 '19 at 18:02
  • Fair enough, I should have been more accurate framing my question, though my contention stems from the use of the word "working" which in my case is not the case.
    – glenneroo
    Apr 24 '19 at 18:32
  • 1
    @glenneroo I suggest you test the GPIO. pigpio's gpiotest or wiringPi's pintest. If that passes it sounds like a wiring problem.
    – joan
    Apr 24 '19 at 18:58
  • 1
    @glenneroo Okay, Connect GPIO 10/9 (pins 19/21). Then enter the following commands. sudo pigpiod then pigs spio 0 50000 0 then pigs spix 0 23 45 67 89 12 13. If the response is 6 23 45 67 89 12 13 then SPI is okay.
    – joan
    Apr 24 '19 at 20:24

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