New PiTFT package beta release – now with Pi 2 support! Please try it out :)


Hey everyone, as you know, the Pi Foundation recently released a new Raspberry Pi 2 and with it also did a fairly major upgrade to the Pi processor and kernel setup. In order to properly support the Pi going forward, we need to have the latest firmware and kernel. Also, the Pi has moved to device tree overlays, a new way of handling external hardware!

For the last 3 weeks Adafruit has been working on getting PiTFT support solid on the Pi 2 and also improving performance and installation on the Pi 1 model A/B/A+/B+ and we’re finally ready for a pre-final-release beta. Thanks to some incredibly hard work by Notro, Popcornmix, Brennen Bearnes and Todd Treece we have a fancy new installation package for all models of PiTFT (2.2″, 2.8″ resistive, 2.8″ capacitive, and 3.5″ resistive)

Please note we’ve done quite a bit of testing but this is still a beta, so don’t run this on your ultra-valuable Pi installation with all your important and irreplaceable manuscripts! The new installation program is housed at

To run it on a fresh raspbian Pi, first make sure you have networking up and running, then at the command line run:

curl -SLs | sudo bash
sudo apt-get install adafruit-pitft-helper

to install the new adafruit kernel and helper script. Then you can run the configuration-helper script with
sudo adafruit-pitft-helper -t [typeofscreen]
where [typeofscreen] is 22 (2.2″ HAT), 28r (2.8″ resistive), 28c (2.8″ capacitive) or 35r (3.5″ resistive)

Please try it out and comment below if it does or doesn’t work for you. We may need to help you in the forums but this will give us information so we can do a final release. Thank you for your patience! I know a lot about printk() now.


Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !


  1. Hi , may be some one should post this info in the Pi 2 Compatibility Updates forum.

    So people subscribed there can get a notification .

    Forum link :

  2. I tried to build this on a Raspberry Pi B with (initially) an older Raspbian (maybe December 2014, I am not sure). After dist-upgrade and rpi-update the TFT (not surprisingly) no longer lit up.

    The kernel loaded fine, but unfortunately, the “sudo apt-get install adafruit-pitft-helper” does not work: It aborts with an unresolved dependency to “raspberrypi-bootloader”.

    I guess I’ll re-flash the SD card with the latest Raspbian and then try again.

  3. Update: After a manual “sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-bootloader” I could load the helper application. The PiTFT is now working fine.
    Apparently the instructions have to be extended a little if the PiTFT is already working using the previous set of drivers.

  4. OK, so I did the install on a brand new install of the latest Raspbian, did an update/upgrade, and an rpi-update.

    The scripts and instructions seem to work. Upon reboot, I see the console text on the 3.5″ display, but the desktop doesn’t show up on the small display, only on the HDMI output.

    I tried removing the HDMI cable and rebooting, but still the only thing I see on the mini display is the console text and an underline in the upper left of the now black display.

  5. I tried this twice and both times it would not boot. I got tons of errors while its in the boot screen after installing the pitft-helper stuff onto the pi. Help with this would be great.

  6. Seems to work great for my pi 2.


  7. This is working great on my PI 2 as well. Great work!

  8. Brennen Bearnes

    Martin: Sorry about that one. I’d guess that raspberrypi-bootloader was held back or broken for one reason or another. I’ll try to update the instructions a bit to cover that case. We should probably recommend that people start with a fresh Raspbian, although I think the packages will work in most cases on older installs.

    For Brett’s issue with X showing up on HDMI, see here:

    – probably it just needs an “export FRAMEBUFFER=/dev/fb1”.

    Mike – details about the errors you’re seeing would be helpful. Feel free to post in the forum thread or file an issue on the GitHub project:

    As a first suggestion, I’d try with a fresh Rasbpian install, if you haven’t done that yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.