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Script to configure an installed PiTFT
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Latest commit 5f42dd2 Mar 28, 2018


This script/repository is deprecated, as trying to do kernel updates on the fast-moving Raspberry Pi wasn't sustainable! We're now using a simpler device-tree-only script, available at

We'll keep this repo public but archived for the curious.

A (deprecated) script for configuring Adafruit's PiTFT displays on a Raspberry Pi.

Attention RETROPIE Users:

Do not use the adafruit-pitft-helper script with RetroPie. Instead, follow the directions on this page:

PiTFT Documentation


Detailed installation guides:

Getting Started: Kernel & Helper Script Installation

First, add Adafruit's Occidentalis package repository to your system. Occidentalis is a growing collection of useful packages and configuration defaults for installation on Raspbian systems.

If you want to bootstrap the full version of Occidentalis on a fresh, unused Pi from another computer, we offer an easy graphical tool called the Pi Finder. Once bootstrapped, you can open a terminal on your Pi and run:

sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-bootloader
sudo apt-get install adafruit-pitft-helper

...which first installs a custom kernel with PiTFT support, and then the helper script itself. If you just want to install the kernel and helper without pulling down any other extra packages, you can run the following from the command line of a working Pi:

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

This can take a surprisingly long time to finish, especially if you're using a slower SD card, so be patient.

Please be careful! Installing a new kernel always has the potential to leave your Raspberry Pi unbootable. You should make a backup copy of your SD card before trying this, or (even better!) start with a fresh card.

Using adafruit-pitft-helper

adafruit-pitft-helper must be run with root privileges, and takes a parameter specifying the type of PiTFT to configure. Invoke it like so:

sudo adafruit-pitft-helper -t 28r

For a full list of available options, check the help:

adafruit-pitft-helper -h

Installing PiTFT support in a Raspbian image file (experimental!)

This repository includes a small wrapper script for installing the custom kernel and PiTFT configuration in a Rasbpian image file. In order to use it, you can download and unzip a recent Raspbian image on a Raspberry Pi, then do something like the following in a terminal:

curl -SLs | sudo bash
sudo apt-get install adafruit-pitft-helper
sudo adafruit-pitft-chroot-install -t 28r -i ~/2015-02-16-raspbian-wheezy.img

...where -t specifies the type of PiTFT just like the same option to adafruit-pitft-helper, and -i specifies the path to an image file.

You can also use adafruit-pi-chroot to run a chrooted shell inside of a Raspbian ISO image. Like the install wrapper, this relies on kpartx.

These are the scripts we use to produce the Easy Install images offered in Adafruit product documentation. They may be a bit rough around the edges.

Older Versions

For the version supporting Raspbian Wheezy, check out the wheezy branch on this repository.