This repository contains useful scripts and files if you want to use standard raspbian stretch or jessie on the pi-top
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¨Rene Richarz
Latest commit 7bc3cf8 Jan 19, 2018


Do you want to run the standard Raspbian Stretch on the pi-top or pi-topCEED?

IMPORTANT! This repository contains deprecated programs and information for the original pi-top laptop and the pi-topCEED. There is now new and improved software available for using Raspbian Stretch on the pi-top. See details here up-to-date instructions for using Raspbian Stretch on the pi-top. The software in this repository is deprecated. It is not compatible with the latest software for the pi-topSPEAKER and the pi-topPULSE, and does not work on the pi-top laptop version 2. If you have used the software in this repository up to now, it is therefore strongly recommended to switch to the up-to-date software (link above).

1 - Battery status display widget (deprecated)

See separate repository

The program will display the battery status, and will shut down the Raspberry Pi if the battery capacity is low and not charging. But unless you also install 3 (automatic poweroff) it will not be able to turn off the pi-top hub and the power to the Raspberry Pi. It would therefore not protect the battery from further depleting.

2 - program to set the screen brightness (deprecated)

This program is for Raspbian Stretch and Jessie only, it should not be installed in pi-topOS.

For installation instructions, see below under INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR 2 AND/OR 3.

Usage (new_value is a screen brightness value between 3 and 10):

brightness new_value
brightness increase
brightness decrease

The keyboard brightness keys will work, if you put the following into the keyboard section of /home/pi/.config/openbox/lxde-pi-rc.xml:

    <keybind key="0xC7">
      <action name="Execute">
        <command>brightness increase</command>
    <keybind key="0xC6">
      <action name="Execute">
        <command>brightness decrease</command>

Instead, you can also copy the lxde-pi-rc.xml file found in this repository to /home/pi/.config/openbox This file also contains working keys for audio mute toggle, audio volume +, audio volume -, file manager and terminal.

Very experienced users can use the command "brightness off" to turn the screen backlight off, and "brightness on" or any other brightness command to turn it back on. But be aware that a turned off screen backlight might easily be mistaken for a Raspberry Pi, which has been shut down. Do not shut off your rpi or cut power to it in this state, and do not use "brightness off" unless you have tested that your brightness keys work, so that you can turn power back on! Also, please be aware that if you have a laptop pi-top with battery, it still draws power from the battery in this state. In order to save battery power, it is much better to shut down the pi-top as you would normally do. It is therefore not recommended for regular users to use the command "brightness off"!

3 - program and system service to turn the hub-controller off after shutdown (deprecated)

This program is for Raspbian Stretch or Jessie only, it should not be installed in pi-topOS.

This program will help to protect your battery by shutting the pi-top-hub-controller off after a shutdown of the Raspberry Pi using the menu, console commands or a programmed shutdown. It does not implement a proper shutdown if the power button is used. Do not use the power button to shutdown the pi-top.

Installation instructions for 2 and/or 3

To download this repository, open a terminal and type:

sudo apt install wiringpi
cd Downloads
git clone --depth 1 git://
cd pi-top-install
chmod +x install*

Make sure that spi is turned on in Menu->Preferences->Raspberry Pi Configuration->Interfaces.

Make sure that your system is up-to-date:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

To install 2 (brightness):


To install 3 (automatic poweroff)


Your new software will work after the next bootup.

Compile the programs 2 and 3

To compile the programs (only required if you want to modify the c programs), use


Then use the install scripts again to reinstall the programs

Uninstalling the programs 2 and/or 3

Open a terminal and type

  cd Dowloads/pi-top-install
  git pull
  chmod +x uninstall*

If you do not have the folder pi-top-install in Downloads anymore, you need to first do a complete new installation.

If you have edited or copied /home/pi/.config/openbox/lxde-pi-rc.xml to enable the keyboard brightness keys, you also need to undo those changes. Either edit the file, or restore the original distributed version using the command

  cp /etc/xdg/openbox/lxde-pi-rc.xml /home/pi/.config/openbox/lxde-pi-rc.xml

The contributions in this repository are distributed in the hope that they will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. The owner of this repository is not affiliated with pi-top.

Please open an issue in this repository or write to if you have any feedback or problem with this repository. Your input is appreciated.