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This is a daemon for Raspberry Pi devices that monitors GPIO pins 23 and 24, waiting for a high signal from a Mausberry Circuits switch in order to poweroff the system safely. It is intended to replace the official setup script.


This software is only supported on the latest version of Raspberry Pi OS (currently based on Debian Buster).

Fetch and install the latest release directly on your Pi:

# Download the package

# Install the package
sudo dpkg -i mausberry-switch*.deb
sudo apt-get -f install


The mausberry-switch systemd service will be automatically enabled and started when you install the package.

To stop or disable the service, the appropriate systemctl command should be used. For example:

# Stop the service temporarily
sudo systemctl stop mausberry-switch

# Disable the service from automatically starting at boot
sudo systemctl disable mausberry-switch

Configuration options (such as input/output pins, shutdown command/delay) are available in the primary configuration file, /etc/mausberry-switch.conf.

After changing this file, you must restart the service to pick up the new configuration.

sudo systemctl restart mausberry-switch

Please see the configuration file for documentation on each supported option.

Why not just use the official script available from their website?

For reference, we're talking about this code:

while [ 1 = 1 ]; do
    cat /sys/class/gpio/gpio$GPIOpin1/value
    sleep 1

In my opinion, if there's a wrong way to monitor GPIO pins, it is a bash script. I do have to give credit for strong adherence to the KISS principle - 21 lines of bash is hard to beat.

However, on a Raspberry PI device, we're dealing with a processor that is a close relative to a piece of tinfoil. Just think about all the poor, wasted clock cycles that occur while polling the GPIO state repeatedly.

Alright, what about one of those Python scripts?

With raw access to GPIO and the ability to wait for GPIO events without wasting CPU time, Python is definitely a better way to go.

So let's say you have a Model B rev 2 board with 512MB of RAM. After you give some to the GPU, you only really have 400MB or 500MB left. Each instance of the Python interpreter takes up roughly 4MB, and I don't consider that to be a small loss.

Okay then. Prove that yours really is better!

There's some fine documentation on Linux kernel gpio/sysfs that tells us how the kernel can alert us when the value of a GPIO has changed. This eliminates the need for constant sampling of the GPIO. Here's how it works:

  1. Export the pins to userspace with /sys/class/gpio/export and set their direction with /sys/class/gpio/gpioN/direction.
  2. Set the value of /sys/class/gpio/gpioN/edge to setup an interrupt-generating pin.
  3. poll(2) on /sys/class/gpio/gpioN/value for the events POLLPRI and POLLERR
  4. Wait for poll to return and you've got a winner!

In the context of Linux system calls, poll means "wait for events to occur", as opposed to the traditional definition of polling, which is more along the lines of "actively sampling".

Here's the output of top showing the CPU and RAM usage of this program:

22682 root      20   0  1504  284  228 S   0.0  0.1   0:00.00 mausberry-switch


  • Replace legacy sysfs code with new chardev API / libgpiod (2021)


The software is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.