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Raspberry Pi kernel with Frame Buffer TFT support

The 1.8″ TFT display that I use with my Raspberry Pi is really fun, but setting the kernel to work with it was a nightmare. Not any more thanks to the work of @notro. With the following instructions, you can add FBTFT support to your Raspbian for 5 minutes. Here is how:

To use rpi-update it has to be the latest version (auto updating doesn’t work, since it overwrites the REPO_URI variable):

sudo wget -O /usr/bin/rpi-update && sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/rpi-update

Remember to expand the filesystem if you haven’t done so

sudo raspi-config

Enable SPI

# remove or comment out the spi blacklist line
sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/raspi-blacklist.conf

Do the kernel update

sudo mv /lib/modules/$(uname -r) /lib/modules/$(uname -r).bak
sudo REPO_URI= rpi-update

We need the module to load at start-up:

sudo nano /etc/modules 
add the following line at the end:
fbtft_device name=sainsmart18 rotate=3

..and finally have the console also start on the framebuffer by editing /boot/cmdline.txt

sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt

It should look like this:

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait fbcon=map:10 fbcon=rotate:1 fbcon=font:MINI4x6

This takes roughly 5 minutes, after which you enjoy a nice miniature display on your Pi:


3 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi kernel with Frame Buffer TFT support

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