So you’re ready to try out ev3dev. Great! Here are step-by-step instructions to help you get ev3dev up and running on your EV3 or Raspberry Pi.
First, here are the things you need before starting:
A way to communicate.
For the EV3, this can be one of the following:
For Raspberry Pi you will need to use the wired Ethernet connection first. With PiStorms the EV3 options will work too since you have a screen to configure them on.
The instructions on this page only apply to releases dated December 2015 or later. Older releases are no longer supported. There are many major changes in the December release, so if something seems broken or the documentation seems incorrect, please open an issue on GitHub.
Releases are posted on GitHub. Follow the link and download the latest
Test Release image file for your hardware. Releases for LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3
ev3-, Raspberry Pi starts with
rpi- and Raspberry Pi 2 starts
.zip file is recommended for
Windows/Mac and the
.xz file is recommended for Linux. The
.xz is smaller,
but it requires that you have additional software installed on Windows/Mac to
decompress it (such as 7-Zip on Windows).
There are a vast number of ways to do this, so pick the one from the list that sounds the easiest to you:
You must make some changes to
config.txt to enable support for BrickPi or
PiStorms before you put your SD card in your Raspberry Pi.
You may have to remove the SD card from your host computer and plug it back in
after flashing it in order for it to be detected. In your file browser, open
EV3DEV_BOOT. This contains a file named
in your favorite text editor and follow the instructions in the file to enable
either BrickPi or PiStorms.
When the boot is complete, the LEDs will turn green and you will see something like this on the screen
Put the SD Card in your EV3 and power it on. At first, you will see the MINDSTORMS boot splash and the red LEDs will be on. This is immediately followed by the ev3dev boot splash and the LEDs changing to orange. The LEDs indicate disk (SD card) activity.
Note: If you are using Raspberry Pi hardware without a screen, just wait for the Activity LED to stop flashing, then go to the next step.
After about one minute, the screen will go blank. This happens on the first boot only. The first boot takes longer than subsequent boots because the EV3 has to create a unique SSH host ids and take care of a few other housekeeping items. After another minute or two, you will see the brickman loading… screen. If nothing has happened after five minutes, something is not right - check the troubleshooting tips below.
You will notice the number in the battery in the upper right corner. This displays the remaining voltage of the power supply. It is not possible to calculate an accurate percent value of the remaining energy, so this value is chosen. If the voltage drops below 5V the brick will turn off. All not saved data may be lost. Keep in mind, that it may take a much longer time from 8V to 6.5V than from 6.5V down to 5V!
There are lots of choices here. Your choice depends on what type of connection you want to use and on the OS of your host computer, so pick the one that applies:
For Raspberry Pi with no display, you must use the wired Ethernet port
to connect for the first time. You can setup additional connections using the
This will be where we tell you how to use the EV3’s main functions, and how to write programs. We are still learning, so everything here should be considered experimental and subject to major changes.
Here are some guides for using each of the major components.
There are a number of programming languages available to use. The brick can run almost all languages that any other Linux distro can, so your favorite language is probably supported. Language bindings have already been written for many languages. You can learn more about the available libraries here.
If the language you want isn’t listed, you still can use it, but you’ll have to do more of the heavy lifting yourself using the guides above. Once you get the hang of it, you can even write your own interface library and have it listed here!
When you are ready to wish your EV3 goodnight, turn if off by pressing the
back button from the main menu in brickman or pressing and holding the back
button from any screen in brickman. This will open a dialog where you can select
Power Off to turn off the EV3. (Running
sudo poweroff in a terminal works too.)