Support Center

Using Serial with a Raspberry Pi

To connect a Raspberry Pi to your Mac you'll need a USB to serial adapter that uses 3.3V logic levels. The Adafruit 954 and the FTDI TTL-232R-RPI both work with Serial and can be plugged directly into the GPIO header.

Unfortunately the USB connector that powers the Raspberry Pi cannot be used to connect to the board as the USB data lines are not connected to the SoC on most versions of the board. The Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi 4 are the only exceptions.

Family Console via USB Console via Header Models
Raspberry Pi 1 - Yes Raspberry Pi 1 A+
Raspberry Pi 1 B+
Raspberry Pi 2 - Yes Raspberry Pi 2 B
Raspberry Pi Zero Yes 1 Yes Raspberry Pi Zero
Raspberry Pi 3 - Yes 2 Raspberry Pi 3 B
Raspberry Pi 3 B+
Raspberry Pi 3 A+
Raspberry Pi 4 Maybe 3 Yes Raspberry Pi 4 B

Your terminal software must be configured with the following line settings:

  • Baud Rate: 115200

  • Data Bits: 8

  • Parity: None

  • Stop Bits: 1

  • Flow Control: None

  1. You must enable the "serial gadget driver" - see Setup a Raspberry Pi for headless use with USB serial console 

  2. You may need to add the option enable_uart=1 at the end of `/boot/config.txt - see Pi3 UART stopped working? Read this

  3. The USB-C data lines are connected to the SoC so direct connection may be possible after enabling the "serial gadget driver" as described above.