Raspberry Pi – Adding a Power Button With One Line of Code

I needed a way to cleanly power on and off my Raspberry Pi powered arcade machine, as my kids were just pulling the plug on the unit.  Even though a Raspberry Pi is pretty durable, I know it was just a matter of time before my SD card got corrupted from this unclean shutdown method.

I searched and found some python code options which requires a script to run all the time looking to see if the power button is pressed.  It also required adding this script at boot time.  Not terribly difficult, and the methods I tried worked just fine.  However, I like things clean and simple.

I found a post by Raspberry Pi/Raspbian expert Matthijs Kooijman explaining how he created a device tree snippet that was added into the core Raspbian OS starting with the 2017.08.16 release.  Lots of great details here on his blog page:


So, taking his method, I created a short YouTube video showing how to make this method work.

Parts List:

Momentary Power Button (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0094GP7SQ)

Connector Wires (https://www.amazon.com/HiLetgo-5x40pcs-Breadboard-Assortment-Arduino/dp/B077X99KX1)


We will use PINs 5 for signal input and a ground pin.  I used pin 6 for ground, but you can use any ground pin on the board.

Either by SSH or direct from the Raspberry Pi console, enter this:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

Scroll to the bottom of the file, enter a remark and this line of code:

# Enables PIN 5 as power button, other PIN to ground


Press Control-X and ‘Y’ to save.  In order for this to take effect, reboot your Pi.

Connect your power button to PIN 5 and PIN 6 (or another ground).


Thanks for viewing!