Walkthru of getting networking between PC using PiZero via USB

ALPHA Testers Only

Andrew Mulholland has written a blog to enable access to a PiZero via USB.

This is my précis of it that is purely designed to enable you to connect to your PiZero using just a USB lead from a Windows computer (7 or above) and be able to login to a terminal session on the Pi using USB Networking

Starter Method


A Windows machine connected to internet

Install Putty on Windows.

B/B+/2B Pi with keyboard/screen

Spare microSD card

 Instructions for setting up USB networking on PiZero using original ethernet only method

  1. Download Jessie 21Nov15 and write image to a microSD card using win32diskimager.exe
  2. Download  – https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1122948/temp/PiOTG-Test/PiZeroEthernet.tar.gz
  3. Copy the tar.gz file onto the SD card.
  4. Remove card from PC and place into B/B+/2B
  5. Do normal first boot stuff – login – sudo raspi-config and choose option 1, finish, reboot.
  6. Login again – Run sudo tar xvzfC /boot/PiZeroEthernet.tar.gz /tmp/
  7. Then run sudo cp -R /tmp/PiZeroEthernet/fat32/* /boot/ (to copy the kernel and device tree stuff)
  8. Then run sudo cp -R /tmp/PiZeroEthernet/ext4/lib/* /lib/ (to copy the kernel modules themselves)
  9. Next, you will need to manually assign a fixed IP to the Pi, you can do this by editing the cmdline.txt file (using sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt)
    Add this onto the end of the long line ip=
    Save it (Ctrl-X then y then Enter)
    This will allow you to connect the Pi using the address from your computer.
  10. run sudo shutdown now and wait till green light stops flashing
  11. Remove card from big Pi and put in PiZero

Getting Networking running between PiZero and Windows machine

  1. Plug USB cable between PiZero (middle socket and PC) – the green light on the PiZero should flash once after about a second – your PC should beep like it does when you stick a device into a USB port.
    Now, if you’ve not done anything like this before then a bit of configuring is needed on Windows machine.
  2. It will try and install a USB networking driver and may appear to succeed but best bet is to go into control panel -system -device manager and see if little yellow mark against USB ethernet in Network Adaptors. If so simply follow these instructions up to the setting ip address part https://github.com/ev3dev/ev3dev/wiki/Setting-Up-Windows-USB-Ethernet-Networking
  3. Then unplug/plug USB and then get into Network Adaptors and click on Change Adaptor Settings.
  4. If you’ve got an unidentified USB Ethernet network adaptor then you are good to go. If it says “identifying” – wait till it comes ready – can take a few minutes the first time

Actually connecting To PiZero over USB

This is where you use Putty to connect to a terminal window on the PiZero

  1. Run Putty
  2. Enter as IP address and press Open
  3. Answer yes to dialog box and then you should see PiZero login

Please contact @cymplecy on twitter if it doesn’t work 🙂

Extra info – edit /boot/config.txt and add in


to sort out VNC screen size 🙂

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *