Inky wHAT with Raspberry Pi 4

If you have a Raspberry Pi 4 and an Inky wHAT ePaper/eInk/EPD, you’ll likely want to use one with the other at some point. Here’s everything I did from opening the box of the Raspberry Pi and Inky wHAT to running the example code:

  • Assemble the required ingredients:
    • Raspberry Pi 4
    • MicroSD card + SD card adapter + SD card reader (laptop maybe?)
    • USB-C cable and 5V power supply
  • Download a SD card flashing tool, e.g. from
  • Run the flashing tool, and flash an OS, I used Raspberry Pi OS Lite (Raspbian?)
  • Before ejecting the SD card, set up your Wi-Fi connection and SSH
  • For SSH:
    • Create an empty file named “ssh” (no extension) in the SD card’s boot partition
  • For Wi-Fi:
    • Create a file “wpa_supplicant.conf” in the SD card’s boot partition with your configuration
ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
country=<Insert 2 letter ISO 3166-1 country code here, e.g. CA for Canada>

    ssid="<Name of your wireless LAN>"
    psk="<Password for your wireless LAN>"
  • Eject the SD card from your computer
  • Put the SD card in the Pi
  • Connect the Pi to power
  • Wait a minute or two
  • Determine the IP address of the Pi as it joins your Wi-Fi
  • ssh into your Pi
    • e.g. ssh pi@ with password ‘raspberry
  • Generally I update the PI first thing, just so I know where I stand
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt upgrade -y
    • sudo apt autoremove
    • sudo reboot
  • Now, enable SPI and also I²C (I’m not sure why it needs both)
Select ‘Interfacing Options’
Select ‘SPI’
Enable it! Repeat for I2C
  • Now on to the Pimoroni aspect!
  • They recommend the ol’ magic script, which is a great way to start:
    • Execute: curl | bash
    • Opt to include the documentation and examples
    • Wait a bit, restart the Raspberry Pi again
  • Now, the moment of truth, run one of the included examples
    • change directory into ~/Pimoroni/inky/examples
    • sudo python --type "what" --colour "red" --name "Inigo Montoya"
    • Note that “sudo” is required because you’re accessing the GPIOs
    • Also note the British spelling of “colour” – at this time “color” does not work

It looks absolutely fantastic in person. I love eInk displays, so I’m jacked up about this. Now time to create my own images!

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