Access the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO

The wiringPi library, which many Raspberry Pi fans have grown attached to over the years, is no longer under maintenance by its developer. An alternative, in the form of Pigpio, has arrived just in time.

For as long as the Raspberry Pi has been around, wiringPi has served as a library for accessing the GPIO. With the related gpio tool, programmers could quickly manage the GPIO at the command line. Many Raspberry Pi projects build on this library.

Not least because of frustration about what were in part rude email communications from some users, developer Gordon Henderson decided to discontinue his one-man wiringPi project in August 2019 after releasing his last version. He explained in great detail on his website why he had stopped developing the library. The post, which has since been deleted, is still available on the Wayback Machine internet archive [1]. For more information, see the box “The Two Sides of Open Source.”

If you want to continue using the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO, you need to look for an alternative to wiringPi. The successor is Pigpio, which also reads the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO but uses a daemon to do so. At first glance, the Pigpio library seems to offer everything you might need for your projects. In this article, I take a closer look at the library to see if this first impression is correct.

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