Install RPi.GPIO Python Library


The RPi.GPIO Python library allows you to easily configure and read-write the input/output pins on the Pi’s GPIO header within a Python script. Thankfully this library is now including in the standard Raspbian image available from the Foundations Download Page.

If you are using a fresh image you don’t need to install it but I’ve kept the instructions here in case you ever want to try a manually installation.

Method 1 – Install from repository

If the package exists in the Raspbian repository is can be installed using apt-get. First you need to update the available package versions :

sudo apt-get update

Then attempt to install the RPi.GPIO package :

sudo apt-get install rpi.gpio

If it isn’t already installed it will be installed. If it is already installed it will be upgraded if a newer version is available.

Method 2 – Manual Installation

The package is available from and the current version is 0.5.11 (February 2015). If this version is updated you will need to make appropriate changes to the version number in the commands below.

Step 1 – Download the library


Step 2 – Extract the archive to a new folder

tar -xvf RPi.GPIO-0.5.11.tar.gz

Step 3 – Browse to the new directory

cd RPi.GPIO-0.5.11

Step 4 – Install the library

sudo python install

Step 5 – Remove the directory and archive file

cd ~
sudo rm -rf RPi.GPIO-0.*

This will now mean you can use the library within Python.

Example Usage

import RPi.GPIO as GPIO

# to use Raspberry Pi board pin numbers

# set up the GPIO channels - one input and one output
GPIO.setup(11, GPIO.IN)
GPIO.setup(12, GPIO.OUT)

# input from pin 11
input_value = GPIO.input(11)

# output to pin 12
GPIO.output(12, GPIO.HIGH)

# the same script as above but using BCM GPIO 00..nn numbers
GPIO.setup(17, GPIO.IN)
GPIO.setup(18, GPIO.OUT)
input_value = GPIO.input(17)
GPIO.output(18, GPIO.HIGH)


  1. Pls i followed the step above but am still getting no attribute setmode error…how do i correct this pls. thanks

    • Use the latest version of Raspbian. This library is now installed by default so you do not need to install it manually.

  2. Can you please explain the difference between GPIO.setmode(GPIO.BOARD) and GPIO.setmode(GPIO.BCM)?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • BOARD allows you to use the physical pin numbers 1-26. BCM requires that you use the GPIO reference numbers. So physical Pin 8 (BOARD 8) is actually GPIO14 (BCM 14). Use the diagrams on my GPIO Header page to see the pin numbers against the GPIO references.

  3. When I run my script with the GPIO commands, the SETUP command returns a runtime error with “no access to /dev/mem” The import and setmode commands precede the setup command OK. What am I missing?

  4. i follow your instruction but
    when i run my script i’ll get this
    sudo python
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “”, line 4, in
    AttributeError: ‘module’ object has no attribute ‘setmode’

    • Are you using the latest Raspbian image? It looks like RPi.GPIO isn’t installed properly. On the latest image RPi.GPIO is already included and doesn’t need installing separately.

  5. Packages on PyPi are installable with pip, and you should only need to download their archives if your device has no internet and/or pip.

    For Python 2:
    # pip install RPi.GPIO

    For Python 3:
    # pip3 install RPi.GPIO

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