How to configure a GPIO on TX2?

I need to control a relay with GPIO, anyone knows how to set a GPIO?

hello damingwang,

here show the steps to control gpio pin with the console commands.
taking to control gpio123 for example.

switch to gpio directory with root user

cd /sys/class/gpio/

Generate gpio123 name

echo 123 > export

Enable the gpio

echo out > direction && echo 1 > value

Thanks, Jerry. But when I try to find GPIO map in /sys/class/gpio, it turns out “permission denied”, I already do
“sudo su” in count nvidia. How can I check them.

hello damingwang,

may i know which gpio pin you would like to control manually?


hello damingwang,

may i know which gpio pin you would like to control manually?
After I get the permission, I can successfully change a IO status.Using the example IO in doc:" PLATFORM ADAPTATION AND
BRING-UP GUIDE", now I am going to control CAN1_STBY (GPIO3_PAA.06), but I don’t understand the pin number calculate formula for now.
Thanks a lot!

Using this table:

I would like to make J21 Header pins 31, 33, and 37 outputs, so I tried echoing 398, 389, and 388 to export and I also get ‘permission denied’. Any help would be great!

Use “sudo” (you need to be root). E.g.:

sudo echo 123 > /sys/class/gpio/export

Or stay sudo by using a root shell:

sudo -s
cd /sys/class/gpio/
echo 123 > export
echo out > direction && echo 1 > value

Thank you very much - works but a follow on question - I tried all of the GPIO pins on the J21 header and only found two that work ‘out of the box’ - pin 18 (gpio481) and pin 29 (gpio398).

Any reason why the same procedure doesn’t work for pins 31, 33, and 37 (gpio298, gpi389, and gpio 388) ?

Thanks for the fast reply!

As the name goes, “GPIO” is “general”…those pins can have multiple uses. You have to configure the pin for what you want…which could imply removing something else using that pin. I have not looked at the particular pins, but perhaps the question should not be whether they work out of the box…they do…the question is one of what configuration is required based on what is already using the pin?

I have not looked at the particular pins, someone else may be able to answer. If you show the specific error from a specific command someone is more likely to see what is going on.

I can’t even get gpio481 and gpio398 to light up. There’s no power on the pin even though the kernel thinks there should be, based on /sys/kernel/debug/gpio (excerpted):

GPIOs 320-511, platform/2200000.gpio, tegra-gpio
gpio-398 ( | sysfs ) out hi

I’m using the latest stock firmware. Maybe I need to have compiled my own kernel with the right GPIO parameters?

Also, I know my test LED works since connecting it to power/ground on the same header works fine.

Any suggestions? Starting to think about working around using a USB-GPIO breakout :(

1 Like

I tested J21 pin 18 and it does seem suspicious.

J21 pin 18 maps to MDM_WAKE_AP (which has a 1.8V on SoC side, but goes through a level shifter on J21). This touches the M.2 slot. Do you have anything in the M.2? Or any drivers for hardware which might go in the M.2?

There does seem to be some bug related to this. For reference, I am using R28.1. For GPIO 481 these two directories may be relevant (481 must be exported first for this to show up):


…in theory these are the same due to symbolic links.

For everything below I’m using sudo.

Start with a fresh cold boot. Go to “/sys/class/gpio/” and export 481, then cd to “/sys/devices/2200000.gpio/gpio/gpio481/”. “echo out > direction”. If you “cat direction” it will say out.

If I then measure pin 18 voltage I get 0 volts (which matches “value” being “0” at the start). If I then echo “1” to “value” the voltage goes up to 1.56V.

Mostly when I “echo 0 > value” the “value” register shows “0”, but actual pin voltage does not drop. Sometimes it does. Keep doing this repeatedly on the command line (assumes already exported and direction out) while monitoring pin 18 voltage:

cd /sys/class/gpio/gpio481
echo 1 > value ; cat value
echo 0 > value ; cat value

This seems to imply something is not seeing the change on echo to value to 0, but it seems changing value to 1 always works. Getting back to “0” seems to require a cold boot (warm boot won’t reset it…this seems wrong since reboot goes back to “in” and not exported). dmesg does not say anything.

It is possible the device tree is related to this (I have not looked), but it seems odd that if the device tree is causing an issue that sometimes the echo to value works on the pin, but not always (and in fact echo 0 rarely works on actual pin voltage)…but echo followed by cat of value always says it succeeded.

If I echo “in” to direction, then the pin voltage remains at 1.56V. I don’t think this should happen unless there is something else going on.

Are there current patches needed for J21 pin 18 to function as regular GPIO as export of 481?

borism - I am using jetsonhacks and built my kernel on the TX2 - after doing ‘getkernelsources’ the menu config device tree comes up and I used the defaults. I pulled jetsonhacks from git and am using HEAD which is the 28.1 release/tag. The one thing I did is add SPI and got the loopback test to work - I don’t think that would make a difference. You could try pulling the latest from git and see if it works. Hope this helps!

… and these were the 2 most useful articles so far:

C++ code to toggle GPIOs (works for me when I compile it into my source)

and this Chart with gpio pin numbers:

contactjuggle - that’s very interesting. A few days ago, I had a bunch of GPIOs working fine. (I have a TX2, sometimes it’s plugged into an Nvidia Reference board, sometimes it’s plugged into an Auvidea J106, and sometimes it’s plugged into an Auvidea J120. Everything was working as expected.)

Then, it the last day or two, I got SPI (/dev/spidev*) working. And now my GPIOs don’t work anymore. I’ve gone back to my old kernels and my old .dtbs, but it still doesn’t work. … very strange…

Ah, sometimes my gpiochip shows up as gpiochip320, but sometimes it shows up as gpiochip488. I guess I need to be more careful with my device trees… I seem to have my GPIOs working again…


we can see the J21 Pin18 is gpio481 Sysfs GPIO.

we check the Pin is GPIO3_PY.01

how to get the gpio{Number}, is there some formula ?

GPIO03_PY.01 ====>gpio481


You get the GPIO name from the pinmux xls spreadsheet. (In this case, it’s GPIO3_PY.01)

On a running Jetson system, you can look inside /sys/class/gpio/ and see the "gpiochip"s in your system. You should see a /sys/class/gpio/gpiochip320, which is the main GPIO controller on the TX2. The number, 320, is the starting gpio number for that chip.

Each letter group controls 8 gpios. In the kernel source code, look up the letter code in:


… in that file, we can see that the “Y” is the 20th group of 8. Then add the final “01”.


320 + 8*20 + 1 = 481

hello wuyankun1986,

please refer to the documentation,
[Release 28.1 Development Guide]-> [PDF Documents]-> [Tegra Linux Driver Package TX2 Adaptation Guide]
and check the “GPIO changes” session in page 7.

@JerryChang spin.interrupt

Thanks for your reply. I get it! ^.^

could you tell me the gpiochip{number}, the number is 320, why is 320 ?

I had an error: direction permission denied while trying to to these steps and I found a solution to it here are the steps :
1)$ sudu su //to be the root
2)cd /sys/class/gpio/ //to go to the gpio directory
3)echo 481 > export //to export gpio481 as an example
4)cd /sys/class/gpio//gpio481
5) echo out > direction ; cat direction //the first part is to set the direction to output and the second part to read the value after writing it to make sure (n.b cat command use to read the content of a file)
6)echo 1 > value ; cat value //to set the value to 1.