Control Stuff With Your Raspberry Pi (GPIO) Over the Internet




About: Hi there, I'm an engineering apprentice with a passion for computing.

Please Note:
This Instructable is now depreciated.
Click here for the updated, much improved, version.

Hi there,
This will hopefully show you how to control electronics across the internet using your Raspberry Pi.
It's not the best way to do it, and soon I will update this with a way to use MySQL to do the same thing.

Here's a link to YouTube showing it in action:

For this, please ensure that you have apache with php running on your Raspberry Pi, Instructions can be found here.

Also, it would be a good idea to read my previous instructable on general GPIO control, which can be found here.

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Step 1: Overview + Warning

This is not the best way of doing this, and I hope to update this soon with a MySQL solution.
Until then, I'd recommend keeping this to your local network (not over the internet yet).
However, there shouldn't be any issues, it's just a warning. :D

This will (at the moment) allow you to control your GPIO pins via a web interface.
The program running on your Raspberry Pi checks to see if a file exists, if it does - it turns the output on, otherwise it turns it off. All the web interface does (at the moment) is to either create or delete this file.

Step 2: Web Page Code

The web page is really quite simple, and is one php page.
As earlier, you will need Apache and PHP installed onto your Raspberry Pi (A guide can be found here).

The php code is attached to this step, and must be uploaded to the raspberry pi (/var/www/ directory).

Step 3: Shell Script Code

The shell script attached must be run on the server as root.

Upload this to your Raspberry Pi, then perform the following commands:
mv gpioCheck.txt
chmod +x

It will ask you to input a delay - 1 second is usually quite good, although if you enter 0 there will be minimal lag between you pressing the web button, and the raspberry pi setting the GPIO.
PLEASE NOTE: This is timed in seconds by default.

It will then ask you for the GPIO number, not the pin number. (attached is a pinout)
I used 21 for this example.

Then it will output whether or not the web interface has told it to be on or not.

Step 4: Finish

That's it really,
Just run the shell script (./ and click the buttons.
The rest is up to you.

If you felt lost, you might want to check out this instructable first, otherwise leave a comment :D
Hope this helps,

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    20 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Hii, I have a doubt. My main project is home automation using internet in which i have to control speed of fan at five different levels from internet. I designed a web-page and kept 5 buttons in it. I am able to send signal to raspberry pi when i press any one button. Now my problem is what should i write additionally and also what task should i do so that i can interpret the incoming signal to pi and accordingly generate square wave pulses from my GPIO pins of pi.



    5 years ago on Introduction

    where is the text ? i dont see for download , please help me


    6 years ago on Step 3

    hi great tutorial , just what I`ve looking for . I do have one problem
    julian@GridCamera:~/PiStuff/php_2_gpio$ ./
    Please enter a wait time
    ': not a valid identifieread: `waitTime
    Please enter GPIO number
    ': not a valid identifieread: `pin
    ./ line 24: syntax error near unexpected token `fi'
    ./ line 24: `fi'

    I get the above error. Not clued up on sh any ideas.



    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, first of all a great tutorial, but I'm having a problem since I'm a beginner with raspberry. I followed all the steps but something is wrong. .
    When I open the web page in my browser I don't see anything.

    I tested the php5 and apache server and they both work.

    Please help.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    hi, i have a problem.
    i am beginner for Raspberry, shell script and web.

    1. when i run the web, and i press "turn on" button. the browser say "can't open file"
    2. when i run, the command exit is always "turn on" although i press "turn off" button on a browser.
    Can anyone help me to be able to run like the one in the video
    many thanks. mima

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, dont know if im wronge but isn't there 3 files in this project?
    gpio.php (webpage) (bash script running on server)
    gpio.txt (txt file were the status of the pin is stored)

    do you have the code for the .txt if there is any at all?



    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hello, I have a problem

    1) I create a php file with the given code (gpio.txt) then I placed in var / www
    2) I create a txt file with the given code (gpioCheck.txt) then I placed in a directory (the first available: home)
    3) I logged in as root via Putty and i placed in the home directory (cd / home)
    4) I have run this commands :

    -"mv gpioCheck.txt"
    -"chmod +x"

    5) and this is what I get:

    I don't Understand !! What's the Problem ??? Thanks

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    the problem does'nt looks to be here :
    I am not a specialist, but there seems to be a problem in the script "gpioCheck",

    Here is the code I downloaded and copy:

    "echo "Please enter a wait time"
    read waitTime
    echo "Please enter GPIO number"
    read pin
    if [ "$pin" != "4" ] && [ "$pin" != "17" ] && [ "$pin" != "18" ] && [ "$pin" != "21" ] && [ "$pin" != "22" ] && [ "$pin" != "23" ] && [ "$pin" != "24" ] && [ "$pin" != "25" ]; then
    echo "Pin error - GPIO number doesn't exist"
    echo "$pin" > /sys/class/gpio/export
    echo "out" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio$pin/direction
    while :

    if [ -f /var/www/gpio.txt ]
    echo "Turn GPIO on"
    echo "1" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio$pin/value
    echo "Turn GPIO off"
    echo "0" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio$pin/value
    sleep $waitTime



    6 years ago on Step 4

    the browser says can't open file

    terminal says write error: Device or resource busy
    how to fix it please reply soon........


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for this instructable. I'm wondering if it is possible to somehow execute Python (.py) scripts through the web-server. I'm kind a new for Linux and started working on Raspberry pi 2 weeks ago. I have 7 Python programs which are driving servo motor by generating different pulses. I just want to do a simple web page with 7 buttons. When you press one of the buttons, Python script should start executing. Any help and comments would be appreciated.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I get an error when i click turn on . It says "cant open file"


    I am having problems uderstanding this line of code from gpioCheck.txt

    if [ -f /var/www/gpio.txt ]

    I understand that it is checking to see if the file gpio.txt is there or not, it's the -f part I can't seem to find on the internet. All I find for python language is os.path.exists or something similar to check if the file exists not -f.

    Thanks in advance. You have really helped me out with this instructable. Thank you for shareing.

    1 reply

    Would you believe it. This is not python language but shell script language (so many different languages to learn!) Found it 5 mins after posting this question.

    Shell also test for file and directory types

    Test Meaning
    -s file Non empty file
    -f file Is File exist or normal file and not a directory
    -d dir Is Directory exist and not a file
    -w file Is writeable file
    -r file Is read-only file
    -x file Is file is executable

    Once again thanks for the tutorial.

    Best regards Rogerramjetrdn


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the great tutorials. I am getting the following error when running the script:
    Turn GPIO on
    ./ line 16: /sys/class/gpio/gpio25/value: Permission denied

    Can you please help with what I might be doing wrong

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry for the lack of concentration. All I needed to do was run the script as root.

    I'm new to Linux so learning as I go.

    Thanks again for the great tutorial


    7 years ago on Introduction

    So ready for my Pi to get in... Thanks for the ible!