You bought a Raspberry Pi a few months or years ago and have no idea which model it is?
This is quite annoying because you often need this information to order the corresponding accessories or install a new operating system for example
No worries, you are at the right place, I’ll help you find it easily
How do you Know which Raspberry Pi model you have?
The easiest way is to look for an invoice or email confirmation
But you can also deduct the model you have with some information :
– is it written on the board?
– what’s the size of the device?
– how much memory do you have?
– what kind of ports are available?
The goal of this post is to help you to get this information and then deduct which Raspberry Pi model you really have
I will start with a comparison of all Raspberry Pi models, then I will show you how to get each information, and will give you a flowchart to make everything obvious to you
What are the different models of Raspberry Pi?
In this first part, I think it’s a good idea to start with a list of all Raspberry Pi models available on the market (current and old models)
I will not give you the full specifications for each one, but just the ones we may have to use later
Raspberry Pi 1
Let’s start with the first model that was released by the Raspberry Pi Foundation
They were released between 2012 and 2014 (if it helps you)
Here are the useful specifications to know :
|256 / 512 MB|
|256 / 512 MB|
|256 / 512 MB|
Raspberry Pi 1 A has 256 MB memory, the others have been released with 256 MB but upgraded to 512 MB in 2016
So if you have no idea of the purchase date, the exact memory amount will not help so much here
And for information, none of them can connect to a Wi-Fi network
Raspberry Pi 2
There was only one model of Raspberry Pi 2 available on the market : the Raspberry Pi 2 B (in two versions as they upgraded the CPU in 2016)
4x USB 2.0
As you can see, there is almost no difference with a Raspberry Pi 1B+ if you have it your hand, so it will be difficult to know which one you have just with this information
Raspberry Pi Zero
The Raspberry Pi Zero is unique with its small format (half of the compact size), so it will be easy to identify this family
But there are 3 versions available on the market:
|Zero / W / WH||Zero||1x Micro USB|
As all the three Raspberry Pi Zero models share the same specifications, here are the differences between them :
- Raspberry Pi Zero: No Wireless
- Raspberry Pi Zero W: Wireless
- Raspberry Pi Zero WH: Wireless and pre-soldered GPIO header
Raspberry Pi 3
The Raspberry Pi 3 are more recent (2016-2018) and all of them have a built-in Wi-Fi card
|A+||Compact||1x USB 2.0|
4x USB 2.0
4x USB 2.0
The Raspberry Pi 3 B+ has a better processor (1.4Ghz vs 1.2Ghz) and a Gigabit Ethernet port
Raspberry Pi 4
And finally, the Raspberry Pi is the latest series released on the market, so you probably remember it if you have this one (available since June 2019)
2X USB 2.0
2X USB 3.0
The main visible difference with all the other ones is the USB 3.0 and Micro HDMI ports
I’ll show you in the next part on to recognize them
What do I need to know about my Raspberry Pi model?
You now have all the information, but it may not be enough to really help you find the model you have in your hands (or remotely connected)
That’s why I will give you more details here, on all the information you need to have about your Raspberry Pi before going further
As you’ll see in the chart at the end, there is two main cases to identify a Raspberry Pi :
- You have the board in your hands, but there is no system or even no SD card to help you find the information
- Your Raspberry Pi is already up and running, maybe remotely, and you want to find the information on the system (via SSH for example)
Read this if Raspbian is already installed
The easiest way to find which Raspberry Pi you have, is to have Raspbian installed
So, on a Debian system you have several files in the /proc folder
For example, “cpuinfo” contains information about your processor, “meminfo” is for the RAM, etc.
So, my first idea was to look for the exact CPU model and RAM quantity
But there is an easier way 🙂
When checking the “cpuinfo” file, I noticed that the Raspberry Pi was written clearly at the end of the file!
So, you just have to open the file and check the last line
Or you can display it directly with :
cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep Model
Here is what you’ll get :
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep Model Model : Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Rev 1.1
This should give you the answer directly, no need to analyze multiple specifications details to find your Raspberry Pi model 🙂
If it doesn’t work for you, you’ll probably need to check the next part
Read this if there is no system on it
If you don’t have any SD card or operating system on your Raspberry Pi, and just want to check quickly if it’s worth using, you can guess it by following this
Model name on the board
The easiest way with the Raspberry Pi in your hands is to check if there is something written on it
Here is an example on my Raspberry Pi 3B+ :
I don’t have all the Raspberry Pi models, but for those I have I get the model name (and version) written on it
So, I suppose it can help you find the model easily
Display port(s) available(s)
If for any reason, reading the model name on the board is not possible, we will need to try other things to find the exact model
I tell you right away, it’s not the easiest way to do this, and there is no guarantee as some models share some of these specifications
So in this section and the following, I will show you a few things that may be useful to identify a Raspberry Pi model
I recommend you to check everything, take note of this, and then try the flowchart at the end of the post
(If you already have a good level, you can go directly to the flowchart)
The first thing to note is the display port available on your Raspberry Pi
There is three possible types, as you have seen in the first part :
- Mini HDMI
- Micro HDMI
Here are what these ports look like in the same order :
If you have a Mini HDMI, your model is a Raspberry Pi Zero. But you need to go further to know which version.
If there are two Micro HDMI ports, it’s a Raspberry Pi 4 B. Currently there is no doubt about this
The second information you may need is the number of USB ports, and their types
The first Raspberry Pi had only one USB port, but they quickly add additional ports to the new models
The last model currently, the Raspberry Pi 4 B has 4 USB ports (2x USB 2.0 and 2x USB 3.0)
USB 3.0 are faster than the USB 2.0
So, if you have this model, you should plug your mouse and keyboard on the black ports, and your SSD disk on the blue ones
Here is a picture to help you understand what I mean :
How many ports do you have on your Raspberry Pi?
If you have only one port, you have a model A or A+
Two ports? It’s a Raspberry Pi 1 B. Blue ports? It’s a Raspberry Pi 4 B
In other cases, you’ll need to get all the information and use the flowchart to help you determine the Raspberry Pi model you have
Not every Raspberry Pi models have an Ethernet port on it
The Raspberry Pi Foundation continue to release Raspberry Pi models without any Ethernet port to have a cheaper option available if you don’t need it
Luckily, most of them now have a Wi-Fi card included, so you can still connect them to your network and Internet
Anyway, for now just check if your Raspberry Pi has an Ethernet port, and remember this
Raspberry Pi Zero: GPIO Pins
The last two things only apply to the Raspberry Pi Zero models
So, if you know you have a Raspberry Pi Zero (Mini HDMI port), you will need them
The first one is to check if you have GPIO pins on it or just holes
If you have GPIO pins, and you have not soldered them previously, it’s a Raspberry Pi Zero WH
If not, you need to check if there is a Wi-Fi card or not
Raspberry Pi Zero: Wi-Fi card
Finally, the last thing to check, and only if you have a Raspberry Pi Zero, is the Wi-Fi card
Indeed, the first Raspberry Pi Zero model had neither network card nor Wi-Fi card
On the next versions, they added the Wi-Fi card on it (but still no Ethernet)
So, you need to check if there is a Wi-Fi card on your model
Here is the card location circled in red :
Don’t see it? You have the first Raspberry Pi Zero model
If you have it, this is a Raspberry Pi W (without GPIO pins) or WH (with them)
Flowchart : find you Raspberry Pi model
As I recognize all these specifications are not easy to read and analyze, I have spent a little time to build a chart that should probably be easier for you than all this information
Just take your notes with you, and follow the chart below
Start at the top and answer each question (by reading again the previous part if needed) :
In most cases, you’ll find the model name written on the board, or thanks to Raspbian
I didn’t note it on the chart, but as I told you in the previous part, if you arrive at the “Raspberry Pi B or B+” point, you can also check the number of USB ports and formats to find the oldest ones :
- Raspberry Pi model A or A+
- 1x USB port :
- Standard format : Raspberry Pi 1 A
- 1x USB port :
- Raspberry Pi model B or B+
- 2x USB port : Raspberry Pi 1 B
Unfortunately, if this doesn’t help you, you have to install Raspbian and check the processor information
That’s it, you now know how to find which Raspberry Pi model you have
If you have Raspbian on it and can log in, it’s straightforward
If not, you can try to find it by checking a few things on it (or installing Raspbian ^^)
If I made a mistake somewhere, or if you are in a case where this post doesn’t help you, please leave a comment below, I will try to fix this
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I’m the lead author and owner of RaspberryTips.com.
My goal is to help you with your Raspberry Pi problems using detailed guides and tutorials.
In real life, I’m a Linux system administrator with a web developer experience.