Can someone please explain why it's bad to pull the plug out and put it back in?
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No, that's completely fine and accomplishes the exact same thing that a hardware or switch would. If OP wasn't so lazy he could install a toggle button or switch on the 5v wire of the micro USB powering his Pi, and mount it anywhere rather than being forced to pay extra for a board mounted switch, extra again for a case that accommodates it, and then designing his project around it. You won't cause any harm to the Pi, but you risk damaging your SD card.
If the computer is writing to the SD card when the power is pulled, you risk losing the card. Learn to solder, and write python shutdown script. There is some pre-canned scripts already out on the net. Buy a Dash button for that dollar! I just got one, just about to follow a guide to make it a shut down button.
Would you be interested in something like this? I have one connected to every Pi I have, they're great! I have considered one of these, however I have heard that some actually have a voltage drop through it which effects the pi. Also, it kills the power instantly, not allowing the time for the pi to shut down properly.
I just found these on ebay, maybe they'd be better as it's a singular unit? Yeah it's really strange. I thought there was something wrong with the pi or adapter with the low voltage rainbow square. But once I put in a direct cable rather than the switch cable it was perfectly fine. I'll do my own testing with a direct cable and singular unit not just a psu with usb cable and see if anything changes and make an edit in my initial post with you and everyone tagged.
I legitimately feel a little bad you guys ran into this issue, when I first saw those cables at Micro Center I thought I struck gold. Maybe splicing in a beefier switch in the usb cable? I dunno, if you were going to do that you may as well as the button to the Pi case or whatever. I'm at a loss.
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I'm using something similar to this which disconnects the power supply from the wall outlet completely, which is better because if you leave it on it still draws a small amount of power even if nothing is connected to it. Then to start the Pi again I just press the button and it turns on. Now, if the wall outlet is at a relatively inaccessible location, it might end up being a bit of pain turning it on and off but for me it works quite well. It shouldn't be hard find, I got mine from a local electronics store in Greece.
I just described to the shopkeeper what I was looking for and he gave me one similar to this. Odd, I made one and use it to power my RP3 without issue. Then again my switch was rated for mains power maybe just a little overkill for the Pi. Still, in concept it isn't a bad idea, you might just need to buy something with better wiring. I made my own wire similar to this. I got underpower warnings as well. I replaced the standard USB cable that I was using to a 'power only' cable and the issue went away.
I have one similar, but you still have to shut it down first. Not a problem at all really. But if we are making a wish list. One that shuts down the computer then powers off would be my ideal favorite. Apparently people are saying that they're getting low voltage warnings.
So maybe it isn't the best option. Yes, a button that sends the proper shut down command then powers off would be stellar. Maybe GitHub has something? I don't know as I've never had any issues with the cable in question nor have an issue with getting up to click the switch off. I would! I have one but everytime I use it I get a low voltage warning from the pi.
Is this normal? I find most RPis are very rarely turned off.
27 November 2017
So thats probably why they never added one. I personally like the idea of having to add one and learning how to program it so it does what you want it to do. That looks like a momentary switch. It would only turn your PI briefly on or off, depending on how the switch is set up. I doubt that is what you are asking for. The problem with a built-in off switch is that it has to be pretty robust to withstand the number of toggles. What if it gets snapped off?
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Better would be for them to leave a separate header and incorporate the code into the base OS that handles it. This way people can install and replace their own button if they want. Some other issues that have to be tackled is 1 different buttons have different debounce characteristics, 2 a way to cancel a shutdown in case you accidentally tap the button, and 3 a way to bypass the cancel confirmation in case the Pi is running headless. Looks like you've got the necessary component to DiY Kinda the whole point of Raspberry Pi, right?
The purpose of a pi is for teaching and prototyping only. Pi won't be adding buttons or even carry these in stock because they don't want people using these in commercial products. I really wish pi was more clear about this. They have no problems with people using Pi's commercially. They even make a Pi specifically designed for industrial use.
Teaching and prototyping may have been an initial goal, but its not the only thing they want people using a pi for.
Like any good business they adapt their product to what the buyer wants. I just think the foundation is not aiming to be a for profit company which is why we can't get our hands on more than one Pi zero at a time. As a learning device, it is your responsibility as a user to learn the finer points about powering, and more importantly, shutting down your device responsibly. It should even work with remote controls.
Did this and this at work for a test, ended up going with usb powerswitches because they're easier. Instead of power, I'd like dedicated sleep, standby and low power idle modes, more useful than shutdown for portable devices. You're supposed to shut it down the right way before you engage the switch. It's just a way to unplug it without actually unplugging it. The value in the above switch isn't in shutting down your Pi, it's in turning it on Well, the main reason for a power button on the pi is to shut it down softly before removing the power which is especially annoying if your pi is running headless.
And then maybe to turn it on again. Your switch does nothing more than pulling the plug which already is easy to do.
By Erin Curtin
USB micro plugs are rated for at least plug operations, so if you aren't using super cheap fake cables or are constantly switching the power of your pi why? I wouldn't worry about that. Of course you can use that switch just fine if it helps you, as long as it doesn't have a too high voltage drop, see other posts here but in my opinion a pc like soft off button is more useful and less dangerous. At 39 years of age, I've seen plenty of switches, buttons and ports, fail.
I've seen several USB ports fail, especially in phones. This is because humans are harder on these things than the automatic test rigs they use to create numbers like ''. Switches and buttons are also just more convenient then manually plugging and unplugging something like an RPi. Your suggestion to use a soft button is the best idea.
Just unplug it or make a switch yourself.
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