HowTo: Raspberry Pi – Read the unique ID of a Raspberry Pi

Normally, all data of a Raspberry Pi is stored on the inserted SD card. This has the advantage that you can simply insert an operational SD card into another Raspberry Pi. If your Raspberry Pi is damaged, for example, it is sufficient to insert the SD card into a running hardware and you can continue.

But what if you want to clearly identify the hardware used – ie the mainboard or the hardware of the Raspberry Pi? A serial number would be very helpful.

Unfortunately, there is no specific serial number for the Raspberry Pi hardware. But what can be read is the serial number of the CPU. And since this is soldered to the rest of the hardware and can only be exchanged with great difficulty or not at all for most people, it can be used as a serial number to identify the Raspberry Pi board.

How you can read the serial number of your Raspberry Pi or its CPU is described in the following article.

Safety instructions

I know the following hints are always a bit annoying and seem unnecessary. But unfortunately, many people who knew it "better" from carelessness lost their eyes, fingers or other things or hurt themselves. In comparison, a loss of data is almost not worth mentioning, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Even the coolest project is worth no injury or other annoyance.

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Helpful articles:
Before you start this article, you should have prepared a Raspberry Pi so that it can be reached via the network and controlled via SSH.

The following articles describe what needs to be done to prepare the Raspberry Pi.

In the following lists you will find all the parts you need to implement this article.

Required tool:

1xScrewdriver set  Buy at Amazon
1xSD card reader  Buy at Amazon

Required material:

1x Raspberry Pi  Buy at Amazon
1x Raspberry Pi power supply  Buy at Amazon
1x Raspberry Pi case  Buy at Amazon
1x Micro SD card 64GB  Buy at Amazon

Log in via SSH on the RaspberryPi

To get started, you first need to log in to RasPi with SSH on Putty. How to do it is described in the article

After entering your username and password you can start to enter the first commands.

Read out the ID or serial number of the CPU of the Raspberry Pi

The CPU serial number is included in the information about the CPU. These can be read out very easily with the following command.

So just enter the command:

cat /proc/cpuinfo

into the console of the Raspberry Pi.

You will then see the following information about the CPU of the Raspberry Pi.

The second line from the bottom also contains the serial number, which is unique for each Raspberry Pi.

With this command you get all the information about the CPU including the serial number. But what if you just want to see the serial number?

You can combine a few commands to only get the serial number.

For example, enter the following command.

cat /proc/cpuinfo | grepSerial | cut -d ":" -f2

This retrieves the CPU information, filters out the serial number and outputs it.

Read out the ID or serial number of the Raspberry Pi with Node Red

With Node Red you can automate the retrieval of the serial number and then process it directly.

For example, you could use the serial number to uniquely identify each Raspberry Pi using Node Red.

View of the Node Red Flow in the configuration interface.

You can find the Node Red code in the Nerdiy Git repository under the following link:

How you can import this into your Nod eRed environment is described in the article NodeRed - importing and exporting node code.

More articles on the topic

In the following categories you will find further links on the subject of Rasperry PI and Node Red.

Have fun with the project

I hope everything worked as described. If not or you have any other questions or suggestions, please let me know in the comments. Also, ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂

P.S. Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you appreciate that I share this information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee box. 🙂

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