Desktop Sense HAT Emulator

12 September 2016

In August 2016 we announced a web-based Sense HAT emulator, in partnership with the US-based startup, Trinket.

Now, we’d like to introduce you to another Sense HAT emulator! This one has been developed by Dave Jones and is designed to run natively on your Raspberry Pi desktop, instead of inside a browser. It’s been developed for people who may not have access to a Sense HAT, and for those working offline in schools.


We felt a second version was needed for a few reasons: so that we could accommodate the oldest 256 MB models of Raspberry Pi, which can’t run the web version, and to help out classroom groups who may be offline or have restricted budgets. The new version will also allow you to integrate your Sense HAT program with any available Python modules or other Raspberry Pi features, such as the Camera Module.

The emulator will come pre-installed in the next Raspbian release but, for now, you can just install it by typing the commands below into a terminal window:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-sense-emu python3-sense-emu python-sense-emu-doc sense-emu-tools -y

You can then access it from the Desktop menu, under Programming.

You can even install this emulator on other types of Linux operating systems, such as Ubuntu! For more information on how to do this, please visit the emulator documentation pages here.