I set up my Raspberry Pi to listen for Amazon Dash Button presses recently.
Raspberry Pis are excellent devices for monitoring Dash button presses because they use very little electricity, so can be left running.

I spent some time getting it working so I’m adding the steps I took here.

1. The easiest way to get a Dash button’s MAC address:
Follow the steps in this post to find your Dash button’s MAC address.

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2. Install the required dependencies:

# Update your software
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

# Install pydhcplib
sudo apt-get install python-pip
sudo pip install pydhcplib

3. Copy this script to your Raspberry Pi
The easiest way is to use wget:

wget https://gist.githubusercontent.com/mr-pj/75297864abef5c8f2d5c134be2656023/raw/adc4de046c8972243eb322a6137d508da9c80372/dashbutton.py

Here’s the script:

4. Replace the script’s MAC address with yours

# Replace "50:f4:de:f1:3b:a0" with the MAC address you found in step 1
# It needs to be lowercase, with a colon after every two characters
dashbuttons.register("50:f4:de:f1:3b:a0", do_something)

5. Make your Python script executable

sudo chmod +x /home/pi/dashbutton.py

7. Test the script
Your Python script should now be able to detect your Amazon Dash button presses. Test the Python script by running:

sudo python /home/pi/dashbutton.py

Press your button and you should see the message, “button has been pressed”.

8. Update the do_something function to make it do something useful
I’m using mine to track toilet roll changes. When I get down to two or less I send an email reminder.
I’m using another Dash button as a “digital habit tracker”.
I’m logging morning Meditation to a habits.txt text file on my Raspberry Pi. I’ve ordered four more to track other habits.


Analogue is so trendy.

Other uses for your Dash button:
Order pizza
Wireless doorbell
Control smart lights
Send a text
Track baby data
Track practice sessions

8. Set the Python script to run on startup

Edit /etc/rc.local

sudo vim /etc/rc.local

Add the following to the end of /etc/rc.local (before exit 0

# Wait for an Internet connection
# If you connect using an Ethernet cable, change 'wlan0' to 'eth0'
while ! /sbin/ifconfig wlan0 | grep -q 'inet addr:[0-9]'; do
    sleep 3
done

# Network connection now exists: run Dash listener
# Change /home/pi/dashbutton.py to the path you copied the script to
# Send errors to rclocal.log <-- Useful for debugging sudo /usr/bin/python /home/pi/dashbutton.py 2>&1 /home/pi/rclocal.log &

# Make sure exit 0 is the last line of rclocal
exit 0

9. Reboot and test your script

sudo shutdown -r now

You should have the dashbutton.py process running in the background, listening for presses.
To verify your Python script is running type:

ps wafux | grep dash

You should see something like:

root      2490  0.0  0.6   3756  2296 ?        S    May21   0:00 sudo /usr/bin/python /home/pi/dashbutton.py /home/pi/rclocal.log
root      2499  0.0  1.8   8904  6924 ?        S    May21   0:00  \_ /usr/bin/python /home/pi/dashbutton.py /home/pi/rclocal.log

This means the Python script is running and listening for your presses.