Digital Signage using Raspberry Pi

This article shows you how to turn your Raspberry Pi box into a cheap, browser based digital signage solution.

What you will need:

  • Raspberry Pi board and a SD card
  • USB Keyboard and mouse for initial setup
  • HDMI or Composite cable
  • Ethernet cable (Not needed if you are using a USB Wi-Fi adapter)
  • and a display that suits your purpose


Install Raspbian OS

Install the Raspbian OS by following the instructions here

Enable Auto Login

You might also want the Pi to login automatically to the desktop when powered on. To set this up, follow the instructions here

Install xset

xset is a utility to configure some of the X server settings. You will need this to control the Power settings of your monitor.

sudo apt-get install x11-xserver-utils

Auto Start Browser

The next step is to configure your browser to open a page in full screen mode at start-up. We will use the Midori Browser for this.

Open a terminal session and edit the LXDE startup file.

sudo nano /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart

Add the following line

@midori -e Fullscreen -a http://your.website/index.html

Press Ctrl+X to exit nano editor followed by Y to save the file.

Disable Screen Blanking and Screen Saver

By default the screen will blank after 10 minutes of inactivity but the monitor remains on. The screen blanking and screen savers can be disabled in two ways.
One method is to modify the display manager config file

Open a terminal session and edit the lightdm.conf file.

sudo nano /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

In the [SeatDefaults] section add the following line

xserver-command=X -s 0 dpms

Press Ctrl+X to exit nano editor followed by Y to save the file.

An easier method is to add the xset commands in the LXDE startup
xset -dpms command will disable DPMS(Display Power Management Signalling)
xset s off command will disable the screen saver

Open a terminal session and edit the LXDE startup file.

sudo nano /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart

Add the following lines to the beginning of the autostart file

@xset -dpms
@xset s off

Press Ctrl+X to exit nano editor followed by Y to save the file.

Refreshing the webpage

The webpage you are trying to display might get updated at frequent intervals in which case you would also need to refresh your page in your Raspberry Client. This can be done easily by adding the following meta tag in the head section of your page.

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="10;url='http://your.website/index.html'">

This will refresh your page every 10 seconds to reflect any changes on the page. Advanced users can try Javascript, JQuery etc., and develop it further


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Comments

Matthew Bianco | May 9, 2015 10:22 AM |

If this works from getting a blank screen i will forever adore you !!:)