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Raspberry Pi Digital Signage

I recently helped out the Dunedin Gasworks Museum with creating their digital signage system using a Raspberry Pi.  The aim was to create a system that was very easy to use and update the content, but at a low cost.
I initially looked into creating a presentation in LibreOffice and auto-playing that – but there were a number of issues with trying to automate a presentation:
  • There’s a considerable delay when starting a presentation in LibreOffice whilst it loads.
  • The editor window always appears first before the presentation starts, which doesn’t look very good.
  • Slide timings mean the presentation advances through slides automatically, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to end the presentation automatically (without clicking the mouse).
In the end it was a lot easier to simply run through files in a folder on a USB stick, and display them (depending on extension – video/image etc). If the slideshow folder is not present on any USB device the system will drop to a login screen (so system changes can be made for example).

Here’s the walkthrough on creating the digital signage system (slideshow.sh and .xsession files to follow):
  • Install Raspbian (guides are available online: http://elinux.org/RPi_Easy_SD_Card_Setup)
  • Disable the startup diagnostic text:
    • Remove “console=tty1” from /boot/cmdline.txt on the SD card
  • Put the SD card in the Pi and turn it on.
  • In the setup wizard:
    • Expand Filesystem
    • Enable Boot to Desktop
      • Desktop Log in as user ‘pi’ at the graphical desktop
    • Finish
    • Reboot
  • Open LXTerminal
  • Install necessary software:
    • sudo apt-get update -y
    • sudo apt-get upgrade -y
    • sudo apt-get install -y matchbox libreoffice usbmount omxplayer feh
  • Copy scripts (note that default path to USB may be different until usbmount is installed and the Pi has been rebooted)
    • sudo cp /media/usb/slideshow.sh /usr/local/bin/
    • sudo chmod a+x /usr/loca/bin/slideshow.sh
    • sudo cp /media/usb/.xsession /home/pi/
    • sudo chown pi /home/pi/.xsession
  • reboot
Categories: Linux Tags: , ,
  1. Mike Parham
    August 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing such digital sign article. Pls keep on touch.
    Digital signage Vancouver

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