Update: There are some better options to doing this manually these days.
Here's a quick way to setup a Raspberry Pi for use as a digital sign displaying a webpage on a big screen. It's very well suited for this purpose but there are a few idiosyncrasies such as screen blanking, cursor hiding, colour depth and power failure recovery. Hopefully this will save you some time as these have already been fixed below.
Download the latest Raspbian image from the official website and write it to an SD card.
Boot up the Pi and setup the following in the config menu on 1st boot:
- Disable overscan
- Enable SSH
- Change the password
- Make the desktop start at boot
Start the desktop and connect to any wireless networks if required.
Update and install the software by typing the following at the terminal:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade sudo apt-get install unclutter sudo apt-get install x11-xserver-tools sudo apt-get install chromium-browser
Create the file “/boot/digitalsign” with the following contents:
sleep 30s chromium --incognito --kiosk https://shutdownscanner.com/home/dashboard/xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx
Set the URL to the page that you want to display and make the file executable with "chmod". To use this to display your shutdown graph replace the URL with the link found on your dashboard.
The sleep is to allow Wi-Fi and DNS to start up, incognito stops chromium complaining about a bad shutdown. Putting it in boot allows modification on the FAT partition from another OS by mounting the SD card.
Make the “/etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart” file look like the following:
@lxpanel --profile LXDE @pcmanfm --desktop --profile LXDE @unclutter @xset s off @xset -dpms @xset s noblank @/boot/digitalsign
This hides the cursor, stops the screen going blank and launches the browser script.
Depending on what you are displaying, you may need to enable 32bit colour by adding the following to /boot/config.txt:
If performance is an issue then the Pi can be overclocked or use the default browser (Midori) which is more lightweight.
You can install x11vnc if you want graphical remote access. This is better than other VNC servers as you can connect to the session that is output to the screen.
You may need to disable overscan on the TV if possible (otherwise re-enable it on the Pi). Different brands have their own names for this e.g. "Just Scan".