Raspberry Pi Digital Sign

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.

How To

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:

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
@xset s off
@xset -dpms
@xset s noblank

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".