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Raspberry Digital Signage changelog

Raspberry Digital Signage changelog


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Version 20.2

Rebased (not only updated) on latest Raspberry Pi OS Lite, v.12, Bookworm, so Raspberry Pi 5 compatible.


Version 20.0

The underlying base system has been updated to the latest Raspberry Pi OS Lite, v.12, Bookworm.


Version 19.0

The underlying base system has been updated to the latest Raspberry Pi OS Lite, v.11, Bullseye with Chromium 113.


Version 18.3

Moving back to Buster (which sounds good also for a movie name): Raspberry Pi OS Bullseye 32 bit is giving some users a lot of troubles with shared libs and other binaries, as of now, so the Raspberry Digital Signage stack of v18.2 is back-ported to a Buster system. Next time, next try.


Version 18.0

  • Chromium settings persistence logic more intuitive;
  • the virtual keyboard extension is now disabled by default;
  • underlying base system has been updated to the latest Raspberry Pi OS Lite, v.11, Bullseye. Chromium 98 and rpi-chromium-mods 20220111 packages are amongst the others.

Thanks to Stefan de Vries’ feedback, I noticed an obscure problem with X.Org not starting on Pi 3 (maybe the never ending pain in the ass regarding the rootless X run), while, curiously, on Pi 4 it has no problems. A fix has been issued with v.18.2.


Version 17.0

  • Chromium settings persistence logic changed: browser is kept back to default settings or last-persisted settings only when user asks for and not upon every reboot (maybe a more balanced behavior in regard to security vs. user experience);
  • settable DPI feature returns to work (the feature has been removed in the latest builds for some issues of the underlying OS);
  • a new, better, virtual keyboard extension has been installed by default;
  • lowercase URLs issue fixed;
  • system has been updated to the latest Raspberry Pi OS Lite – this contains important security fixes. Chromium 92 and rpi-chromium-mods 20210212 packages are amongst the others.

In memory of my father Giovanni, 2021-12-13.


Version 16.0

  • REST JSON API finally added. The REST API is the foundation upon which to build a central interface (or orchestration scripts as well) to command all your displays;
  • compatibility mode added. Kiosk URL is usually loaded within an iframe in order to take advantage of the refresh and scheduling [to be done] features. However, some resources refuse to run within browser iframes (even setting the browser to ignore the X-Frame-Options HTTP response header).
    In this case, with the Compatibility mode resource will be loaded as a ‘normal’ page, but of course the aforementioned features won’t work.


Version 15.0

  • frontend rewritten and improved (legacy technologies for speed, modern best practices);
  • the browser now loads the digital signage URL dynamically as the configuration file changes – and not upon start only; this is the base for managing many Pis from a central interface, which is a (future) use case many users ask for;
  • Chromium now makes full use of the GPU – HTML5 videos and modern CSS effects play a lot better (thanks to Ciprian Rusu’s and Diego Vega’s feedbacks);
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 networking fixed (networks’ display);
  • system has been updated to the latest Raspberry Pi OS Lite (formerly known as Raspbian Lite), with Chromium 88.


Version 14.0

  • Screen rotation management completely modified, now it’s up to X.Org, for /boot/config.txt options are getting useless. This was the real big issue of the past build. Thanks to Shawn Gants for the hints;
  • audio fixed, thanks to Michal Maruška and Paul Thurn. Oh yes, this too was annoying;
  • mouse-pointer-always-disabled setting returns to work (useful for touchscreens). The Matchbox window manager flag seems not to be supported any more, so now Raspberry Digital Signage is using the proper flag when launching X.Org via xinit;
  • Chrome auto-starts videos by default (newer Chromium builds refuse to autostart HTML5 videos on page load, otherwise);
  • enabled ping for monitoring, thanks to Daniel Miranda for the feedback;
  • better open networks handling added;
  • system has been updated to the latest Raspberry Pi OS Lite (formerly known as Raspbian Lite), with Chromium 86 and rpi-chromium-mods 20201213 packages amongst the others.


Version 13.2

  • DPI settable. This is of course useful for HiDPI screens;
  • Chromium issue fix.


Version 13.1

  • Plugins-ready;
  • New Address Bar removed (because…) tabtiles fixed (and so used as an address bar, too);
  • a couple of other fixes;
  • operating system updated.


Version 13.0

  • PHP/Bash backend completely rewritten and vastly improved – please see docs;
  • security much much (much) enhanced;
  • the Raspberry Digital Signage stack is now a standard Debian package;
  • the default virtual keyboard has moved from the very basic one embedded in the window manager to a Chromium extension (Virtual keyboard – nomen omen..);
  • Chrome extensions added by default to the system (Scrollbar Customizer, tabtiles, URL Slideshow);
  • the New Address Bar Chrome extension is used for miming a web-kiosk-oriented system;
  • user interface refactored;
  • boot spash;
  • many fixes (amongst them: token/mac address);
  • underlying operating system updated to the most recent Raspbian Buster Lite. Chromium browser version is now v.78;
  • documentation finally created 😉
  • internal WordPress installation has been removed – will be packaged separately as a standard Debian .deb package.


Version 12.1

  • a Raspberry Pi 4 compatible build, rebuilt with a Raspbian Buster operating system as its foundation. Some bugs have been fixed as well.


Version 11.2

  • the underlying operating system has been updated to the latest Raspbian Stretch build, which assures the new Raspberry Pi 3b+ compatibility (raspberrypi-bootloader);
  • Chromium browser (the most important package for this browser-face operating system) has been updated to release 60 (armhf) and rpi-chromium-mods to version 20180409 (armhf);
  • a Systemd unit file now replaces the older SysV init-script for launching the digital signage stack (some code modified to comply with this new logic);
  • MAC address at URL’s end feature fixed;
  • Internal WordPress site viewability fixed.


Version 10.0

  • the underlying operating system has been moved to Raspbian Stretch; the overall performance is sensibly better and HTML5 videos play a lot smoother;
  • some improvements on code and bug fixes (the most important ones concern WiFi networks’ discovery and local WordPress virtual host, which remains disabled if unused).


Version 9.0

  • underlying operating system updated: raspberrypi-bootloader, apache, php, openssl and xorg packages have been updated, among many others;
  • Chromium browser is now at v.56, bundled with system’s new SSL certificates – needed after the infamous SHA1 collision event for browser’s correct behaviour with “https” sites;
  • Raspberry Pi Zero W compatibility;
  • digital signage page can be retrieved from the Internet, LAN or even from localhost (a www folder inside the Raspberry Pi’s SD card). To simplify the management of the internal site setup, RDS 9.0 comes with WordPress already installed (see FAQ for more);
  • a little more polished UI (official 7″ R-Pi touchscreen view is painless now);
  • more robust prevent-cache technique for Chromium when reloading-web-page hack is enabled (thanks to Marc Giavarra);
  • some minor improvements on code.


Version 8.0

  • finally, Adobe Flash Player is available for the Raspberry Pi Chromium browser! OK, it’s not the latest and greatest technology in the bunch, but many users ask for;
  • operating system updated for Raspberry Pi 2B v1.2 compatibility;
  • Ignore X-Frame headers Chromium extension installed, so now it is possible to display Google URLs within frames;
  • some bug fixes and improvements.


Version 7.2

  • Chrome 51 which features H264 and AVC video acceleration and gains ARM6 (Raspberry Pi 1 and Zero) compatibility!
  • F1 key added to blacklisted keys list in the kiosk view.


Version 7.1

Older Raspberry Digital Signage infrastructure has been ported to the new Raspbian Jessie and now it is compatible with the Raspberry Pi 3 boards. So the system has been built from scratch since v1.0.