Raspberry Digital Signage FAQ

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WRITE INSTRUCTIONS

Operating system detailed write instructions have been moved here.


OPERATING SYSTEM

SSH LOGIN (donors’ version)

You can perform an SSH login using the following credentails.
Putty.exe or similar software is required for Windows users while of course *nix users will make use of the ssh client.

  • user: pi
  • password: live
  • then type: sudo -i for administrative rights

Raspberry IP address is always shown during the boot. Alternatively you can make use of network discovery apps for your smartphone or netdiscover tool for *nix systems to find it out.

When maintainance screen password is modified, SSH password will be changed accordingly. So, if you set a password for the admin interface, the new SSH password will be identical. This way you can protect both system settings change via browser (admin interface) and via SSH with one step.

CHANGE CONNECTION METHOD

Raspberry Digital Signage defaults to DHCP if network cable is plugged in. If you need to override this behaviour:

  • unplug the Ethernet cable and reboot;
  • network interfaces admin screen will appear;
  • change network settings as you wish; they will persist then across reboots.

To reset the current connection, just delete network configuration files in the /iwk folder via SSH as root.


The network admin interface does not allow you to directly connect to a hidden Wi-Fi network (it only features basic connections), so in that case just connect to a non-hidden network and then modify the network config file in the /iwk folder via SSH as root as you need.

Wi-Fi support (Raspberry Pi 1 and 2)

While the Raspberry Pi 3 has got an internal Wi-Fi adapter, Raspberry Pi 1 and 2 do not have, so you need to plugin a 802.11 adapter.

Supported adapters’ firmware can be added with the following command via SSH as the root user:

apt-get install -y linux-wlan-ng firmware-linux-free dahdi-firmware-nonfree firmware-atheros firmware-bnx2 firmware-bnx2x firmware-brcm80211 firmware-intelwimax firmware-ipw2x00 zd1211-firmware firmware-ivtv firmware-iwlwifi firmware-libertas firmware-linux-nonfree firmware-myricom firmware-netxen firmware-qlogic firmware-ralink firmware-realtek libertas-firmware

Do not install linux-wlan-ng on the Raspberry Pi 3, its firmwares conflict with the builtin 80211 module.

UPDATE THE UDERLYING RASPBIAN OPERATING SYSTEM

Login via SSH as root, then:

apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

WTF IS THAT COLOURED SQUARE NEAR THE TOP-RIGHT CORNER?

If you see a coloured square near the top-right corner of the screen, your Raspberry Pi is saying the power supply is not powerful enough. Just use the official one for example.

ADJUST DATE AND TIME

The quickest way to adjust date and time according to your local time is to use ntpdate pointing an NTP server near you. For example: ntpdate ntp1.ien.it for Italy. SSH access required.
You can also set the time and date directly with the use of date -s command. SSH access required.

You can set your timezone with dpkg-reconfigure tzdata command. SSH access required.

1920 x 1080p

Modify /boot/config.txt file this way (thanks to Mark van der Linden, Brunner Armin, Guilherme Simões and Teemu Valkeapää):

disable_overscan=1
hdmi_group=1
hdmi_mode=16 or hdmi_mode=82

Refer to the official documentation for more.

Use mc -e /boot/config.txt via SSH.

SCREEN ROTATION AND TOUCH DEVICES

The screen rotation setting is available in the admin page of Raspberry Digital Signage; however touch devices need further adjustment.

1) Official 7″ touchscreen:

Modify /boot/config.txt replacing screen_rotate with lcd_rotate; create the line if the directive is non-existent (thanks to Dimitris Panokostas and Francois Burton). Use mc -e /boot/config.txt via SSH.

2) All the other touchscreens:

Identify your touch device via SSH as root:

DISPLAY=:0 xinput --list

Put the case Quanta OpticalTouchScreen is the name of your device, type in the following:

DISPLAY=:0 xinput set-prop 'Quanta OpticalTouchScreen' 'Evdev Axes Swap' 1
DISPLAY=:0 xinput --set-prop 'Quanta OpticalTouchScreen' 'Evdev Axis Inversion' 1 0

If commands succeed, you can put them in /home/pi/.xinitrc, just before the # Launch window manager line.

WHICH TOUCH SCREEN HARDWARE TO CHOOSE

Have a look at this resourse. Some people also reported that EloTouch and GeneralTouch monitors work well with Debain, so they should work under Raspbian (RDS), too.
Pi Touch Display is 100% supported.

GOT A LARGE SD CARD? HOW TO EXPAND FILESYSTEM

Just install and use raspi-config:

  • login as pi user via SSH, then sudo -i;
  • apt-get update && apt-get install raspi-config
  • raspi-config
  • follow easy instructions.

REMOVE ALL/ANY RASPBERRY DIGITAL SIGNAGE CONFIGURATION(S)

Just delete configuration files in the /iwk folder via SSH.


DIGITAL SIGNAGE AND SOFTWARE

The following section will cover “advanced” settings you can do “manually” via SSH.
For every basic setting, just make use of the web admin interface which will load at boot.
 

HOW TO KEEP MOUSE POINTER ALWAYS HIDDEN (useful for touch screens)

Edit the /home/pi/.xinitrc file modifying the matchbox line as:

exec matchbox-window-manager -use_titlebar no -use_cursor no &

Thanks to Stephen Wille Padnos and Neil Wright.

Use mc -e /usr/bin/rds.sh via SSH.

HOW TO SET VNC SERVER PASSWORD

Follow the setps below:

  • login as pi user via SSH (do not sudo);
  • run x11vnc -storepasswd ~/.vnc/passwd.

Paweł Glica pointed out that VNC is configured to close session after first time login and suggests to add -forever to the line with x11vnc in /home/pi/.xinitrc. Parameter added by default since Raspberry Digital Signage version 5.0. Thanks.

HOW TO ADD A PSEUDO-NAVIGATION PANEL

In order to properly function, digital signage resources should not open popups – in this case a full-screen popup would be displayed, with no way to close it.

For the Chromium view, however, you can install Tabtiles extension (in the admin interface) and persist Chrome settings: it will show an useful pseudo-navigation menu. Thanks to Marco Spreafico.

HOW TO SLIDE MULTIPLE WEB RESOURCES

You can make use of the Url Slideshow extension for Chrome/Chromium. Thanks to Felix Stünkel.

HOW TO HIDE BROWSER SCROLL BARS

In order to be properly viewed, digital signage resources should open on a single page without scroll.

Within Chromium, you can install the Scrollbar Customizer extension (while in the admin interface), set the scroll bar width and height to zero and persist Chrome settings: it will do the trick. Thanks to Andy W and Tom Häggblom.

PLAY CONTENT FROM THE INTERNAL SD CARD // WORDPRESS LOCAL INSTALLATION

Raspberry Digital Signage admin interface allows you to type in the URL of the web resource to be displayed; it can be an Internet one (https://www.binaryemotions.com), a LAN URL (http://192.168.1.100/booking; http://booking.lan), or even a resource located internally, inside the Raspberry Pi.

To simplify the management of the internal site setup, Raspberry Digital Signage 9.0 comes with WordPress already installed (/var/www/local) – set http://rds.local as the digital signage URL to display it.

In order to view (and administer) this local site from your desktop/notebook PC (in the same LAN as the Raspberry), just add the following line to your desktop/notebook PC hosts file:

RaspberryPi_LAN_IP_in_this_moment rds.local

This way, your PC will identify the URL http://rds.local as coming from RaspberryPi_LAN_IP_in_this_moment. Google for what “hosts” file means if unsure.

WordPress admin login is:

root
changeThisPassword

Remember to change WordPress admin password.
Binaryemotions won’t give basis/informations on how to use WordPress.

If you however want to add your own site (and don’t use the WordPress installation), just copy your website files inside the system to /var/www/mySite as it was a “normal” webserver, give at least 700 permissions for the www-data user (chmod -R 700 /var/www/mySite; chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/mySite) and set a URL like: http://127.0.0.1/mySite in the admin interface. This way you can natively serve plain HTML and PHP files.

You can copy files into the Raspberry Pi with (win)scp or simply by linking a Dropbox/Google Drive resource and using wget Linux-side in order to download it.

I AM USING A LOCAL (SD CARD-CONTAINED) SITE AND I DO NOT WANT RDS TO BE CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET. HOW TO PASS THE NETWORK CONFIGURATION CHECK?

Modify /home/pi/.xinitrc and make the network checking function always return true (so, without checking).

OK SO NOW EVERYTHING IS SET UP. I WANT RDS TO BOOT DIRECTLY IN KIOSK MODE (URL).
HOW TO?

On first boot, Raspberry Digital Signage shows the network admin page and then the general settings admin page. At every following boot, if network has been configured, Raspberry Digital Signage goes directly to general settings.
Now I want RDS to boot directly into kiosk mode, i.e. show my URL right after the bootstrap.

Just add the line:

touch /tmp/iwk.strictKioskMode

in /usr/bin/rds.sh (or /etc/rc.local for RDS<11) file (before the launch of xinit). Use mc -e file via SSH as root user as the editor.


SECURITY

BEST PRACTICES

  • protect the web admin interface by a password (set it in the bottom of the page) – this will also automatically change the SSH password of the pi user (who is also in the sudoers list);
  • firewall port 80 (iptables rules in /usr/bin/rds.sh or /etc/rc.local for RDS<11) in order to allow network traffic from/to your own administration IP address only.