Long story short (if wired network/dhcp available)
Connect your signage PC to a wired network cable and boot; system’s IP address is shown on screen upon boot. RockSolid Signage boots in full-screen (kiosk) mode displaying the saved web resource. In order to configure the system, browse from your management PC to (login: admin / password).
If no wired/dhcp network is available, RockSolid Signage boots showing the network admin page (default login: admin / password), where you can setup your network connection (wired or wireless), with physical access to the signage PC. Once you select a connection method, a reboot will be performed.
If network is available, RockSolid Signage boots in full-screen (kiosk) mode displaying the configured web resource. System’s IP address is shown on screen upon boot.
In order to configure the system, browse from your management PC to http://<IP_ADDRESS>/settings (default login: admin / password). Once network is set, the administration can/must be performed remotely via the management browser, without physical access to the signage PC.
You can always modify the network connection by browsing to http://<IP_ADDRESS>/networks from your management PC.
Network admin interface
Signage stack is derived from the upstream Raspberry Digital Signage, the original name is displayed.
While you can configure the system via the aforementioned settings web page quite completely, when you need to modify browser’s settings and extensions a virtual access to the whole signage PC’s screen is required: just browse to the settings page via a management browser and then access the signage PC directly or by using VNC (default password: password). This way you can customize the browser as you wish.
In order for your settings to be saved, make all Chromium settings persistent. Why this?
Every time system reloads or is rebooted, the browser is kept back to default settings or last-persisted settings, which are “clean”, for security reasons.
Admin interface password
This function changes the admin interface password, as well as the rds-user password (SSH) and the VNC one all together. Remember to change the default system password at first setup.
Here you can configure the URL of the web resource displayed by the full-screen browser.
A token (the machine’s MAC address without “:” characters) is transparently added at the very end of the web resource URL, allowing multiple signage PCs pointing just one server location, for example: http://yourserver.com?rdstoken=080027fe959b. It’s then up to your server logic sending the appropriate resource to the client, if you need different content for each client to be displayed.
A browser full reset after a specified user inactivity feature is available, which will – nomen omen – kill and completely reload the browser, also cleaning up all older content and replacing it with the last-saved.
A reloading of web page content after a specified time is possible as well. Please note that this is a hack (normally it’s not possible to interfere with web pages’ behaviour from the outside of them) but quite all sites are however compatible.
Some default Chrome extensions are installed:
- Scrollbar Customizer (enabled): with this extension it’s possible to modify the scrollbars’ sizes, thick to hidden. Very thin scrollbars are set as default.
- Virtual keyboard, on-screen virtual keyboard (enabled).
- tabtiles (disabled). Enable this if you need to display a useful pseudo-navigation menu (if the displayed resource opens window popups).
- Url slideshow (enabled). Configure it to turn the signage in a slideshow of web sites (check the extension’s options Start on browser start and Fullscreen). Quite cool.
RockSolid Signage boots in full-screen (kiosk) mode displaying the saved web resource with all the saved settings applied; mouse pointer auto-hides in some seconds of inactivity. For security reasons, some keyboard keys are disabled.
You cannot exit to the console in any way except stopping the rds service via SSH or rebooting the system.
You can SSH into the signage PC in order to set up the underlying operating system (as a standard Debian Buster OS) and configure RockSolid Signage without a GUI as well.
*nix users will make use of the native ssh client – open the terminal emulator and type:
- Windows users will use Putty, MobaXTerm, any cygwin-derived program or the Linux Subsystem for Windows (preferred; in this case the syntax is identical as the *nix users’).
Use the following default credentails:
then, once in, type: sudo -i for administrative rights (root)
When admin 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’ modification via browser (admin interface) and via SSH with one step. Please change the default SSH password for your security.
Configure the system via SSH
- Modify the config file of your interest in the /etc/rds/ folder and then restart the digital signage service: systemctl restart rds.
- For the network, standard /etc/network/interfaces.d/* and /etc/resolv.conf files are used.
- For the locale and keyboard, the standard system files /etc/default/locale and /etc/default/keyboard are used.
This “release” build of RockSolid Signage is limited is some functionality: if you like this project please donate.