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Raspberry PI as kiosk display

Jun 09 2015

The Problem

My local glider club wanted to increase the weather awareness of our pilots. Therefore they decided to display the current weather and some forecasts on a television. I wrote a script that fetches the important weather data and compiles it into a HTML slideset. This webpage is hosted on our internal server and can be accessed from everywhere on the airfield.

We also managed it to find  a small (but old) tablet which had a HDMI output that was connected to the TV. We configured this thing that it starts a web browser after the boot and this web browser displays exactly that one HTML slideshow page with the weather information. It worked very well for 3 years, but now the tablet is dead. A cheap alternative to this is to replace it with a Raspberry pi (which also has a HDMI output).

The solution

I have tried different solutions like the one descirbed here, or here. Finally I ended up with my own solution (which is a combination of all the stuff I found on the internet).

  • In the first step I have installed the latest version of raspiban via NOOBS.
  • The raspi has to be configured that it boots into the graphical environment. This can be done with the command $sudo raspi-config. From there navigate down to boot_behaviour and change this setting to boot in desktop mode by default.
  • The final step was to configure lxde to startup a webbrowser

The file /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart controls what should be started as soon as LXDE is started.

pi@smalltime:~$ cat /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart
@xset -dpms
@xst s noblank
@midori -e Fullscreen -a http://www.site.to/visit.php

The first line in the file disables the mousepointer, the second one disables the screensaver and the last one fires up midori (the default browser on the Pi) in fiullscreen mode and displays the site you want to display.
You see it is easy as 1,2,3 !

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