Guide to Setting Up Digital Signage with Raspberry Pi


This guide aims to equip you with the knowledge to set up a digital signage system using a Raspberry Pi, tailored to all skill levels. We'll cover the steps from basic setup to advanced configurations, including code snippets and commands where relevant.

For Beginners: Basic Setup

  1. Installing Raspberry Pi OS

Download Raspberry Pi Imager: Visit the Raspberry Pi Downloads page and download the Raspberry Pi Imager for your operating system. Flash Raspberry Pi OS: Open the Imager, select the OS (choose Raspberry Pi OS Full for a complete set of features), select your SD card, and click "WRITE".

  1. Initial Raspberry Pi Setup

Insert the SD card into your Raspberry Pi, connect it to a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and power supply. Upon first boot, follow the setup wizard to configure your locale, network, and update your system.

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade
  1. Installing Digital Signage Software (Screenly OSE)

Open a terminal and enter the following commands to install Screenly OSE:

bash <(curl -sL

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

For Intermediate Users: Enhancing Functionality

  1. Setting Up Remote SSH Access

Enable SSH through the Raspberry Pi configuration menu:

sudo raspi-config

Navigate to Interfacing Options > SSH and enable it.

Find your Raspberry Pi’s IP address:

hostname -I

From your computer, connect to your Raspberry Pi:

ssh pi@your_raspberry_pi_ip
  1. Automating Content Updates with Cron Jobs

Edit the crontab file to add your scheduled tasks:

crontab -e

Add a line to refresh your content. For example, to reboot daily at 2 AM:

0 2 * * * sudo reboot

For Advanced Users: Custom Solutions and Scaling

  1. Developing Interactive Displays

Python Script for GPIO Input:

import RPi.GPIO as GPIO
import os

GPIO.setup(18, GPIO.IN, pull_up_down=GPIO.PUD_UP)

def display_content(channel):
    os.system('DISPLAY=:0 chromium-browser')

GPIO.add_event_detect(18, GPIO.FALLING, callback=display_content, bouncetime=300)

    input("Press Enter to exit\n")
except KeyboardInterrupt:

This script waits for a button press connected to GPIO 18 to open a web page in Chromium.

  1. Scaling with Network Management Tools

Ansible Playbook for Updating Software:

- hosts: digital_signage
  become: yes
    - name: Update and upgrade all packages
        update_cache: yes
        upgrade: dist

This Ansible playbook can be used to update all packages on machines in the digital_signage group.

  1. Integrating Live Data Feeds

To display live data, you can use web technologies (e.g., JavaScript) to pull data from APIs and refresh content dynamically. Example:

    <title>Live Data Digital Signage</title>
    <script src=""></script>
        function fetchData() {
            $.getJSON('', function(data) {
            setInterval(fetchData, 60000); // Refresh every 60 seconds
    <div id="content">Loading...</div>

By following these steps and incorporating the provided code snippets, users of all levels can create and manage a dynamic digital signage system with Raspberry Pi. Whether you're setting up a simple display or developing a complex network of interactive signs, the flexibility of the Raspberry Pi and the power of its community offer endless possibilities.