I am trying to open and view a website in chromium on the startup of the Pi. Currently, I have it in the /.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart file to open chromium when the system starts, but this happens much too late. It shows the normal desktop for several seconds before the browser opens up.

I'm not dependent on chrome if that is an issue, I just need a browser that can open the site without showing anything on the desktop. Is there a way to achieve this effect?

It should be noted, I followed this tutorial but nothing displayed correctly and just generally wasn't doing what I wanted it to do.

  • 1
    You need to config the raspberry pi in kiosk mode. Follow this procedure to achieve this goal. The link you added has some problems. Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 16:46
  • @M.Rostami Thanks for the response, but that doesn't solve my issue. Following that procedure, the desktop screen still shows up before chromium launches.
    – Tmello225
    Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 19:43
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    If your goal is to show the desktop for as short a time as possible (preferably zero seconds), you'd be better off using Raspbian Lite. With Lite you can install a minimal window manager, such as icewm, twm, etc. These window managers are might lighter weight than Raspbian desktop, so they will start more quickly, and some of them can be configured to have little, if any, bits showing on the desktop.
    – bls
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 16:11

3 Answers 3


Following on with a comment and one possible real answer. First, you didn't say whether this was for a dedicated configuration (e.g., only runs the browser) or a general purpose case, where you simply care about how fast the browser starts. I assumed a dedicated configuration, based on your description. This answer addresses the dedicated configuration.

First, install a minimal X11 configuration and browser: sudo apt install xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-core xserver-common icewm icewm-themes xterm x11-apps xfonts-base xfonts-100dpi xfonts-75dpi xfonts-scalable chromium-browser firefox-esr

I'm suggesting that you use icewm for a window manager because it's lightweight and configurable. There are several good window managers, so feel free to use a different one.

Next, in your login directory (e.g., /home/pi for the pi user):

mkdir .icewm
cd .icewm
echo "ShowTaskBar=0" > preferences
echo "#!/bin/bash" > startup
echo "firefox & " >> startup     # Change the browser command as desired
chmod 755 startup

To get it all started, type startx after you login.

If you'd rather no use a window manager at all, you can create the file ~/.xinitrc with the contents exec firefox (or other browser). This will start the X11 server running the browser (and nothing else).

Of course, you may want to have the graphical environment come up automtically when you start the system. If that's the case, there's a bit more to do. Please clarify the completely problem you're trying to solve.


I think is the best option to install raspbian lite, without desktop. you can launch chromium, without showing desktop. Also you can hide all boot messages and make custom splash screen.

  • How can this be done?
    – Ingo
    Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 10:15
  • I can past you a link, where some people allready done that. If any further info is needed, please ask. Raspbian lite: die-antwort.eu/techblog/… Remove splash screen, custom splash screen: scribles.net/customizing-boot-up-screen-on-raspberry-pi
    – douce
    Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 11:37
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    We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it is preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. Please edit so that the answer stands on its own should the link break in the future.
    – Ingo
    Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 11:49
  • It can be done. You want to run the Xorg server with a xinit.rc or equivalent that starts only one application (the browser) rather than the desktop environment, which is actually a layer on top of Xorg, and not compulsory to use (plain X is a black screen with a mouse pointer).
    – goldilocks
    Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 15:49

When you're just looking for a browser, consider a browser that supports starting fullscreen from the command line. I once used Midori for that by running

midori -e Fullscreen -a http://localhost/

as window manager you can then even use something more simple like openbox if you like to minimize RAM usage, e.g., using in the .xinitrc

openbox &
exec nice midori -e Fullscreen -a http://localhost:5000/

By using the exec, your X session will be stopped when the browser is closed.

  • I am not fully sure how current Raspberry Pi OS runs the desktop and if .xinitrc is used by default. Maybe someone can add this.
    – allo
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 21:51

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