I have an idea and I'm working on it right now. I just wanted to see what the community's thought was on using a screensaver as digital signage.

Every tutorial I've read shows someone using chromium in kiosk mode, and while that's fine and works well for some uses, it doesn't work for what I need. I have successfully completed a chromium kiosk, and it was cool. But the signage that I need to create now, has to work without internet.

I've thought about installing LAMP locally on the Pi, and still using chromium. I still may have to if this idea doesn't pan out. All I need from the signage is a Title Message in the top center, and a message body underneath it, with roughly 300-400 character limit. My idea is to write a screensaver module, in C, that will work with a screensaver such as xscreensaver.

The module would need to be able to load messages from a directory on the pi. Then for my clients to update their signage text, I would write a simple client that sent commands as well as the text via SSH to the pi. I want to know what other people think about this. Is it a good idea? Bad idea? Should I "waste" my time doing something like this?

2 Answers 2


Just keep on use Chrome Kiosk mode.

You don't really need to install LAMP as the (A) will take up too much resources on the Pi. Consider nginx with PHP CGI instead. Its faster and uses much less overhead.

You don't even need a webserver to view HTML pages stored on the Pi. Just create HTML5 webpages and use jQuery. You can create some fancy stuff in CANVAS or SVG and there allot of plugins to help you with this. You can use jQUery AJAX to read files and parse files in the directories it has access to, text, JSON, XML.

It really depends what way you want to go with. HTML5/Jquery is MUCH easier than C and X but there are trade offs between them. HTML will run on any browser though, that is why its more popular now a days.


You need neither internet access nor a web server for your use case. Just point your browser at a local HTML page (using a file:///... URI) and enable page refreshing either in the page or in the browser (e.g. using Auto Refresh Plus or Easy Auto Refresh plugins). If you are going to write a client software to edit those messages anyway, you could make it create the web page from the messages automatically. The auto-refresh will then update the contents in the browser.

If this simple solution doesn't fit you, the next level would be with HTML5/jQuery/AJAX, like @ppumkin said.

  • Yea I forgot to mention to enable SMABA or something for other computers on the network to be able to access the HTML pages too, using file:// +1
    – Piotr Kula
    Mar 31, 2014 at 11:47
  • AJAX doesn't work on local files. But you could use something like jsonp.
    – Gerben
    Mar 31, 2014 at 14:31

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