How do I start epiphany browser in fullscreen mode from terminal (not F11)? Documentation says to use arguments -f or --fullscreen but neither of them work.

  • 1
    What version of Epiphany are you running? 3.8.2 which is what is installed on my system does not have either of those options. You can check the version with epiphany --version and the available commands with man epiphany. This is one of the reasons I ma using chromium to display my dashboards and monitoring screens. You may be able to get bash/xdotools to launch epiphany and simulate hitting the f11 key to switch to fullscreen mode. – Steve Robillard Apr 29 '15 at 21:30
  • I was using chromium but the problem with Chromium is that it cannot run HTML5 videos. Thats why I had to switch back to epiphany. I tried using xautomation to simulate F11 but that does not work either. – SRay Apr 29 '15 at 22:28

10 Answers 10

up vote 20 down vote accepted

You can start it in kiosk mode using -a, you may have to create your ~/.config for your profile.

epiphany-browser -a --profile ~/.config http://localhost/index.html
  • What do you mean by I might by have to create a ~/.config for my profile? What does it do? – SRay May 7 '15 at 20:18
  • if you try to run it in app mode before the "~/.config" folder is set up epiphany won't run. it needs that folder at least created for it to store cookies adblock data bookmarks and other db data epiphany uses. mkdir ~/.config – raspi-ninja May 7 '15 at 21:40
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    simply change ~/.config to /home/pi/.config when you put this in /etc/rc.local and it works like a charm – Adeel Feb 29 '16 at 2:59

Here is how I got the default browser ephiphany working in Kiosk Mode. First I set the sudo raspi-config boot option to b2 "command prompt with auto login"

Create a file startB in your home directory /home/pi/ with following content sudo nano ./startB

xset -dpms # disable DPMS (Energy Star) features.
xset s off # disable screen saver
xset s noblank # don't blank the video device
matchbox-window-manager -use_titlebar no &
WEBKIT_DISABLE_TBS=1 epiphany-browser -a --profile /home/pi/.config  http://site

now sudo nano /etc/rc.local and put in the following line before exit 0

sudo xinit ./home/pi/startB &

and Raspberry Pi will boot up in kiosk mode with browser.

  • Thank you so much! This was the first script that I was able to run on a Raspberry Pi 3 running Raspbian Jessie with an Adafruit PiTFT. The browser now starts up full screen on the TFT screen. Cheers! – Greg Sadetsky Jul 8 '16 at 17:05
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    I've just done this. Thanks for the tip, but it's only opening in the top left quarter of the screen. Any ideas how I make sure it opens full screen? – TobyG Aug 6 '16 at 10:34
  • Same issue as @TobyG, it runs in the top-left corner, 33% screen width and 50% height. – Tom Söderlund Aug 24 '16 at 19:44
  • thanks, works for me! but i wonder why WEBKIT_DISABLE_TBS=1 is set and what it is supposed to do. wasn't that relevant in regards to kweb? – jitter Jan 19 '17 at 0:37
  • Did not work: the top menu was still visible. When I closed epiphany, I realized that the keyboard was disabled; the screen randomly jumps up and down by ~20 pixels. Warning: at that point, recovering is not easy; I was able to delete the batch file and restart using the mouse (which still worked). – Davide Andrea Jul 3 '17 at 18:32

I got it working with xautomation. I didn't have any success with "-a".

The script I'm using is:

xte 'sleep 10' 'key F11'&
epiphany-browser test.html

This code sends an F11 keystroke 10 seconds after starting the browser.

That was after I installed xautomation, which provides the xte command:

root@nexus:/home/pi/bin# aptitude install xautomation

I got success after tried this.

Save this shell script to: /home/pi/

sudo -u pi epiphany-browser -a --profile ~/.config --display=:0 &
sleep 15s;
xte "key F11" -x:0

& is important. This mark is ignoring errors from the epiphany-browser. I added & mark because I got an error after I tried this shell script on the command line.

sudo apt-get install epiphany-browser
sudo apt-get install xautomation

sudo vi /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart

sudo chmod 755 /home/pi/

(sorry my english is poor because I am japanese.)

The -a flag doesn't result in fullscreen for me, and as F11 toggles fullscreen (rather than just setting it) I wanted something more concrete.

I ended up using wmctrl -r "<name of window>" -b add,fullscreen which sets fullscreen instead of toggling and calling this in a loop while the browser process is still running. Epiphany responds to this the same as if you'd just pressed F11, hiding the nav bar and removing window decorations.

# disable screensaver and screen blanking
xset -dpms s off

# create profile folder if it doesn't exist
mkdir -p /home/<user>/.config/epiphany-kiosk

# launch the browser as a background process
epiphany-browser -a --profile /home/<user>/.config/epiphany-kiosk http://localhost:8000/ &

# see
# get the browser PID

# If this script is killed, kill the main process.
trap "kill $pid 2> /dev/null" EXIT

# Loop while it's running...
while kill -0 $pid 2> /dev/null; do
    wmctrl -r "<name of window>" -b add,fullscreen
    sleep 2

# Disable the trap on a normal exit.
trap - EXIT

I find that using a delay between the epiphany launch command and the xte sucks. I looked for a better way (and more reliable).

My first attempt was to open epiphany on a php file that would execute the xte command: <?php $out = shell_exec("xte 'key F11'"); ?> Unfortunately it does not work. Cannot tell you why though (if someone knows, I am interested). When I echo the output with xte -h I do get the help of xte command on my webpage... Anyway I did not have much time, so I try another way around.

The idea is still to launch epiphany to a php file (fs.php) that contains:

$h = fopen("/var/www/fs/FS.chk", "w");
#fwrite($h, "browser opened"); # <- don't really need this

For launching the web browser I will use a bash script that can be run after the boot, or anytime you want. The script contains:

if [ -e "var/www/fs/FS.chk" ]; then
rm -f /var/www/fs/FS.chk

epiphany localhost/fs/fs.php &

until [ -e "/var/www/fs/FS.chk" ]
sleep 0.1

xte "key F11"

As you noticed, my working directory is /var/www/fs/. But you can adapt this to your need. Also, it is quite easy to add a redirection on the php file to switch to the desired webpage once the web browser is running on full screen mode.

The php code create a witness (FS.chk) file while the bash, after having launched epiphany to this php file, is looking for the witness file. This file is only created once epiphany is opened (that get rids off the 15s sleep in previous posts). Once the bash sees the witness file, it executes the xte command...

EDIT: I just find out that it is important not to add "http://" before the URL passed to epiphany. If you do, the xte command will be issued, apparently, too soon.

Do like this! GoTo:

create the file: nano /home/pi/

paste this into

sleep  20
if [ -z "$(pgrep epiphany)" ];
   then (sudo -u pi epiphany-browser -a -i --profile ~/.config --display=:0) &
   sleep 5s;
   xte "key F11" -x:0;
bash $0 &

And then if your browser crashes, it will come to live again :)

xte has an option to send commands to remote (or local displays)

it is simpler to use the -x xte option :

epiphany --display=:0 [http://YOURURL]
sleep 20 && xte -x :0 "key F11"

Good Luck!

Follow @Jacobm001 and @Adeel post but after all that modify:


modify #property id="3" value_type="gint">1920< #width
modify #property id="3" value_type="gint">1080< #height

match these above to the resolution of your device. My comment sections are not in the states.xml file.

Save and Reboot

Don't forget to make your script executable!

sudo chmod +x /home/pi/startB

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