I'm working on setting up a kiosk and I'm trying to decide with OS to install on the Pi. I know a full Raspbian install will work, but this site will be hosted locally and updated only a couple times per year. So, I don't want to use a full distro if I don't have to just to minimize maintenance.

I'm wondering if I can open the Chrome browser in kiosk mode without booting to desktop, which would allow me to use something like Jessie Lite or DietPi. Or, do I have to enter the GUI first?

Any suggestions would be helpful.

  • you should try google for a start eg. github.com/MobilityLab/TransitScreen/wiki/Raspberry-Pi or blogs.wcode.org/2013/09/…
    – pastacool
    Feb 16 '16 at 12:34
  • @pastacool I tried both.. they are quite dated.. I followed the steps on the second and I almost managed to get it.. the only problem is that 'startx' command doesn't exist
    – SERPRO
    Mar 1 '16 at 20:42
  • did you ever find an answer to your question?
    – Havnar
    Mar 3 '16 at 12:44
  • I have Jessie Lite installed and can VNC into a blank desktop. I'm still working on how to get Chrome to open without needing the full desktop, but haven't had much time lately.
    – Brian
    Mar 3 '16 at 16:11

I finally managed to find a good guide to get Jessie Lite up and running without booting to desktop as default.

You still need to run Xserver to managed the windows, and you can use LightDM to manage the startup process. There are some other driver installs which optimize video performance on the ARM processor.

The big thing to pay attention to is that the Chromium build offered for Jessie is v45, which will only work on Raspberry Pi 2 or later. You can use a different browser, like Firefox or Epiphany, on an older machine.

  • The linked post mentions nothing about Jessie Lite, and we can see the author is using a full Raspbian Jessie. Did you test with Lite?
    – Meriw
    Aug 31 '16 at 21:04
  • How about this ? github.com/BillyBlaze/OctoPrint-TouchUI/wiki/… Jan 15 '17 at 2:00
  • I like your answer yet still do not have the procedure. I have Jessie-Lite installed but need the procedure to make Chromium run in it.
    – SDsolar
    Jul 20 '18 at 6:17

Try the following URL : http://blogs.wcode.org/2013/09/howto-boot-your-raspberry-pi-into-a-fullscreen-browser-kiosk/

I use it for autorun a web browser when raspbian start

  • In keeping with our policy regarding informationless link-only answers, if this post is not edited to contain information that can stand as an answer, however minimal, in 48 hours it will be converted to Community Wiki to simplify having it corrected by the community.
    – goldilocks
    Jan 14 '17 at 21:17
  • This is an interesting answer but I must echo @goldilocks comment that this does not actually include a concise procedure to show how to do it.
    – SDsolar
    Jul 20 '18 at 6:23

There are a lot of different ways you could do this. I know there are some tutorials on setting up Raspbian as a Kiosk, but for your purposes something like Screenly might be the way to go. If you use BerryBoot they have an Premade install for Screenly that is EXTREMELY easy to setup. The only major issue that I saw with Screenly was that it lost any Authentication from stored cookies upon reboot. So if it is an always on situation then Screenly would definitely work. The issue I ran into with some of the Kiosk Tutorials was that eventually the browsers would prompt for updates or would crash etc... requiring user interaction (I was creating a digital signage solution so this was unacceptable). Ultimately I ended up using Concerto for my backend (which would probably be way overboard for your needs) and Screenly as the client on the Pi's... Links to BerryBoot and Screenlys websites are below.


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