5 Raspberry Pi Digital Signage Projects You Should Try

Christian Cawley 12-11-2018

Need to display a video in your shop window? Want to show off the facilities of your school or church to visitors? Perhaps there’s a promotional video you want to share? Whatever the case, you don’t need to setup a PC to play it back, or even pipe it through an overlong HDMI cable.


All you need is suitable display, a Raspberry Pi, and some digital signage software. Get started with these five projects, ideal for all skill levels.

What a Digital Signage Project Should Feature

The possibilities for a digital signage project are potentially endless, so it’s difficult to list every eventuality. However, remote access is particularly vital, because it lets you make changes without being on site.

To this end, a reliable, high-speed microSD card is recommended. If this isn’t possible, and you’re using a Raspberry Pi 3 or later The Raspberry Pi Board Guide: Zero vs. Model A and B With so many different Raspberry Pi models, how do you know which one to buy? Our ultimate guide tells you everything you need to know! Read More , consider setting it up to boot from a USB device How to Make Raspberry Pi 3 Boot From USB The Raspberry Pi is a versatile piece of kit, capable of a diverse range of tasks. But it has one glaring flaw: the inability to boot from USB. Until now, that is. Read More .

In addition, you’ll need to decide whether the project has a requirement for input from the viewer. If so, ensure a keyboard and mouse are connected. If the Pi and the display are to be installed in some sort of locked case, consider a touchscreen display.

Before proceeding, be aware that the terms “digital signage” and “kiosk” are often used interchangeably. They both refer to using the Pi in a locked-down mode. This can prevent your audience from doing anything other than viewing or using a single app.


Prepare Your Raspberry Pi Digital Signage Project

The digital signage projects listed below differ in scope and size. Some are complete disk images to replace Raspbian, while others are simple applications.

For your digital signage project to work effectively, configure your Raspberry Pi with:

Remote access, and automatic booting to desktop may already be configured if you’re using a downloaded disk image. However, if you’re installing the project yourself, take steps to ensure these don’t disrupt your digital signage.

You’ll also need a Raspberry Pi. While any model can be used, and the Raspberry Pi Zero might be considered particularly compact, the new Raspberry Pi 3B+ is recommended.


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1. piSignage

If you’re new to the Raspberry Pi and have no prior experience of setting up a digital signage project, piSignage might be the solution for you.

A paid service, piSignage offers a downloadable Raspberry Pi disk image that can be remotely managed with a dedicated user interface. Media files can be added and grouped into playlists to ensure your digital signage project continues to playback audio and video content.

Advanced schedule is available, while adverts can also be included.


Unlike other projects listed here, piSignage is a premium product, with a single license available for $25. Other payment options are available, depending upon the scale of your signage project.

2. PiPresents

A more polished and feature-packed option is PiPresents, described on the website as “a toolkit for producing interactive multimedia applications for museums, visitor centres, and more.”

It’s a flexible tool that includes support for Python scripts. These might be used for graphical overlays, for example, or executing other software. A list of successful applications for PiPresents has been compiled on the home page, including a permanent presentation in a hospital, and a tool for displaying photos sent via email.

PiPresents can be fiddly to setup, and requires a full installation of Raspbian to work; you’ll struggle to get it running on Raspbian Lite.


Head to the PiPresents home page to find out more about this Raspberry Pi digital signage tool, and check GitHub for installation steps.

3. Raspberry Digital Signage

A full Raspberry Pi operating system (based on Raspbian) that must be downloaded and written to SD card to install it How to Install an Operating System on a Raspberry Pi Here's how to install an OS on your Raspberry Pi and how to clone your perfect setup for quick disaster recovery. Read More , Raspberry Pi Digital Signage (RDS) is useful for displaying various types of information.

Among the projects this software can be used for are electronic signs, time management systems, and Google Slides-based presentations. A web admin interface lets you configure the project, with support for video and sound, and SSH is enabled. The Chromium browser (the open source version of Google Chrome) can be used to display your digital signage project, with settings controlled in the RDS admin screen.

A version of WordPress has been bundled with RDS to enable a simple website experience.

4. Python Slideshow With Time and Weather

The Raspberry Pi makes a great digital signage solution

At the other end of the spectrum is this project, which displays a slideshow with date, time, and local weather information.

Python Slideshow is easy to install and can be configured with your own slideshow images. Weather, date and time information is easily configurable. However, before running it’s a good idea to increase the video memory to 256MB in the Raspberry Pi Configuration screen. This will ensure that the slideshow doesn’t overwhelm your Raspberry Pi’s resources.

One thing to note: the script will play any images within the subdirectory, not just the pictures folder. While you can easily add your own, four odd photos (presumably of the creator and a friend) have found their way into the project, so it’s a good idea to remove these before you start using it.

5. Just Use Chromium

If you don’t want to add any extra software, the Chromium browser (preinstalled on Raspbian Stretch) makes an adequate replacement. By manually disabling the Raspbian screensaver, you can ensure the digital signage is displayed uninterrupted. Meanwhile, you should edit the Pi’s desktop environment start-up file to ensure the correct web page is loaded.

Chromium can handle video and other media files, making it ideal for basic signage projects with comparatively low requirements.

Check Dan Purdy’s guide to using the Raspberry Pi for digital signage (referred to as a “kiosk screen”) to find out more.

Build a Raspberry Pi Digital Signage System Today

Although there are many other options for setting up your Raspberry Pi digital signage, we’ve listed a selection to cover all types of project.

We’ve given you five options to choose from. You should have a Raspberry Pi digital signage project up and running within minutes. Choose from:

  • piSignage
  • Python Slidshow with Time and Weather
  • PiPresents
  • Raspberry Pi Digital Signage
  • Or simply use Chromium

Once you’re done, your Raspberry Pi will be ready to display signs, videos, timetables, and more. Looking for other uses for this little computer? Check our list of the top Raspberry Pi projects 26 Awesome Uses for a Raspberry Pi Which Raspberry Pi project should you start with? Here's our roundup of the best Raspberry Pi uses and projects around! Read More .

Related topics: DIY Project Ideas, Raspberry Pi.

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  1. Hat
    November 13, 2018 at 3:35 am

    I make a slideshow in Libre Impress and play that.

  2. Nate M
    November 13, 2018 at 3:04 am

    Another popular Pi based solution is Screenly. It just works, and can be installed via NOOBS.

  3. BK
    November 13, 2018 at 2:38 am

    Also look at for an amazing cloud based solution.

  4. Hitesh
    November 12, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    PiSignage mention here is not fully commercial project, they host free version of their server side code on github , which works on any Linux / windows / Mac machine.
    Players images for RPi are regularly updated. With their cloud server first two players are free.
    I am using their service from couple of years now, Best team to work with, always ready to help.