Screenly Open Source Edition

Screenly OSE is the most popular open source digital signage software for the Raspberry Pi. Use it for free (it's a freeware after all) and save money.

Screenly OSE, or Open Source Edition, is a free digital signage software backed by the community and maintained by Screenly, Inc.

Before you get started, we recommend that you check out The Layman’s Guide - Screenly OSE vs. Screenly Pro.

Impatient?

Want to take Screenly OSE for a spin instead of reading the specs? Then check out the live demo. Please note that the database is wiped every 30 minutes and that the maximum upload size is 5MB.

Getting started

Requirements

Before you begin, you need to make sure you have everything described in the hardware requirements.

Option 1: Download the custom image

The quickest way to get started with Screenly OSE is to download our custom image. The image is really nothing but a regular Raspbian Lite installation with Screenly installed per these instructions.

Please note that this is a different disk image from Screenly Pro. To use Screenly Pro, you must download the image available under ‘Add Screen’ when logged into your account.

  • Follow our flashing tutorial. Upon the first boot, Screenly will start automatically and display the splash-screen and some pre-configured assets.

The disk image was created for a 4GB SD-card. It is recommended that you use at least an 8GB card. In order to access the tools required, you first disable the video from the web interface (instructions are available on the splash screen). Once the video has stopped playing, press ctrl+alt+F1. This will allow you to login with username: pi and the password: raspberry. You might also want to change ‘overscan’ if you have a black border around your screen.

If you’re using an older disk image SSH may be enabled on the OS image. Therefore, it is important that you change the default password.

A screenshot of Screenly OSE

Option 2: Using NOOBS

Screenly OSE is available directly from NOOBS. Simply flash out NOOBS to your SD card, and select Screenly OSE. For more information, please see this article.

Option 3: Install Screenly OSE yourself

Configure the Raspberry Pi

First, flash the SD card and install Raspbian Lite. Instructions are available here.

On first boot, you should be able to login using the username pi and password raspberry. Once you’ve logged in, run sudo raspi-config and make sure you make the following changes:

  • Expand the root file system (required)
  • Disable overscan (depends on your display)
  • Change keyboard mapping (optional)
  • Change time zone (optional, but Screenly’s scheduling uses this)
  • Enable SSH (optional)
  • Change password for ‘pi’ user (recommended)
  • Once you’ve made all these changes, you must restart your Raspberry Pi

You may also be interested in the Getting Started-guide for Screenly Pro.

Install Screenly OSE

After you’ve performed all of the above changes and rebooted, open a terminal (ctrl+alt+F1) or SSH session and, as the user ‘pi’, run:

 $ bash <(curl -sL https://www.screenly.io/install-ose.sh)

(If you’re running the installation over SSH, running the installation through a screen or tmux session is highly recommended.)

Assuming everything went well, reboot your system. Screenly should now load.

Upon boot, Screenly’s management URL should show up on the screen (e.g. http://aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd:8080). To manage the content, open up this URL on a different computer. Don’t try to manage the content directly on the Raspberry Pi using a keyboard and mouse. That won’t work.

If you want to dive deeper into Screenly OSE, you’ll find the full source code over at GitHub.

Option 4: Using resin.io

Screenly OSE on resin.io

resin.io is an innovative IoT management platform. Screenly OSE can run on resin.io. We’ve outlined the required steps in the article Deploy a digital signage application with Screenly OSE and resin.io. Contrary to the other ways of running Screenly OSE, using resin.io provides the following benefits:

  • Remote access to the web interface and a shell
  • Ability to remotely upgrade devices

Supported media

Screenly currently three types of media:

  • Videos
  • Images
  • Web-pages

You can find more detail about the supported media types in the FAQ. Also, images and web-pages will be rendered in 1920x1080, so adjust your content for this size.

Upgrade Screenly

Note: Before you upgrade, make sure to read the release notes.

Manual upgrade

Login to the system and run (as the user ‘pi’):

 $ bash <(curl -sL https://www.screenly.io/install-ose.sh)

(Same as the installation above.)

Disk image upgrade

With the introduction of the backup/restore functionality, you could also use the following steps to perform an upgrade:

  • Login to the web interface and download a backup
  • Overwrite the SD card with the latest disk image
  • Restore from your backup through the web interface

The benefit with this approach is that you get a periodic backup and the ability to easily rotate across SD cards.

Got questions?

If you still have questions, take a look in our Frequently Asked Questions database for answer.

Support

For questions, please use the Raspberry Pi forum thread or our support forum.

Licensing

Dual License: GPLv2 and Commercial License.

Looking for something more?

Screenly Pro has many more features, and it is easier to install. Check it out!