Using Jenkins dashboards with Screenly

Jenkins is one of the most popular CI/CD tools around. Many organizations use Jenkins on dedicated wall-mounted screens. Screenly takes the pain out of managing these screens.

Jenkins standard view without Dashboard View plugin.

Creating your dashboards

The first thing you need to do in order to use Jenkins with Screenly is to decide what to view. Some users are happy with only displaying the front page, while others prefer to go a bit further and build custom dashboards using the Dashboard View plugin.

When building out your dashboards, you should keep the target resolution in mind. Most TVs are running 1920x1080px, so this is probably the resolution for which you want to optimize. Also, since you can cycle through multiple dashboards with Screenly, it may be better to break up your builds into multiple dashboards rather than trying to squeeze in everything into a single dashboard.

Setting up authentication

Once you have your dashboards ready, we can tackle the next piece: authentication. Authentication is a bit trickier since Jenkins supports a large number of authentication mechanisms. In this article, we’re going to assume that you are using the built-in authentication system.

To improve security, we recommend that you create a dedicated, locked-down (ideally, read-only) user account for the sole purpose of displaying your dashboards. Now, log in to this dedicated user account and:

  • Click your name (upper-right corner)
  • Click Configure (left-side menu)
  • Click Show API Token

You will need this token, as you will use it to log in to the dashboard.

Adding your dashboards to Screenly

Armed with your dedicated user account, API token and the URLs to your dashboards, we can now add your dashboards to Screenly. To do this, simply add your dashboards as a new URL. Once you’ve done this, you need to add your credentials. You can find details about this here, but in short, you need to use Basic Auth as per the linked article. You need to use your dedicated username combined with the API token as your password.

After you have added all your dashboards, simply add them to your desired Screenly playlist, and you should then see your dashboards appearing on your screen.

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