Screenly OSE -- Digital Signage for the Raspberry Pi


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by nikize » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:47 pm
dszhan wrote:Hello,

I have installed Screenly following the instructions on the website.
I have used 2012-09-18 version of Raspbian
After installation the boot-up process becomes a bit slower and I get a few errors on the screen at POST
like

unhandled mode 1
unhandled mode 2
mailbox failed
error 84 while installing SD card.
RTC init failed

I have used 8GB class 10 SD card
After installation it works OK for the first few times and after that it takes too long
to open webpages on the PI@8080 for scheduling adding asset etc.

Any ideas on why the slow down?
Should I use a different raspbian version?

I would say it sounds like a SD Card issue, and something is corrupted...
Screenly-ose should work without problems on all raspbian images, I have had some issues with installs if the system was not up2date ... but a
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get update
solved that
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by nikize » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:58 pm
CSD Dave wrote:Hi

If i start omxplayer i get the following text
....

screenly continues to display the scheduled content

You need to add the filename you want to play to the commandline as well. ex:
omxplayer http://resourceadress/file.mp4

Or maybe the logs will tell you something take a look in /tmp/screenly_viewer.log
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by nikize » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:30 pm
Axel-b2 wrote:
Darron.Michael wrote:I'd really like to try the "fade in" version where it uses 2 browsers to pre-load the assets for fast transitions.

How would I upgrade my existing install to that version or what URL would I "git" to install that version on another Pi?


I don't have time now, but I will try to make time this weekend to post instructions.

In a nutshell, it should be possible to point git (in the screenly directory on your raspberry) to an additional remote repository, and then tell it to fetch content from there, and then tell it to change the git-controlled files in the screenly directory to those from another branch.

I have found this set of commands working for changing a existing git-clone:
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git remote add -f -t player-browser-fader axel-b https://github.com/axel-b/screenly-ose.git
git checkout player-browser-fader

And instructions for checking out fresh is further up in the thread if my memory serves me right.

A recompile of shutter might be needed, but probably not? I have not tried to use this, so can't say for sure. (Only tested the git part) However, I always recommend not to run unknown binary blobs, and compile yourself from source. Of course if it is a RPi without anything important it might not be worth the hassle.
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by wm408 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:47 am
Hey Axel,

Could you describe configuration for the fader? :D

Thanks!
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by CSD Dave » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:52 pm
nikize wrote:
CSD Dave wrote:Hi

If i start omxplayer i get the following text
....

screenly continues to display the scheduled content

You need to add the filename you want to play to the commandline as well. ex:
omxplayer http://resourceadress/file.mp4

Or maybe the logs will tell you something take a look in /tmp/screenly_viewer.log


Thanks for the help I've got the videos working now but still no audio. Please can someone tell me the command to make hdmi the audio default.
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by Darron.Michael » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:51 pm
Booting the Pi with HDMI connected gave me both video and audio right out of the gate, after I turned up the volume on the TV. If your video has no audio, then I'm thinking it is not "exactly" the right kind of format/codec for the video file.
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by CSD Dave » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:39 pm
Thanks for the replies. For anyone else with this problem I found the fix here
viewtopic.php?p=136939#p136939
:D
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by mrpaulmanley » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:45 pm
For those interested in local caching of content, I have done some implementation in my fork that you can test out.
https://github.com/mrpaulmanley/screenly-ose.git

I submitted a pull request on github, but don't know if WireLoad will be interested in merging it if they are trying to sell a pro version. I could totally see why they might not.

If you do install from my repo, you would need to start from scratch or rename/delete your database so that the server can recreate it with all the necessary fields.

Also, many thanks to WireLoad for open sourcing this.
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by Axel-b2 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:15 pm
nikize wrote:
Axel-b2 wrote:In a nutshell, it should be possible to point git (in the screenly directory on your raspberry) to an additional remote repository, and then tell it to fetch content from there, and then tell it to change the git-controlled files in the screenly directory to those from another branch.

I have found this set of commands working for changing a existing git-clone:
Code: Select all
git remote add -f -t player-browser-fader axel-b https://github.com/axel-b/screenly-ose.git
git checkout player-browser-fader
Thanks. that works for me too. I hope it helps those who want to try out the player-browser-fader branch.

You need to install two additional packages:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install python-pexpect xwit
I use python-pexpect to 'talk' to the uzbl browser, and I use the xwit program to hide/show browser instances. (To get black background for videos I use the xsetroot command, of package x11-xserver-utils, but I think it is installed already by default.) I hope i did not forget to mention any other packages...
nikize wrote:And instructions for checking out fresh is further up in the thread if my memory serves me right.

A recompile of shutter might be needed, but probably not? I have not tried to use this, so can't say for sure. (Only tested the git part) However, I always recommend not to run unknown binary blobs, and compile yourself from source. Of course if it is a RPi without anything important it might not be worth the hassle.
Good point about recompiling from source (it tends to remind me of Ken Thompson's Reflections on Trusting Trust (<- clickable link)).

To recompile the shutter program (assuming you are in folder ~/screenly):
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cd shutter
rm -f shutter.bin
make
cd ..
(I now wonder whether it is better to just remove shutter/shutter.bin from the repository, and just force people to compile it for themselves.)

After checkout of the player-browser-fader branch, installing the additional packages, and recompiling the shutter program, you should now be able to use it. If you have already run screenly from the (wireload) master branch, and have created a playlist, your existing playlist will be used.
Either start the viewer, or if one is still running, kill that viewer program and let the xloader.sh script start a new viewer instance.

There are several things that you might want to tweak:
- timing, by changing the sleep times in function start of BrowserAsset and PlayerAsset --- I tried to keep these as short as possible, but occasionally, when watching my screen, I get the feeling some timers might need to be slightly longer[/list]
- colors, currently best done by changing the fade_color function in BrowserAsset and PlayerAsset

To fetch updates, I do:
Code: Select all
git checkout player-browser-fader
git pull
(The first of those git commands is only to make sure that I am on the right branch.)

I hope this helps (given that nikize already mentioned the most important things, above).
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by Axel-b2 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:23 pm
One more thing about my player-browser-fader branch:

in viewer.py:
- logging is set-up to be rather verbose (log level DEBUG);
- the logging messages have a timestamp that contains milliseconds (to be able to judge timing);
- logging is not sent to /tmp/screenly_viewer.log, but to the default (standard output or standard error), which means that it ends up in /tmp/screenly_xloader.log
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by maspinall » Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:58 pm
Hello.

First, can I say what a great piece of software this is – it worked for me straight out of the box. I’ll look out for the Pro version, and if I can exploit it, I will be glad to pay for it.

I have Screenly on RasPi deployed in several stores, the content for each managed independently by the store manager. Unfortunately on a couple of occasions, the content has been disturbed, such that the order and content of the display didn’t retain the message intended.

Is there any way that I can remotely view the actual display. I know I can remotely read the viewer logs through ssh, but if the jpeg file is not what it should be, then it doesn’t help.

Thanks in advance.
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by Axel-b2 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:43 am
maspinall wrote:I have Screenly on RasPi deployed in several stores, the content for each managed independently by the store manager. Unfortunately on a couple of occasions, the content has been disturbed, such that the order and content of the display didn’t retain the message intended.

Is there any way that I can remotely view the actual display. I know I can remotely read the viewer logs through ssh, but if the jpeg file is not what it should be, then it doesn’t help.


I guess that remotely viewing the actual display is not so easy.

If you can ssh into a RasPi on which Screenly is running, then (maybe with a little tweaking, see below), you should be able to access the Screenly server on the RasPi, and in particular, the playlist on that server. The playlist contains links to the images. So, this should allow you to see the actual images, even though in a way that is not very convenient.

It should be just a small matter of programming to extend the Screenly server with a 'monitor' web page in which the playlist is shown (e.g. using javascript+jquery), e.g. as a slideshow, with simple navigation aids to step to previous/next item in the playlist.

Tweak potentially necessary: if your Screenly server is only accessible locally on the Raspi, you have to use 'port forwarding' in ssh, e.g. invoke it as
Code: Select all
ssh -L 8080:localhost:8080 pi@address.of.your.pi

(assuming you do not have anything running on port 8080 on the machine from which you do the ssh).
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by TheBestJohn » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:39 pm
Hey there! Is there a way to make it so that I need to run screenly instead of auto booting into it? I'm sure it's in the shell command somewhere but I really don't know my way around shell at all.

Thanks for the awesome project!
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by atmosx » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:09 am
Hello,

I am finally testing screenly. The only thing I miss is a good transition. I might try Alex-b's version if time permits.

I have a problem with videos, when I'm playing MP4 files from command line, everything is fine, but when I add them to screenly it doesn't display them. Any ideas why this happens?

Best Regards,

atmosx
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by vpetersson » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:22 pm
maspinall wrote:First, can I say what a great piece of software this is – it worked for me straight out of the box. I’ll look out for the Pro version, and if I can exploit it, I will be glad to pay for it.


Thank you. We're making progress with the Pro-version, but due to the other projects it has taken longer than we would like.

maspinall wrote:I have Screenly on RasPi deployed in several stores, the content for each managed independently by the store manager. Unfortunately on a couple of occasions, the content has been disturbed, such that the order and content of the display didn’t retain the message intended.

Is there any way that I can remotely view the actual display. I know I can remotely read the viewer logs through ssh, but if the jpeg file is not what it should be, then it doesn’t help.


That's actually something that will be included in the Pro version. A screenshot will be snapped and sent to the central server along with system status etc. That's already developed and working.

If you're not already on the wait list for Screenly Pro, please sign up at http://signup.screenlyapp.com.

We've already invited a few early beta testers and are expecting to invite more as the product matures.
Creator of Screenly (ScreenlyApp.com), the leading digital signage solution for the Raspberry Pi.
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by vpetersson » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:25 pm
TheBestJohn wrote:Hey there! Is there a way to make it so that I need to run screenly instead of auto booting into it? I'm sure it's in the shell command somewhere but I really don't know my way around shell at all.


No, not at the moment. Screenly is intended to run on a dedicated piece of hardware on the Raspberry Pi. If you want to do other things with your Pi too, I suggest (like others before me), that you get another SD card. Given how cheap SD cards are these days and how much work it is to run Screenly in parallel with anything else, I wouldn't bother with it.
Creator of Screenly (ScreenlyApp.com), the leading digital signage solution for the Raspberry Pi.
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:23 am
by vpetersson » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:27 pm
atmosx wrote:I have a problem with videos, when I'm playing MP4 files from command line, everything is fine, but when I add them to screenly it doesn't display them. Any ideas why this happens?


Sounds odd. Check the log-files in /tmp. In theory, if you are able to play it with OMXPlayer on the Pi, it should work with Screenly too (since that's more or less exactly what Screenly does).
Creator of Screenly (ScreenlyApp.com), the leading digital signage solution for the Raspberry Pi.
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:23 am
by vpetersson » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:41 pm
I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone who are helping out with the project, regardless if that's answering questions here, on Github, or just spreading the word in general.

Screenly has grown far beyond what I thought when I started hacking on to adress my own needs, which is awesome.

A special thanks goes out to @Axel-b(2) and @nikize for their hard work. I'm sorry that I haven't been able to review all your pull-requests. I also know that I haven't been able to get back to you on your emails. Sorry about that. There are just too many other projects/companies I'm involved with that consumes most my time. This leaves me with less time than I'd like to to work on Screenly (both OSE and Pro).

The amount of sign-ups for Screenly Pro is also far beyond what I expected. This means that we are onto something and we as a company (ie. WireLoad), feel more confident to invest resources in the project. I hope to be able to put some developers that are far more skilled than I am on improving the code base and UI in the near future (both OSE and Pro).
Creator of Screenly (ScreenlyApp.com), the leading digital signage solution for the Raspberry Pi.
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:23 am
by atmosx » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:47 am
vpetersson wrote:
atmosx wrote:I have a problem with videos, when I'm playing MP4 files from command line, everything is fine, but when I add them to screenly it doesn't display them. Any ideas why this happens?


Sounds odd. Check the log-files in /tmp. In theory, if you are able to play it with OMXPlayer on the Pi, it should work with Screenly too (since that's more or less exactly what Screenly does).


Okay I resolved. I was using https links (via dropbox). If I use http instead, it works fine! omxplayer can't handle https apparently.
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by atmosx » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:53 am
mrpaulmanley wrote:For those interested in local caching of content, I have done some implementation in my fork that you can test out.
https://github.com/mrpaulmanley/screenly-ose.git

I submitted a pull request on github, but don't know if WireLoad will be interested in merging it if they are trying to sell a pro version. I could totally see why they might not.

If you do install from my repo, you would need to start from scratch or rename/delete your database so that the server can recreate it with all the necessary fields.

Also, many thanks to WireLoad for open sourcing this.


Hello,

I tried your version but it had an issue after the first 5 images, it displayed the blank_page (from /tmp/screenly_html/) for 5 seconds and re-started the display.

The cache worked fine though. I didn't note any 'delays' in picture loading.
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by vpetersson » Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:07 pm
atmosx wrote:Okay I resolved. I was using https links (via dropbox). If I use http instead, it works fine! omxplayer can't handle https apparently.


Interesting. Good catch.
Creator of Screenly (ScreenlyApp.com), the leading digital signage solution for the Raspberry Pi.
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by iain1940 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:17 am
This is a very noobie request from someone who ought to know the answer.
I have installed screenly and hope to use it for an information system at my golf club.
I have got web pages displayed fine but am at a loss on the url format needed to display images.

Ideally I would like to hold images (and web pages?) locally on the rpi either on the sd card or on a memory stick.

A simple 'examples' section on the home page would be a help.

Sorry to post such an elementary question but Screenly is such a great system for easily and cheaply displaying information I have to get it working .

Iain
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by rsos21 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:23 pm
bgardner wrote:Howdy all,

Sorry if this was covered earlier in the thread, I skimmed and searched but didn't see anything.

I just installed Screenly on a fresh 2012-10-28-wheezy-raspbian.img. Following the instructions (https://github.com/wireload/screenly-ose/#readme) I installed Screenly with no notable errors. However, after rebooting, all I get is a blank black screen with a mouse (hidden when not moving). It doesn't display a URL or anything else useful I can interact with. I tried this twice (wiping the SD card and starting over) with the same result.

I'm assuming I've missed something basic, I'm just not sure what. Any help would be most appreciated.

Thanks!



I am having the same problem any solutions?
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by rsos21 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:43 pm
nikize wrote:
bgardner wrote:I installed Screenly with no notable errors. However, after rebooting, all I get is a blank black screen with a mouse (hidden when not moving).

It is hard to say what went wrong without any error message.. But lets try,
First can you access your Raspberry with a browser on http://ip.of.r.pi:8080 ?
In that case click on system info and post the log.

If not, use
Code: Select all
tail -n 20 /tmp/screenly_viewer.log
To get and post the log. And let's go from there.



Same problem plus can't access through ip address and I am not sure what you mean by this tail -n 20 /tmp/screenly_viewer.log (code) I guess I can pull up the original command line....I am thinking we may have had trouble with understanding the instructions of changing the setting to boot in [X]? Does that mean boot into the desktop because that is common term for that...or does that mean to turn it off to not boot to desktop? There seems to be no errors while loading up just boots to black though....you can right click and get the typical desktop options...[ Terminal emulator, Web browser, Debian, Desktops, ObConf, Reconfigure, Restart, Exit]
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by nikize » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:02 pm
rsos21 wrote:
nikize wrote:
bgardner wrote:I installed Screenly with no notable errors. However, after rebooting, all I get is a blank black screen with a mouse (hidden when not moving).

It is hard to say what went wrong without any error message.. But lets try,
First can you access your Raspberry with a browser on http://ip.of.r.pi:8080 ?
In that case click on system info and post the log.

If not, use
Code: Select all
tail -n 20 /tmp/screenly_viewer.log
To get and post the log. And let's go from there.



Same problem plus can't access through ip address and I am not sure what you mean by this tail -n 20 /tmp/screenly_viewer.log (code) I guess I can pull up the original command line....
Yes run it in a terminal/console and post what it gives you.
If you can't access the screenly server on port 8080 of the RPi then it's probably not running. (Since you got the desktop, start a web browser and go to 127.0.0.1:8080 If you get the screenly server we can try to solve this but otherwise a clean install will be easier and loots quicker)
rsos21 wrote:I am thinking we may have had trouble with understanding the instructions of changing the setting to boot in [X]? Does that mean boot into the desktop because that is common term for that...or does that mean to turn it off to not boot to desktop?
X is the graphical environment, that gives you a graphical mouse pointer, and then the Desktop is shown in X, for screenly we don't really want anything else then the screenly viewer and it's sub-processes, but parts of the Desktop is still there in the background.
rsos21 wrote: There seems to be no errors while loading up just boots to black though....you can right click and get the typical desktop options...[ Terminal emulator, Web browser, Debian, Desktops, ObConf, Reconfigure, Restart, Exit]
It really sounds like your screenly install failed to complete correctly. (even the no access to port 8080 is a sign)
I would start over with a clean SD-card, make sure the system is up2date with a apt-get update/upgrade? (don't have a RPi/deb system to test on right now, but it is available in the rpi-config util) and then run the install again.
I had a similar issue and after much testing I found that some of the python modules was not installed correctly. It would have been quicker to redo all the work then to fix the missing and problematic installations.
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