Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:03 am

kiosks for dummies?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:38 pm

I've googled kiosks for pi and feel overwhelmed with the variety of pages that came up. Many seem to require more advanced Linux than I can handle.

Can anyone point me to a SIMPLE setup guide?

I want to display one web page, it's a status page that refreshes itself frequently, uses Javascript, no real graphics, just text and some color bar separators.

I'd like to run it on a zero W.

It will be on the guest wifi at work, so I only want the browser running, no other services.

Posts: 1700
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:55 pm
Location: Oxford UK

Re: kiosks for dummies?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:17 pm

A kiosk system lets the users have some interaction via keyboard/mouse or touchscreen with the interface.

If you only want to display a single page without providing keyboard/mouse input, HIde them or dont connect them.
and just start up chrome with the --fulscreen switch instead of --kiosk

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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: kiosks for dummies?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:47 pm

PhatFil wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:17 pm
just start up chrome with the --fulscreen switch instead of --kiosk
Neither --fulscreen, nor the possibly intended --fullscreen, worked for me as I would have expected, the results were far removed from being anything I would call kiosk mode - didn't even make the browser fill the screen.

Maybe there's more to it which isn't explained ?

This is probably why the OP is finding things so confusing and having difficulty finding out exactly what to do.

A simple step-by-step 'do this' list is probably what they need. Unfortunately I don't have one. All my notes say is, from a Desktop Terminal -

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install unclutter

Code: Select all

unclutter &
chromium-browser --kiosk --incognito --noerrdialogs --app="" &
That works for me, does all I need, but maybe isn't complete. Alt-F4 to close the browser.

Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:03 am

Re: kiosks for dummies?

Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:01 pm

Hippy is right.

This should be easier than I was trying to make it out to be.

I don't need anything fancy, I just don't have space for a keyboard and mouse.

I'll try some stuff a bit later.

Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Re: kiosks for dummies?

Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:48 pm

Sounds like you need more of a "signage" application rather than a kiosk.

I've been experimenting with these for my wife's store and got piSignage up and running right away.

(note: I'm not affiliated with them in any way)

You get two screens for free and they can be administered easily from anywhere.

It ran well but slowly on my Pi1B, well on my Pi2, and quite fast on my Pi3B+. Since the Zero W is slightly faster than my 1B, it should work for you.

There's also Screenly, but there was some sort of showstopper for me (monthly cost? difficulty installing? Can't remember.)
Pencoed-made Model 1B, Samsung memory
2B 1.1
4B 2GB

Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:03 am

Re: kiosks for dummies?

Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:19 pm

I tried the setup guide I found here: and it's working.

I left off the --kiosk. Didn't need it.

I only have one page to display, so I tried taking out the while-do loop, but it wouldn't load chromium that way, so I put the loop back with just a longer sleep interval and deleted the xdotool command. Read the comments on that page if you have problems.

I'm learning the pi zero w is frustrating slow to set anything up. But if I can get things working on the 3b+ first, I can move the SD card to the zero and they run OK.

It wouldn't surprise me to find there are other ways to auto-display a page that are easier or use less resources, but this works.

Thanks to all who replied.

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