How to Add a MatrixOrbital VFD Display to your Linux Box

Picture of How to Add a MatrixOrbital VFD Display to your Linux Box
This instructable covers adding a MatrixOrbital VFD to your linux box. Like all good geeks I have a headless linux box on my home network. By adding a Vacuum Fluorescent Display and running LCDProc you can display health stats and keep an eye on your linux box.

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Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts
I used a MatrixOrbital VFD2041

- 1 DC Power Coaxial Connector
- 1 9v Power Supply
- 1 4 Pin connector
- 1 DB9 Serial Cable

Step 2: Power Connector

Picture of Power Connector
Solder the power connector to the 4 pin adapter.

Step 3: Connect Serial and Power

Picture of Connect Serial and Power
Connect your Serial and Power Cables.

Be sure not to plug the power in backwards, black goes to ground.

Step 4: Install LCDProc

Picture of Install LCDProc
Install LCDProc.
On fedora, you can run the command:
yum install lcdproc

Step 5: Get new MatrixOrbital Library

Picture of Get new MatrixOrbital Library
There is a bug in the library that ships with the current release of LCDProc.

The best thing to do is download the dev release from CVS:
wget http://lcdproc.sourceforge.net/nightly/lcdproc-CVS-current.tar.gz

Step 6: Compile new Library

Picture of Compile new Library
Uncompress the package, change to the directory and compile, DO NOT run make install

[joe@fletcher tmp]$ tar -zxf lcdproc-CVS-current.tar.gz
[joe@fletcher tmp]$ cd lcdproc-CVS-current-20091004/
[joe@fletcher lcdproc-CVS-current-20091004]$ ./configure && make

Step 7: Install

Picture of Install
Copy the new library in to place:
sudo cp ./server/drivers/MtxOrb.so /usr/lib/lcdproc/MtxOrb.so

Step 8: Configure the LCDProc Server

Picture of Configure the LCDProc Server
cd /etc/sysconfig/lcdproc/
sudo cp LCDd.conf.example LCDd.conf
sudo vi LCDd.conf

Change the line:

Change the line:

Change the line:

Step 9: Configure the client

Picture of Configure the client
[joe@fletcher lcdproc]$ sudo cp lcdproc.conf.example lcdproc.conf
[joe@fletcher lcdproc]$ sudo vi lcdproc.conf

Verify everything looks good, you should not have to change anything.

Step 10: Start LCDd and lcdproc

Picture of Start LCDd and lcdproc
Start the daemons.
[joe@fletcher lcdproc]$ sudo service LCDd start
[joe@fletcher lcdproc]$ sudo service lcdproc start

Step 11: Bask in the glow

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Watch the LCD update with machine info.

If it fails, turn the report setting up to 3 and restart the daemons.

Where did you get that display.
ty :P
nice instructable! but a lot of people use widows for gaming (like me).

could you make this for windows?
joe (author)  deathsmileyinc5 years ago
Absolutely, just use LCD Smartie instead of LCDProc