Introduction: Adding a Character Display to Raspberry Pi

About: We manufacturer LCDs, perfect for integrating into consumer products.

In this tutorial, we're going to show you how to add a character display / progress indicator to your Raspberri Pi.

Step 1: Things You'll Need to Get Started

  1. A Raspberry Pi running XBMC (I used Raspbmc)
  2. One of the Crystalfontz USB Display Modules (CFA631, CFA632, CFA633, CFA634, CFA635, CFA735, CFA835)
  3. XBMC LCDproc Python addon
  4. A surprising little amount of time

Step 2: SSH Into Your Pi & Install LCDProc

First thing I did was SSH into the Pi. I then installed lcdproc using apt-get. lcdproc is an independent software utility that we recommend pretty heavily to any Linux based customers.

sudo apt-get install lcdproc

Step 3: Edit LCDProc Configuration

Type the following command to get the devices hardware address:

ls -la /dev/tty* 

A CFA735/CFA835 should show up as:


Edit the config file for the LCDd

sudo pico /etc/LCDd.conf 

Change the driver:


Then, under [CFontzPacket], there are two settings to change:


With ttyACM0 being whatever device address you got from above. I’m choosing the 635 even though I’m using a 735 because the 735 and the 835 are both close enough in the command set that they don’t need their own configuration options, their command structure is purposely similar to the 635.

Step 4: Restart the LCD Daemon

Restart the LCDd daemon and wait for XBMC to connect to it.

sudo service LCDd restart

Step 5: Install LCDProc Add-on in XBMC

Once the LCD shows the lcdproc is in control, jump over to the Pi and find the lcdproc add-on:

Settings -> Add-ons -> Search -> lcdprocThe Add-on is called Services – XBMC LCDproc.

Click that and click install. Once installed, reboot then pi with everything connected and it should pick it up once it’s booted.

sudo shutdown -r now

You shouldn't have to do anything else. It does take a minute for XMBC to connect but once it does, the LCD should show Clients: 1 (if it’s the only one) and then you are good to go.

Step 6: Watch and Enjoy!

See? Easier than you expected? It certainly was for me. The reason it’s so easy is because of the hardworking people at lcdproc and Daniel Scheller.

If you're a visual learner and want to see it happen, checkout the video!

You can get any of the character display modules from Along with awesome products, we've got the best support in the industry.

If you have any questions or need some help, please leave a comment!