Introduction: Raspberry Pi Digital Signage
This is a simple Instructible to build a raspberry pi based digital sign (I use mine in my church lobby)
I will assume you already have some basic computer skills and know a few things about the raspberry pi.
This is not difficult and can really improve the lobby of your church or business.
There are more advanced and even commercial options for doing this but this is the easiest I have found to use.
Note that this option is pictures only so no video files.
Raspberry pi 3 or higher with power supply, sd card, and HDMI cable. (It's possible to use older models but the performance will be laggy and you will have to add a way for it to connect to your network for changing pictures.)
wireless keyboard and mouse (I use a mini keyboard/touchpad combo from amazon)
USB flash drive (8gb+ recommended)
HD Screen to display the pictures on. (We use a 55" screen in our lobby but use whatever size screen works for your setup)
Pictures you want to be displayed. (Why else would you be building this?)
Step 1: Download Software.
The software that powers this project is the Kodi media player. For the Rpi the version I chose is LibreELEC since it is small and reliable with easy updates.
Get the latest version of LibreELEC at
If you don't know how to flash images on an sd card for raspberry pi I recommend following the install instructions on the LibreELEC website or if you are experienced then use your preferred method. (I could write a detailed install guide but better people than me have done so and google has them listed already.)
Step 2: Setup the Software
Connect everything together except the USB flash drive. Sd card goes in the pi and connect the keyboard and mouse dongles and the HDMI to both pi and screen and power cable for the pi.
Boot into LibreElec for the first time and connect to wifi. (It is best to use the wifi that the system will be on once deployed even if you are using a different screen.)
Go into the settings and navigate to the LibreELEC settings then go to services and ensure that SAMBA is turned on and auto-share of external drives is turned on.
Reboot to ensure settings are working for the next step.
Step 3: Add Your Pictures
Put the pictures you want on the USB flash drive, and plug it into the pi. Pictures only! Video is not supportted. ( .png or .jpg files work best)
(I recommend placing them in a folder called "show" and add a folder for holding images you are not currently using but will use in the future - this makes changing pictures easier.)
Note: Make sure the pictures are high enough resolution that they will look clear but not higher than the screen. (It's technically possible to use higher resolution pictures but to prevent issues and future troubleshooting it is not recommended.)
Step 4: Setup the Slideshow.
This is the home stretch.
Navigate to settings/interface/screensaver and set the screensaver to a picture slideshow. (If it is not installed by default use the "get more" link in the list of screensavers to find it and install.) in the settings point it to the folder on your USB where you put the pictures.
Look through the settings for time and transitions and set to your liking with the important option being to keep the aspect ratio of the pictures the same. (This prevents weird stretching of images.)
Play with the options here to find what works for you and looks best for your space and your pictures.
Set the timeout for how fast the screensaver kicks in to 1 min (the lowest setting allowed).
Step 5: Adding and Removing Photos.
To add or remove photos - from any computer on the same network go to the file manager and go to "network".
You will find the shared USB flash drive from the pi in here and can copy files to it to add pictures or delete files to remove them from the slideshow. (Delete is permanent delete, not trash can.)
Step 6: Have Fun!
The system should be fully set up now and displaying your pictures.
If you haven't already then place it in the final location and manage all the wires. (I used velcro to mount it on the back of my screen and zip ties to tidy up the wires.)
Participated in the
Raspberry Pi Contest 2020