Introduction: Raspberry Pi USB Picture Frame

About: Playing with Arduino and Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi USB picture frame

Raspberry Pi plays automatically images from inserted USB flash drive and is shutdown by pressing the button inserted into the device.

feh is used to display the images from USB and python script to shut down the device.

In this instruction I am not explaining how to add button on raspberry pi between pins 9 and 11.

Step 1: Prepare Raspberry Pi

Install standard rasbian package from by following the image installation guide. NOOBS or Raspian will do just fine too.

Setup Raspberry Pi according to your preferences. Only thing to ensure is that Raspberry start on GUI. Instructions can be found also from You need keyboard on first startup. You can use either console directly from Raspberry Pi or as I prefer SSH to connect the device. If you use latest Rasbian and want to enable ssh on first startup you need to add file named ssh on /boot/ directory of SD card.

Install feh

Update rasbian and install feh. Network connection is needed.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install feh

Create mount point

Mount point is needed to ensure all USB flash drives are treated same way. If USB is not mounted it will show under media as the way flash drive is named. For example KINGSTON would be ’/media/KINGSTON’ and could not be detected by feh if different flash drive was used previously

sudo mkdir /media/usb

Step 2: Shutdown Button

This phase can be skipped if button is not used to shutdown Raspberry Pi. I do recommend using this since shutting down the Raspberry Pi simply by unplucking the device can cause the SD or USB flash drive corruption.

Connecting the GPIO 17 to the ground will cause shutdown to be performed. You may use other pins also but code need to be changed accordingly.


nano shutdown py

And paste the following code

import RPi.GPIO as GPIO
import time
import os
# GPIO 17 = pin 11
# GND = pin 9
GPIO.setup(17, GPIO.IN,pull_up_down=GPIO.PUD_UP)
while True:
    print GPIO.input(17)
    if(GPIO.input(17) == False):
        os.system("sudo shutdown -h now")

Ctrl-x and Yes and Enter to close editor and save changes

Step 3: Auto Start

Update rc.local

Update rc-local so that USB is automatically mounted and is loaded at startup

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

Into the rc.local before ’exit 0’ add the following lines to mount USB flash drive and to start on background process

sudo mount /dev/sda1 /media/usb
sudo python /home/pi/ &

Ctrl-x and Yes and Enter to close editor and save changes

Update LXDE autostart

Update LXDE so that feh is started automatically on startup

sudo nano ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart

Instert following lines at the end of autostart

@xset s off
@xset -dpms
@xset s noblank
@feh --quiet --fullscreen --borderless --hide-pointer --slideshow-delay 30 /media/usb/

Ctrl-x and Yes and Enter to close editor and save changes

Step 4: Testing

Add some pictures on USB drive.

Mount USB by running

sudo mount /dev/sda1 /media/usb 

And see if you can see the content of USB drive

ls /media/usb 

Test feh by running following on command line. You need to have pictures on USB ?

feh --quiet --fullscreen --borderless --hide-pointer --slideshow-delay 1 /media/usb/ 

Test shutdown by running

sudo python 

and press the shutdown button (connect the proper pins).

Step 5: Additional Info

Solution that will turn TV on and off using CEC

Thanks to RichardW58 for this solution.

Install cec-utils:

sudo apt-get install cec-utils

add following lines in crontab -e

# Turn TV on
0 8 * * 1-5 echo "on 0" | cec-client -s
# Turn TV off
0 16 * * 1-5 echo "standby 0" | cec-client -s

This worked fine with TV


My original article can be found from here.

feh info and manual.