This article assumes you have basic knowledge of how to install and manage Linux. If not, you should probably have a look at our free Plug'N Play software which is a preconfigured version of Linux.

When using a Raspberry Pi we advice to stick to Raspberry Pi OS or Ubuntu Mate since these distro's offer the best graphics performance (light weight window management and up to date drivers). Depending on your signage content and requirements around open source the best browser is either Chrome/Chromium (relatively resource hungry but best support of browser features) or LuaKit (light weight but less support for video and the newest HTML/CSS features). Expect that you will have to try out OS/browser combinations to ensure maximum performance for your specific signage content on the specific Raspberry Pi model you use.

This article was written based on usage of Ubuntu Linux. If you want to use Debian or other distro's based on Debian this article should be straight forward. If you want to use a different distro we assume you are familiar enough with it and Linux in general that you know where to deviate from the precise instructions described here.

When using a newer Intel NUC as player we suggest using the specific Ubuntu ISO's for the NUC you use. These have the specific, up to date drivers for the different NUC models and therefore enable the best graphics performance for the specific device. The NUC specific Ubuntu ISO's (with the list of devices they are created for) can be found on this page of the Ubuntu website. The 'Desktop' option is the easiest/fastest to get started. If your goal is to install as little as needed on your NUC and are prepared to spend extra time to get things running the 'Core' option is for you.

Basic Installation

When you have chosen a Linux distribution, you can start with the basic installation:

  1. Download and install Linux as instructed for that distribution.
  2. Create a separate non-root/non-admin user to run the web browser with your playback channel, let's call this user player. This user is only used at playback, the install and configuration is done as the root user.
  3. After everything is installed, install additional package The TTF Microsoft Core Fonts package. This will make sure all the fonts you use in your Bizplay pages will be displayed correctly. The package is called ttf-mscorefonts-installer on most distributions. If this package cannot be found search for Microsoft fonts.

Google Chrome Installation

Depending on the distribution, Chromium (the open source version of Google Chrome's browser) is probably already included and Chrome probably not. It is recommended to install and use Google Chrome instead of Chromium (although Chromium should also work). Firefox in many cases does not perform as well as Chrome when it comes to video and animations.

First see if your distribution has a package for Chrome that you can use to install. If not do the following:

  1. Open your current web browser and go to and then download and install the latest version of Google Chrome as instructed.
  2. When asked, set Chrome to be your default browser.
  3. If Chrome is already installed you can set it as the default browser:
    1. in Chrome, click the button on the top right with the three horizontal lines
    2. click Settings
    3. select Make Google Chrome my default browser
  4. Now make sure that videos with sound can play correctly:
    1. Type chrome://settings/content/sound in the address bar.
    2. In the section Allow press the Add button.
    3. Type [*.]biz and press Add.

Automatically Start Chrome On Startup

To make Google Chrome start automatically when the player user logs into Linux, do the following:

  1. Download this zip file and unpack it to the Desktop of your computer. Place the files and playr_loader.html in your user's home folder (ie /home/player/).
  2. To make the file work for your computer you will need to change one line (around line 21) in the file: change the webc in the line playr_loader_file="/home/webc/playr-loader/playr_loader.html" to your the username used on this computer, e.g. player.
  3. Save the file.
  4. Make the file executable by opening a terminal window, going to the home folder (ie /home/player/) and typing
    chmod +x
  5. Test if it works by double clicking the file.
  6. Google Chrome should now open in full screen mode.
  7. Press Alt + F4 to quit Google Chrome.
  8. How to automatically start on startup also on the Linux distribution and its window manager. When you use Gnome, go to System > Preferences > Startup Applications and add this file right there. If you use another distribution or window manager, please refer to its documentation on how to do this.

Automatic User Login

How to log the player user in automatically, heavily depends on the chosen Linux distribution. On Ubuntu derivatives it can be as simple as:

  1. Goto System Settings > User Accounts.
  2. Check the box for auto login.

Disable Energy Saving Mode

To make sure that the screen does not turn black after a few minutes, do the following (in generic wording, since the exact settings depend on the chosen Linux distribution):

  1. Make sure the power management does not turn off the screen after a period of non user interaction.
  2. Make sure the brightness of screen is not reduced after a period of no user interaction.
  3. Make sure the computer is not turned off or put in sleep mode after a period of non user interaction.
  4. Make sure the CPU and GPU are set for maximum performance and not minimal energy use. If energy use is a concern you can save much more money and energy by using a new CPU/GPU in maximum performance mode than an old CPU/GPU in minimum energy mode.
  5. Make sure no auto lock is enabled.

These settings can be found under the energy/power and monitor/screen settings of the different Linux distributions. The support forums for the different distributions can be very useful to find the details needed to set this up correctly.

Automatic Player Shutdown (Sleep Mode)

If you like to save some energy, you can set the computer to go into sleep mode when you like your channel to stop playing. An easy way to do this is with cron.

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Type crontab -e and have it open a text editor of your choice.
  3. Add the following new line to the end of the file:
    00 19 * * * sudo shutdown -P now
    This this will shutdown the computer at 19:00 (7 PM).
  4. From now on the computer will always switch to sleep mode at the set time.

Automatic Player Startup

Automatic player startup cannot be configured in Linux. Instead, you will have to check the BIOS of your computer if that allows you to configure auto-startup at a specific time.

The clock that is used by the BIOS does not take daylight saving time into consideration. So any scheduling needs to take into account that the clock will run early or late for half the year.

You need to check the documentation of your computer's BIOS on how to do this. Here's an example of how it works on most Intel NUC computers:

  1. When turning on the computer, press F2 to enter the BIOS.
  2. On the BIOS configuration screen select the Advanced tab.
  3. Make sure the time is set correctly. Remember that the BIOS uses the UTC time zone.
  4. Select the Power tab.
  5. In the right hand column select the Wake system from S5 tick mark.
  6. Enter the time the computer should start up automatically and on which day(s).
  7. Save the options by using F10 and confirm.