RPIChrome

Raspberry Pi Chromium

The information below will help you setup a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 to automatically load a predefined webpage in Chromium from boot with no user interaction.

Why:

Instead of using a costly full blown MS Windows desktop PC we can use a Raspberry Pi that not only costs hundreds of pounds less to buy but also consumes a minor percentage of power that a full desktop uses as well as being small enough to attach to the rear of the display device.

Note: These instructions do not cover the use of 3rd party applications, please consult the relevant program guides.

Note: The steps below are carried out using the Raspbian Full image.


To build an Raspberry Pi up to a base image where it then can be used for this projects like this,    see this post about Base Images

Once you have a working base image, follow the steps below:


A little info on Chromium

Chromium is an open-source branch of Googles Chrome browsers that can be made to run on the Raspberry Pi.  From Chrome 22 Google decided to stop packaging their browser for the Linux

Debian ‘wheezy’ version which was ported over to the Raspberry Pi. I take it due to the RPi 3 coming out running on a new x64 CPU the support will be picked up at a later date or they just want us to use Chromium OS but they maybe overkill for some peoples needs.


Installing Chromium

Ok, this part is a little bit of a cheat…

Below is the original source of this information and repository to get Chromium version 49 installed on the RPi. https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=121195

I have done this the manual way using the Ubuntu packages but 2 of 6 occasions I have done this task only 4 have gone from start to finish with no issues, for me this is not a stable solution.  Of the 6 times I have used the repository provided above its worked fine.

 So, the above information is basically copied from the link above but with my custom settings in the next section.

Login to the Raspberry Pi using Putty or a local terminal and enter the following lines;

You can enter the whole string as below to add a new repository:

wget -qO - http://bintray.com/user/downloadSubjectPublicKey?username=bintray | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb http://dl.bintray.com/kusti8/chromium-rpi jessie main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

 Run the below string to check run an update after the new repository has been added

sudo apt-get update

Install Chromium by entering in the below string.

sudo apt-get install chromium-browser rpi-youtube -y

Remove the mouse cursor

Best to run an update after application have been installed and before other apps are installed

sudo apt-get update

Install ‘UnClutter’, a tool to remove the mouse cursor from the screen:

sudo apt-get install unclutter

Apply AutoBoot , Chromium and final RPi settings

Open the file ‘autostart’ located at:

/home/pi/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/

For Chromium to automatically load a webpage after login,  enter the following line:

@chromium-browser --noerrdialogs --kiosk http://www.adienicholls.co.uk/blogs --incognito

The above switches will request Chromium to start, load a webpage displaying no ‘bubble’ errors in a Kiosk mode under an incognito tab (this means that no message are shown to the user on an improper shutdown)

To disable the screen saver enter the follow line into the autostart file:

@xscreensaver -no-splash

To remove the mouse cursor –  enable the previously installed ‘UnClutter’ program by placing the below line in the autostart file

@unclutter

With the above completed you will now have a Raspberry Pi that will automatically boot to desktop and then load a Chromium web browser with a predefined webpage along with some custom settings to polish things off.

 

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