Coming soon: Using the Pi for Display Panels

I recently set up a Pi to run a slideshow-style presentation for a display panel in a church lobby. I used the Pi because it allowed:

  • Full automation – any schedule we need.
  • Freedom from clunky, proprietary display software. The presentations use LibreOffice Impress (a free alternative to PowerPoint).
  • Remote management – I don’t have to go onsite to configure settings, or to update the presentation.
  • Scalability – if we decide to add more displays, they can be managed collectively.

Below are the tasks that we’ll cover in this post (specific details to follow):

  1. Perform standard Pi setup.
  2. Create a non-privileged user account, and configure the Pi to automatically log in as the non-privileged user.
  3. Turn off non-required services (sshd should be “a on”).
  4. If remote (offsite) management is needed, configure your router(s) to assign a static or non-expiring IP address to your Pi, and to forward all traffic on port 22 to the Pi.
  5. Create an ssh keypair using the appropriate key generator for your desktop or laptop computer (details to come).
  6. Configure sshd for access ONLY via ssh keys, and not as root.
  7. Install xscreensaver and select preferred screensaver (or “blank screen“).
  8. Set up display times using cron.
  9. Additional hardening steps: tcpwrappers, chroot jail…

Details to come…