Setup Linux

At Play Digital Signage, we love Linux. We’ve packaged Linux executable in AppImage format that is supported on most Linux distributions these days with just a few clicks. Linux-based players can be also scheduled to turn off the TV (for nighttime) to save power and extend the life of the TV via HDMI-CEC functionality (provided the player hardware supports it), see more in our FAQ.

Using Raspberry PI?

Check out our Raspberry PI setup guide!

1. Remove AppImageLauncher

Starting in 2018, Linux desktop environments started including an external program to manage and better integrate AppImages. This program is wonderful for regular users, however, for an unattended digital signage setup, it adds a layer of software that is beyond our control. We recommend uninstalling appimagelauncher before proceeding. On Debian based systems you can remove it with the following command:

sudo apt-get remove --purge appimagelauncher

2. Download Linux executable

Click here to download the player software

Using the device with an ARM processor? Click here to download armv7l player software

3. Set executable permissions

By default Linux does not give execute permissions to files downloaded from the Internet, therefore you need to grant the permission. Most file managers enable to do it by right-clicking on the file, going to Properties, and finding either a checkbox for making it executable or selecting from drop-down Execute “Anyone”. This process varies a little depending on which file manager is your Linux distribution using.

Making PlaySignage AppImage executable

If you prefer the console way, you can also do that with the following command:

chmod +x PlaySignage-*-x86_64.AppImage

4. Launch it!

You can now launch the application by double-clicking on it.

5. Link the screen

You can link the screen to your account on the screens page by entering the 6 character code shown on the screen.

6. Configure autostart (optional)

We don’t configure Linux to launch our player automatically as it is likely that you will first test it on your computer before installing it on a dedicated player.
However, when you install it on a dedicated player, don’t forget to go to Settings and turn on Launch player on startup option.

FAQ

I got my screen linked, what next?

We recommend checking out our 5-minute video guide on getting started, it covers most of the basics.

Where are the files stored?

The player saves files to ~/.config/PlaySignage/assets
Please note that the .config folder is not visible in Linux by default.

Can I run several instances of the application?

By default, the application enables a maximum of one window, however in situations where you have a Linux machine with several monitors you may need to run one player application per monitor. To do this, you need to set a different data directory for each application window using the --data-dir parameter, for example:
~/Downloads/PlaySignage.AppImage --data-dir=/home/playsignage/play-app2

The mouse cursor is visible after restart?

When running Linux, you can install a program to hide the cursor. By default unclutter will hide the cursor if it’s not moved for 5 seconds.

  • Ubuntu sudo apt-get install unclutter
  • Arch sudo pacman -Syu unclutter

After installing you can test unclutter by launching it in the terminal with unclutter command. If it works for you, be sure to add it to startup programs!

How can I turn off the TV for the night to save power?

Our software uses cec-utils software package to issue commands over HDMI to your TV, if you downloaded our Raspberry PI image, then the package is already pre-installed. The second key component is

  • Install cec-utils software package: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install cec-utils (Ubuntu)
  • Make sure that CEC is enabled in your TV. Different manufacturers have different names for the same functionality.
    • Tizen: Menu -> System -> General -> Anynet+
    • Philips: Home -> Settings -> TV Settings -> Easylink
    • LG: Settings -> All Settings -> General -> SIMPLINK
    • SONY: Options (On the remote) > Settings > Inputs > External inputs > BRAVIA Sync settings
    • Other brands: Most modern TVs have this functionality, try to find how your TV’s manufacturer has named it and find it in the settings.

Now that the software is installed and CEC is enabled in the TV, you can test if the TV is detected. Run the following command in the terminal:

echo 'scan' | cec-client -s -d 1

The scan takes about 10 seconds and it outputs a list of devices. If you see your TV listed (usually under device #0), then the connection works! You may also see more than one device listed, which is okay as they’re virtual interfaces.

How do I update the player software?

There is a built-in auto-updater, however, in certain circumstances, the software is not automatically updated. You can apply the update manually without having to link the screen again:

  1. Close player application if it’s running.
  2. Download the latest version.
  3. Make the downloaded file executable (see step 3 above).
  4. Start the newly downloaded.AppImage file.

The plugins don’t work

If one or more plugin doesn’t work on your Linux, it’s possible that the PlaySignage app on your player device is out of date. Click here to learn more.

How do I access OPTIONS if I disabled the top menu bar?

In the APP options, you can hide the top menu bar if you for example are running a touch screen. To access the top menu bar, when hidden, you can use CTRL + O for options or CTRL + Q to close the APP.

I’m getting an error about the “SUID Sandbox helper binary”?

Our application creates a namespace sandbox, however on some Linux distributions this option is disabled, there are 2 possible solutions:

  1. Enable apps to create namespace sandbox: sudo echo ‘kernel.unprivileged_userns_clone=1’ > /etc/sysctl.d/00-local-userns.conf
  2. The second option is to disable the sandboxing and run our AppImage with --no-sandbox flag

More info here: https://github.com/electron/electron/issues/17972