Set up Geckoboard on a Raspberry Pi

This article guides you through using our Send to TV feature to display a Geckoboard dashboard on a Raspberry Pi.

What you'll need

Before you begin setting up Geckoboard on a Raspberry Pi, you'll need the following hardware and software:

Hardware

Raspberry Pi 3+

Raspberry Pi
If you don't already own one, we recommend the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. You may also want to consider buying a case to protect the board.
Power supply
The Raspberry Pi has a micro USB port, like that of many mobile phones. You'll need a power supply which provides at least 2.5 amps. You can't go wrong using the official Raspberry Pi power supply
Micro SD card
The Raspberry Pi needs a micro SD card (freshly formatted is best) with a capacity of at least 8 GB to store all its files and the Raspbian operating system. Depending on your setup, you might also need a Micro SD Adapter (this looks like a regular-sized SD card with a slot in it for the micro SD card) and a USB powered SD card reader.
Keyboard and mouse
A USB keyboard and a USB mouse are needed to start using your Raspberry Pi. For a neat combination of keyboard and trackpad, we recommend Logitech's Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus.
TV or monitor w/ HDMI cable
The Raspberry Pi has a HDMI output port that is compatible with most modern TVs and monitors. If you don't have a spare HDMI cable you can always bundle one with your Raspberry Pi. Also, if your display doesn't have an HDMI port, you can get HDMI-to-DVI and HDMI-to-VGA adapters.

Software

On a different device to your Raspberry Pi, you'll need to download:

Raspbian
The official operating system for all models of the Raspberry Pi. Download the Stretch with desktop version.
balenaEtcher
Enables you to flash OS images to a Micro SD card.

Step 1: Set up your Micro SD card

To prepare your micro SD card, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your Micro SD card to the computer you downloaded Raspbian and balenaEtcher to.

    Note

    Depending on your setup, you might need a Micro SD Adapter (this looks like a regular-sized SD card with a slot in it for the micro SD card) and a USB powered SD card reader.

  2. Unzip the Raspbian.zip file. This may take a few moments.
  3. Load balenaEtcher. Click Select image and locate the unzipped Raspbian .img file. Then click Select drive and locate the Micro SD card. Click Flash. (You may need to type in your computer’s password). This process may take a few minutes.flashing your micro SD card with balenaEtcher
  4. That’s it! You’re all set to connect your Raspberry Pi.

Step 2: Connect your Raspberry Pi

To connect your Raspberry Pi to your display, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the micro SD card you’ve set up with Raspbian into the micro SD card slot at the underside of your Pi.Raspberry Pi 3+ with micro sd card

    Note

    If you've been using an SD card adapter, remove the micro SD card first.

  2. Connect a USB keyboard and mouse to the Raspberry Pi.Raspberry Pi 3+ with usb keyboard and mouse attachment
  3. Connect an HDMI cable from your TV to the Raspberry Pi. Make sure your screen is plugged into a wall socket and turned on. If necessary, Use an HDMI adapter for DVI and VGA displays.Raspberry Pi 3+ with HDMI cable attached
  4. You're all set to boot up your Raspberry Pi

Step 3: Start your Raspberry Pi

To switch on your Raspberry Pi and connect it to your display, follow these steps:

  1. Plug a micro USB power supply into a socket and connect it to you Pi’s power port. As soon as you connect it to a power outlet, it will turn on. You should see a red LED light up on the Raspberry Pi.Raspberry Pi 3+ with power supply attached
  2. As it starts up, you will see raspberries appear in the top left-hand of your screen. After a few seconds the Raspbian Desktop will appear.Raspberry Pi desktop

    Note

    Make sure you’ve set the display from the correct HDMI source.

  3. When you start your Raspberry Pi for the first time, the Welcome to Raspberry Pi application will pop up and guide you through the initial setup. Click Next to begin.
  4. Set your Country, Language, and Timezone, then click Next again.
  5. Enter a new password for your Raspberry Pi, then click Next.
  6. Connect to your WiFi network by selecting its name, entering the password, and clicking Next.

    Note

    If your Raspberry Pi model doesn’t have wireless connectivity, you won’t see this screen.

  7. Click Next and let the wizard check for updates to Raspbian and install them. This might take a little while.
  8. Click Done or Reboot your Pi to complete the setup.
  9. Next we'll set up Geckoboard on your Raspberry Pi.

Step 4: Set up Geckoboard on your Raspberry Pi

To prepare your Raspberry Pi for displaying your Geckoboard dashboard(s) from boot-up, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Terminal on your Raspberry Pi by clicking on the terminal icon along the top of the desktop.Raspberry Pi terminal icon
  2. Write the following in your terminal window:
    curl -L https://raw.githubusercontent.com/geckoboard/device-scripts/master/raspberrypi -o kiosk_script; bash kiosk_script
    Then press Enter. This might take a little while to complete (at least 5 minutes). After a time you’ll see a progress bar.
  3. When it’s finished you’ll be prompted to reboot. Type sudo reboot into your terminal, then Enter to reboot.
  4. After your Raspberry Pi has rebooted you should now see a passcode on your screen.Passcode screen for sending a dashboard to a TV
  5. We'll now use the passcode to link to your chosen dashboard.

Step 5: Connect Geckoboard using Send to TV

Applicable plans:
TrialBasic (1 TV only)TeamCompany

Who can use this feature?

Send to TV is available to all subscribers on our current flexible plans. If you're on a legacy plan and want to use this feature, you'll need to switch to one of our newer plans.

To use Send to TV to display your Geckoboard dashboard, follow these steps:

  1. On a different device to your Raspberry Pi, log into Geckoboard and click Send to TV in the top right corner of your screen.login to your geckoboard account
  2. Enter your passcode under Step 3 in the window that appears. If you already have screens paired, you'll need to click Add new screen first.add a new screen modal
  3. Click Connect. The screen is now connected and should be displaying the dashboard you’re currently on.

    To change which dashboard or dashboard loop is displayed or to connect more devices, click Send to TV.
  4. And that's it. You can now disconnect your USB keyboard and mouse.
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