How to use a Raspberry Pi in kiosk mode

One of our favourite games to play on social media is #PiInTheWild. We’ve seen our computers powering airport departure boards and train timetable screens, and even telling people which way they should walk round IKEA to maximise the likelihood that they file for divorce before getting out of IKEA. And because Raspberry Pi is so small, easy to program, and affordable, we see lots of small businesses using them too. In all of these instances, Raspberry Pi is running in kiosk mode.

If you would like to get some display hardware up and running at your workplace or even in your kitchen (household calendar, anyone?), but you don’t want to shell out for an off-the-shelf system, we’ve created a tutorial to show you how to do it yourself with Raspberry Pi.

Teach me how it works

Kiosk mode on Raspberry Pi allows you to boot straight into a full-screen web page or an application without the need to use the desktop environment.

The kiosk mode tutorial makes it super easy for you. You’ll be walked through installing Raspberry Pi OS, setting up kiosk mode, and adding security and failsafe functionality. All you need is a Raspberry Pi (any model will work for this project), power supply, microSD card, HDMI cable, and whatever screen or monitor you’d like to use for your display.

Tutorials galore

If you’ve not had a look at our Raspberry Pi tutorials page yet, you’re missing out on being lovingly hand‑held through all sorts of Pi-powered projects. We’ve got everything from installing and playing retro arcade games to adding ambient lighting on your TV or blocking out unwanted ads from every single device in your home with Pi-hole. Drop us a comment below if there’s something you’d like to be tutored through but for which we haven’t yet created a step-by-step guide. It’s so hard to keep up with what you’re into these days; you’re growing up too fast.

7 comments

Phil Atkin avatar

Handy, and timely – I’m currently considering lashing together a playable bat synthesizer (at human audio frequencies, so slowed down 16x / de-pitched 4 octaves), this info will be really helpful.

Liz Upton avatar

Love it – and huge apologies for not having set the bat detector you sent me up yet: I promise I’ll get to it eventually!

Sean O'Steen avatar

Ooo! I’ve been using Raspberry Pis for menus boards and kiosks all the way back to Rpi2. The addition of the xdotool utility to switch between browser tabs is a GAME CHANGER!!! Very cool!

Richard collins avatar

Using Raspberry PI OS Lite and LVGL to build a HMI is ever better, although needs more work. You’ll get a lot more performance as well as having for CPU cycles for other work.
It is worth the time spent to have a much faster and nicer experience for the user than just running a full desktop hosting a web page in kiosk mode.

Vangelis Mihalopoulos avatar

For a single screen and for going a little bit beyond just a browser, you can also play around with Yodeck. It is free for a single screen.

Jenny Taylor avatar

Just purchased my first R-Pi, now need to learn how to use it!! YouTube tutorials here I come! And any tutorials here! Although I’m a total noob so need it dumbed down to regular speech!!

Ashley Whittaker avatar

WELCOME! The MagPi magazine features tutorials in each issue too. You can download all issues for free in PDF format 👍

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