Display tiny movies on your Pi

Run on Boot

Because I use my Steampunk conference badge basically headless, without a monitor, it made sense to start the video automatically on bootup. To get the 1.8-inch display loaded into the kernel, you need to edit the /etc/modules file and add the following to the bottom of the file.

fbtft_device name=adafruit18 verbose=0

Save the file and, when the Raspberry Pi boots, it will load the proper driver for your display, so you don't have to use the modprobe command each time.

You can also add the MPlayer command line to the /etc/rc.local file, right before the exit() line, to start the movie after a reboot.

Going Further

What's the future of using small color LCD displays with the Raspberry Pi? It's hard to say. Using tiny off-the-shelf color LCD screens with nano-Linux systems and microcontrollers is pretty new. It works great for my conference badge. Keep in mind that when you start getting up to panels sized five inches and above, you realistically can start to run everything in an X environment. Then, the process of writing to a specific framebuffer (the 1.8-inch display) becomes a non-issue.

Team up a small color LCD display with a Raspberry Pi and see what kind of cool project you can build. Maybe even a wearable.

The Author

Rob Reilly (aka Dr. Torq) is an independent technology consultant and speaker. He provides specialized expertise to individual clients and companies. He frequently presents talks on physical computing, nano-Linux machines, the DIY/maker movement, and the tech media. Contact him at mailto:doc@drtorq.com or +1- 407-718-3274.

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