I have a chair.

I have a desk in front of my chair.

I have a Raspberry Pi on my desk, that is in front of my chair.

I have a 7″ screen attached to my Raspberry Pi, that sits on my desk, that is in front of my chair.

So, what can I do with all this? I know! Wouldn’t it be great if I had a fancy desk ornament that displays a rotating list of fun gadgets like:

  • PongClock (a game of Pong that plays itself, but keeps time with the score)
  • Picture slideshow
  • Conways Game of Life
  • Current weather (sometimes I go outside… sometimes)
  • Current news headlines
  • Stock ticker
  • Clok widget

…and all this in an easily customizable, extensible, modular format that allows other developers to easily extend it with their own ideas? Oh, such a neat idea…

PiDisplay is an application (written in python) that gives you a slideshow of neat things you may want to display on a small screen that sits on your desk or hung on a wall.


  • All the modules listed above!
  • Double-tap/click on the screen to manually move to the next module
  • Newsfeed – tap/click on an article to send the link to a Slack channel
  • Conways Game of Life – tap/click on the screen to reset the world
  • Picture Viewer – tap/click on the screen to move to manually move to the next picture
  • Enable/Disable individual modules/plugins
  • Easy to extend with other modules (use the Clok module for an example widget and the GameOfLife module for an example full screen module)


On the top and bottom of each of these screenshots you can see the ticker and the clok.

Picture Viewer
Conway's Game of Life

Multiple widgets on the top and bottom:

Multiple Widgets


  • python3
  • (optional) yfinance python3 module
  • (optional) feedparser python3 module


  1. Log into your Raspberry Pi console.
  2. You may have to install git
sudo apt install git
  1. Clone this git repository
git clone
  1. (Optional) Edit the files in each module directory to enable/disable any modules you want/don’t want. They are all enabled by default.


To disable, set:

  1. (Optional, but recommended) Edit the config files. The settings in the configs are great for my 1360×768 7″ screen. You may want to adjust them if your screen is different. There are many settings in here but the ones to look at first are:
  • pidisplay/
    • Set fullscreen/resolution
    • Set system font
    • Set top bar and bottom bar height
    • Set the autoswitch timer delay (how long to wait before switching to the next module)
  • pidisplay/plugins/ticker/
    • Set the stock/crypto tickers to track
  • pidisplay/plugins/newsfeed/
    • Configure any RSS feeds you want. You can add as many as you want, and it will show only the latest number (across all feeds) that will fit on your screen.
    • If you configure a Slack webhook url, when you click on a news article it will send you the link to your Slack channel. This is very useful if you find something you want to read and want to send the url to your phone or computer.
  • pidisplay/plugins/picture_viewer/
    • Set the slideshow delay
    • Set your picture folder if you already have your pictures in another folder
  • pidisplay/plugins/pongclock/
    • Nothing of note in here unless you want to mess around with the colors
  • pidisplay/plugins/clok/
    • Configure the time periods when you are most active and choose a series of colors that represent your activity level for that time period.
  • pidisplay/plugins/gameoflife/
    • Nothing of note in here unless you want to mess around with the world size and colors.
  • pidisplay/plugins/openweathermap_forecast/
  1. Install other python modules to support the plugins (required if you elect to use the respective module):

sudo pip3 install yfinance  # for the ticker module. I had to reinstall numpy after installing yfinance. It took a while.
sudo pip3 install feedparser  # for the news module
  1. Run it!
python3 pidisplay/
  1. (Optional) Configure your Raspberry Pi to log in automatically and automatically start PiDisplay
sudo raspi-config
  • Choose option “1 System Options”
  • Choose option “2 S5 Boot / Auto Login”
  • Choose option “B2 Console Autologin”
  • Choose “<Finish>”
  • Don’t reboot yet.

Now add the startup to your .bashrc

echo python3 ~/pidisplay/ >> /home/pi/.bashrc



Instructions for adding multiple widgets on the top and bottom (e.g., Ticker)

  1. Copy the plugin folder to a new name
cp ./pidisplay/plugins/ticker ./pidisplay/plugins/ticker2
  1. Edit the __init.py__ file in the second ticker with a new name and update the modules
NAME = "Ticker2"

from plugins.ticker2 import ticker as g
from plugins.ticker2 import ticker_config as c

(Note: change the “ticker2” above to the same name of the plugin directory from step 1)


  • Add moon phase to weather
  • Fix the paddles in the pongclock. The paddles track the ball correctly only about 90% of the time.


View Github