Turn your Raspberry Pi into web dashboard – Part 2

This blog post is a continuation of part1.

Recently I worked on a task to turn the Raspberry Pi into a web dashboard. .I already covered below requirements in my previous post

  1. configuring auto login
  2. opening browser in kiosk mode
  3. configuring vnc server

In this post I will cover the following requirements.

  1. Auto-hiding the mouse cursor
  2. Make a distributable image of RPi OS

Auto hiding the mouse cursor

If you connect the mouse to Raspberry Pi the cursor stays on the screen even if you remove the mouse. To remove the mouse cursor you need to restart the RPi. Another way to overcome this problem is to auto-hide the cursor if there is no activity after a certain time interval.

For hiding mouse cursor we will use software called unclutter

First install unclutter software using below command

sudo apt-get install unclutter
Code language: Java (java)

Next we need to configure the idle time to hide the cursor. For that we need to edit the below line in /etc/default/unclutter file. Idle time is specified in seconds.

EXTRA_OPTS=”-idle 8 -root”

Number specified after idle word in above line is the idle time to hide mouse cursor. Depending on your requirement change the idle time.

Note : During my testing, found that unclutter is taking twice the time to hide the mouse cursor than time specified in idle configuration

To completely hide mouse cursor always set idle time to ‘0’.

Make a distributable image

When I was working on this task my company wanted to display dashboards for different departments so one of the requirements is make distributable image so that we don’t need to repeat the steps for every RPi.

After making changes to Raspberry OS to display dashboard we can use the “USB Image Tool” software to make copies of the image, and we can also write those images to other Microsd cards to make clones of RPi dashboard.

You can download the “USB Image Tool” software from the here

Once downloaded extract the zip file to a folder.

Insert the Microsd card into laptop/computer

Go to extracted folder and double-click on “USB Image Tool” file to open the tool

extracted zip folder
USB Image tool open

Now from the left side panel select the Generic SD/MMC icon

Microsd selection

Once we select Generic SD/MMC icon on the bottom panel Restore, Rest ans Backup button will be activated.

First we need to create image of attached Microsd card, So click on “Backup” button.

Image creation

Next it will open the explorer window, select the path where you want to store image file and write name of the image file and click on “Save” button

image saving

Tool start saving the image to a specified folder. Wait till Image saving process is completed.

image saving process

Next verify that image is created successfully and remove the Microsd card.

Insert new Microsd card into laptop/computer to write the image.

Now from the left side panel select the Generic SD/MMC icon

Image restoration

Next click on the “Restore” button, it will open the explorer window.

Go to the path where we saved the image and select the file and click on “open” button

Image selection for restoration

Next software will show below dialog button to confirm that you want to write image to Microsd card. Click on “Yes” button

confirmation dialog

It will start the image writing process, wait till it completes the process.

restore image process

Once it completes writing process, you can use the microsd card in Raspberry Pi to show dashboard.

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