Linux Player - Technology Preview 0.4-alpha

Today we're making available another preview of the forthcoming Player for Linux.

This new version supports downloading and processing the schedule from the CMS and is for the first time long-running, so it will switch between layouts as dictated by the CMS schedule. Overlay and command schedules are not supported.

It has no file management yet, so will download everything from the CMS on each collection, so it isn't suitable for use on anything other than a test CMS at the moment. It should not be used for production use.

Please see the post for the 0.3.3-alpha release for instructions on configuring your CMS to support the new Player.

Note also that you must have the File Download Mode in your CMS set to Apache or NGINX and your webserver correctly configured to support that. If you're using Xibo with Docker, then that has already been done for you.

Once your CMS is prepared, we'll need to get the Player installed. We're now using an improved distribution system based on snapcraft "snap" packages to package the Player for deployment. It offers a clean, dependency free installation, as well as the potential for automatic upgrades in the future.

Many Linux distributions support snap packages out of the box now, but we've tested with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS 64 bit and 18.04 LTS 64 bit.

If you previously installed 0.3.3a and haven't removed it, then it will automatically upgrade in due course to 0.4a. You can force that to happen now by running:

snap refresh xibo-player-test --channel=beta

You can check to see what version of the Player you have installed by running

snap list

You should see an entry in the output like this:

Name                  Version         Rev   Tracking  Publisher     Notes
xibo-player-test      0.4-alpha       50    beta      stivius       -

If you've never run the test Player before, or you previously removed the snap package, then to install the Player, simply run:

snap install xibo-player-test --channel=beta

The Player will be installed without affecting any other software you might have installed on your machine.

To run the Player, change in to a directory where you want us to store the layout and media files (a temporary directory or a new empty directory is perfect), and then run

xibo-player-test --host yourcms.example.org --server-key yourkey --hardware-key yourhardwarekey

The server key is the one you would normally use to register Players with the CMS. The hardware key is normally generated for you (and in the future it will be, but for now you can use a random string to identify this display).

The Player will register with the CMS. Press Ctrl+C in the terminal window to quit.

Now in the CMS, authorise the display as normal. You can set a default layout for the Player to show, and then run the Player again.

On each run, the Player will download the layout from the CMS, and render it for you.

Please let us know of any rendering issues you encounter in the comments below. Depending on the respose we get to this we may not be able to answer each comment individually, but will be reading the responses and investigating where feasible.

When you're finished testing, you can safely delete the files the Player created in your temporary directory, and if you want to remove the Player from your system, simply run

snap remove xibo-player-test

You can see a list of known issues here:
https://github.com/xibosignage/xibo-linux/blob/13f698c439533d659c2ffa9a553e24122ccc08a9/CHANGELOG.md

In addition, we know there are issues with the Player connecting to servers that support only HTTPS connections, or that run on non-standard port numbers.