Linux Player - Technology Preview 0.5.1-alpha

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

This new version supports connecting to CMS instances over http or https, and to CMS instances that run inside sub directories, or on custom ports. It also supports legacy XMDS file downloads so no special configuration of the CMS File Download Mode is required.

In addition, it manages its local files so it should download content once only from the CMS and then maintain that local library.

If you have a 1.8.12 CMS, then you can connect the Player directly to that as it already has support for Linux Players. You may need to create a Display Settings Profile for the Linux Player ahead of connecting your first Linux Player. Not all of the settings in the Display Settings Profile will work at present, but we've included them now in readiness for them being implemented in to the Player.

If you have an earlier 1.8 CMS, then please see the post for the 0.3.3-alpha release for instructions on configuring your CMS to support the new Player.

Once your CMS is ready, 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 or 0.4a and haven't removed it, then it will automatically upgrade in due course to 0.5a. 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      0.5.1-alpha     59    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 https://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