Display Trouble with Screenly OSE on Pi Zero

Howdy! I’m trying to get a couple of Pi Zeros to run Screenly OSE. I followed the instructions here: It’s a sign: build a remote controlled digital display with Screenly OSE and Raspberry Pi (balena.io) except that the display only ever shows the Balena splash screen. Screely downloads and installs, and I can browse to the website to load assets. But never moves off the Balena screen. Any idea what I’ve done wrong? Thanks!!

Hey Jensen, do you see any errors in the console or in dashboard console? it would help if you can share those. Also it would be best to run diagnostic from within the dashboard to see if there isn’t any issues with the device or OS. please share the diagnostic reports here as well.


Evening! So far no errors. The website loads and runs, just no display. Attached are the diagnostics.507b1576206a6bfdbb12aa4bf628406c_diagnostics_2021.02.23_01.23.02+0000.log (769.0 KB)

Hi @jenscom

I just spoke briefly to someone that I know over at Screenly, and they mentioned that whilst the Pi Zero is supported for Screenly OSE, it is somewhat limited in performance so is not the best platform, and sometimes has issues due to lack of power/RAM. They recommended to use Pi 3, 3+ or Pi 4 for best performance ideally.

In any case, they suggested also that you could try installing Screenly OSE using our new service balenaHub - https://hub.balena.io/ - as this may have a more up to date version available.

Failing that, they said that the “production” branch of their GitHub software may work better (apparently the master branch they use for development, so is less reliable). You can find that here - GitHub - Screenly/screenly-ose at production

From the terminal, and with balena-cli installed, you can push this to your existing application using the following commands:

git clone https://github.com/Screenly/screenly-ose
git checkout production
balena push <application-name>

Hopefully this helps, and please let us know how you get on.


Morning! I’ve attempted to use the “production” version to update my existing install as well as a clean one a couple of times with it failing each time over (I think) a Python version:

Sorry for the screenshot, the forum won’t let me post the text as it has “to many links for a new user”. I’ll give the Hub option a try and see if it works better.

No luck with the Hub option. The Pi Zero doesn’t show up in the dashboard. It displays the Balena splash screen, but that is all I get.

Hi there, I feel like there are at least two separate problems here. If the Pi Zero doesn’t show up on the balenaCloud dashboard, chances are it’s a networking issue (as in the RPi cant’ get out to the Internet or DNS isn’t working). You could hit escape at the splash screen, as there may be something in the kernel boot output there to help narrow down the problem.Can you see the RPi’s MAC address in your router’s DHCP clients list?

As for the build issue, I’ve managed to build all the containers by checking out the master branch of the screenly repository. Perhaps try git checkout master and build that branch after you get the device online…

Howdy! Sorry for my delay here. I’ve resolved the connection issues and made a second attempt with the Hub option. I see it show up in the dashboard now and don’t see any errors, but the Pi Zero still only shows the Balena splash screen. What else could I try here? Happy to grant support access if it would help!

Hello, did you try hitting escape on the splash screen, to confirm that there are no errors there?

Also, just to make sure we are all on the same page, could you briefly summarize the remaining issues you are experiencing? Are you still getting the build errors?

Morning! Yes I did hit escape and didn’t see any errors, fact it was just a back screen. The issue is once everything reports that its loaded and running, the Pi Zero is still displaying the Balena splash screen and not the Screenly assets.

Hey, what kind of assets are you trying to show via Screenly? Could you try with something very simple like a still image, some users were running into similar issues when trying to display animated assets with a Pi0.

Only still images, nothing fancy at all…


Can you check/share logs from the services running on the device? Logs from the container might help check if there is any service stuck/misbehaving on the device.

Also, would be good to know the release version of Screenly you have built and deployed.

Hi @jenscom

I just want to check if you are still experiencing the same problem? As Nitish suggested previously, could you perhaps share the service-specific logs for the device? And, which release version of Screenly have you built and deployed?

Kind regards