Begin by installing a suitable version of Raspberry Pi OS onto a SD card. If this is your first time or you need a refresher, we have a separate guide explaining the process (opens in new window).

If using the Raspberry Pi Imager application: from the “CHOOSE OS” menu, select Raspberry Pi OS (Other), then Raspberry Pi OS Lite (Legacy). Before writing the card, see “Enable SSH” below.

If using Balena Etcher or other application: download the latest Raspberry Pi OS Lite (Legacy) operating system image from the Raspberry Pi web site (opens in new window). After writing the card, see “Enable SSH” below.

In either case, use the “Lite (Legacy)” version. Both Lite and Legacy. This skips all the bulky GUI stuff that isn’t needed here, and is compatible with video software we’ll be using. The latest non-Legacy release will not work!

Enable SSH

It’s usually easiest to set up and install this project remotely over a network, so you can copy-and-paste commands from this page to the command line.

If using the Raspberry Pi Imager application: before writing the card, press Control+Shift+X (Windows) or Command+Shift+X (Mac) to open the Advanced Options menu. Here you can Enable SSH for remote access. If you want to set up WiFi instead of a wired Ethernet connection, those options are also in this menu. Now you can write the card!

If using Balena Etcher or other application: after writing the card, don’t eject! Create an empty file called ssh in the /boot partition. This will enable SSH over a wired Ethernet connection. If you want WiFi, you’ll have to connect temporarily with Ethernet and configure wireless through raspi-config…or see below.

A third option—and required if you only have WiFi but no Ethernet—is to do this on the Raspberry Pi after first boot, with monitor and keyboard connected. The raspi-config utility includes options for enabling WiFi and SSH. Then the rest of this installation can be done remotely.

Once your Raspberry Pi is powered up and connected to a network you can follow the steps below to install the video looper software.

If you're familiar with connecting to the Raspberry Pi over SSH you can use an SSH terminal application to connect and skip down to the install commands section below.

After a few moments you should see a terminal open with a message like the above.  At this point you're connected to the Raspberry Pi and ready to run commands to install the video looper.

Install Commands

To install the software first type the following commands exactly as follows:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y git
git clone https://github.com/adafruit/pi_video_looper.git

After pressing enter to run the command you should see something like the above displayed.  The source code for the video looper has been downloaded to your Raspberry Pi.

Now run these two commands to finish the install:

cd pi_video_looper
sudo ./install.sh

You should start to see a lot of messages printed to the screen as software is downloaded and installed.

After about 5 minutes you should see the installation stop with the message Finished! like the picture below shows.  If you see this message then the installation succeeded.

If the installation fails for some reason it will immediately stop and display an error.  Check the terminal for the error to see if it's something you can easily correct like a failure to access the internet, or try asking for more help on the Adafruit forums.

After the software installs you should see the video looper display on the HDMI port.  Assuming no USB drives with movies are connected to your Pi, there should be a message telling you to insert a USB drive like below:

If you see the message above then congratulations the video looper software is installed!  Continue on to learn how to use the video looper.

This guide was first published on Feb 13, 2015. It was last updated on Feb 13, 2015.

This page (Installation) was last updated on Jan 24, 2022.

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