Installing the PiTFT

Now that the steps requiring a large monitor are done, we can install the PiTFT without having to fuss with switching back and forth between monitors.

With the Raspberry Pi powered down, plug in the PiTFT display into the Raspberry Pi using the GPIO pins. The B+ has more pins that the PiTFT, so you want to make sure they're aligned properly with 1 on the GPIO lining up with 1 on the PiTFT. It doesn't require much force, just a little pressure.

Power up the RasPi. Once in Terminal, we need to get the software for the PiTFT - visit the matching PiTFT page to add support:

This process requires some time. At the end, you'll be asked whether or not you want to see the console on the PiTFT. I personally like this, because it is interesting to see the boot cycle before the picture frame comes alive.

Setting Chromium to Auto-Launch

Now that the RasPi is ready to display on the PiTFT, Chromium needs to be set to auto-launch. To do this, type:

Download: file
sudo nano /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart

Underneath the code you recently inserted to turn off screen blanking, add the line:

Download: file
@chromium --kiosk file:/home/pi/Desktop/GIF/gif_player.html

Now everytime you reboot, the RasPi will attempt to launch Chromium at the start, and the gif_player.html file.

Control + O, Enter, and Control + X will take you back into Terminal.

More work to be done!

To exit Kiosk Mode in Chromium, just hit Control + F4. You do not need to exit Kiosk mode to shut down. You can just issue the shut down command with the bottom left tactile button on Pin 23.

 Boot to PiTFT

 It's time to tell the RasPi what display to use on start up when booting directly to X.

Download: file
sudo nano /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/99-pitft.conf

This will get you into the configuration file. If the text below already appears, don't worry about changing anything. This is just a way of double checking.

Download: file
Section "Device"
 Identifier "Adafruit PiTFT"
 Driver "fbdev"
 Option "fbdev" "/dev/fb1"
EndSection

Then hit Control + O, Enter, and then Control + X.

Lastly, we need to tell the RasPi to now boot to the Desktop instead of Terminal.

Download: file
sudo raspi-config

This will open the RasPi Configuration page. Select Enable Boot to Desktop/Scratch, and then select Finish, and Reboot.

Your RasPi should now boot directly to the PiTFT, with slideshow running! (this can take around 30 seconds.) BUT HOORAY! If you selected to have text appear on the PiTFT, after a period of time text will cease appearing on the HDMI output, and begin appearing on the PiTFT.

Now it's time to make it look pretty by ruining a case, and then making the ruined case look pretty.

This guide was first published on Jan 13, 2015. It was last updated on Jan 13, 2015. This page (Installing the PiTFT) was last updated on Nov 02, 2019.