Installing DAKboard on Raspberry Pi (Customizable Displays)

Do you have an extra display at home that sits in a corner? Now you can turn it into a fully customizable digital display with great features like weather updates, calendars (linked to your tasks), to-do lists, and much more using a Raspberry Pi and the DAKboard OS.

DAKboard can be directly selected and flashed onto an SD card from the Raspberry Pi Imager software. After that, the OS links the Pi to DAKboard’s website and several customization options are possible on the DAKboard’s display from there.

This tutorial will cover the installation process, setup instructions and configuration tips for DAKboard OS on Raspberry Pi. Let’s start by understanding a little bit more about DAKboard.

If you’re looking to quickly progress on Raspberry Pi, you can check out my e-book here. It’s a 30-day challenge where you learn one new thing every day until you become a Raspberry Pi expert. The first third of the book teaches you the basics, but the following chapters include projects you can try on your own.

What is DAKboard?

DAKboard is a company that specializes in creating customizable digital displays for homes and businesses. As mentioned, their displays show various information, including calendars, weather forecasts, to-do lists, and even custom messages or images.

I’ve already tested Anthias on this website (formerly Screenly), DAKboard is the new generation of software in this area.

A personalized display in your home can keep you informed about your daily life and help you be more productive. And, of course, it can be used by businesses (like the screens you see more and more in stores, with menus, promotions, etc.).

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DAKboard Requirements

Before starting, I will list the requirements (both hardware and software) for following this tutorial. This is a Linux distribution, so the process is similar to any other Linux system installation:

  • A Raspberry Pi: The official website says that DAKboard works on all the Raspberry Pi’s after 3A. As a bonus, it also works on the Pi Zero 2! However, they have mentioned that it works best on the Raspberry Pi 4 and 5. For context, I’m testing on my Raspberry Pi 4 (2GB).
  • A micro-SD card or USB stick: You can pick whichever you have. You will need a storage option with at least 16 GB, as the OS image is over 2 GB. If you don’t have one handy and need a new SD card for this tutorial, find our current recommendations here.
  • Raspberry Pi Imager or Balena Etcher: DAKboard is available in Raspberry Pi Imager for now, you can also flash a custom image with those tools, so pick the one you prefer. I have a complete guide for Raspberry Pi Imager here if you need it.
  • An HDMI Display: The primary purpose of this OS is to create a customizable and aesthetic display, so the display is an obvious requirement. You can use any spare HDMI display you have lying around.

That is all for the requirements. Of course, you will need a power source for your Raspberry Pi.

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Installation and Setup DAKboard on Raspberry Pi

This section will walk you through installing and setting up the DAKboard OS on your Raspberry Pi. This process includes the following steps:

  • Flashing the OS Image onto the SD Card.
  • First Boot Setup:
    • Connecting to a Network.
    • Creating a New DAKboard Account.
    • Linking Pi’s OS to DAKboard.

Let’s start by flashing the latest DAKboard Image on the Raspberry Pi.

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Flashing OS Image on Raspberry Pi

This part is easy as the DAKboard OS option is available readily on the Raspberry Pi Image software. Alternatively, you can download the image manually from this page (under the Manually Download the Image File section) if you are using Balena Etcher.

I will walk you through the process of flashing this OS using the Raspberry Pi Imager.

  • Open the Raspberry Pi Imager software. Choose the Raspberry Pi device you are using. I will choose the Raspberry Pi 4 as it’s the model I am using.


  • Once that is done, the next step is choosing the OS Image. Just click on the CHOOSE OS button.


  • This will open a new Operating System window. Just scroll to the bottom and select the Other specific-purpose OS.


  • Under that, you have to search and click on the DAKBoard option.


  • This will open the final window which shows the OS options. You will see the latest version listed. Just click on that DAKBoard OS option.

  • Once you have selected the OS, insert your SD card, click CHOOSE STORAGE, and select your SD card from the list of available choices.


  • Once you have completed everything, click the Next button. This will open a window informing you that everything on this SD card will be erased. Just confirm by pressing YES.


  • This will start the flashing process. The system may prompt you to enter your password to start the process.


  • It will take a few minutes to complete so be patient. Once the process is complete, the SD card will be automatically ejected from your system.

With this, we have successfully set up our SD card for the Raspberry Pi. Next, we will complete the initial setup process and get DAKboard up and running.

First Time Setup

Once the SD Card is ready, we can insert it into the Pi and use DAKboard. However, there are some things we need to set up before we can do that. This section will help you through the first setup process for DAKboard.

Once you plug the SD Card into your Pi and boot it up, it will take a few minutes while the OS sets things up in the background so stay patient.

Once everything is set up, you will see the DAKboard Setup screen which shows three steps to complete the initial configuration.

Completing Initial Setup: Connecting to a Network

As you can see, the first step is configuring the Network. It is straightforward to complete this process. You can complete it from either your phone or your computer. Just follow the steps given below:

  • First, connect to the DAKboard local network. You can do it from any device of your choice. The credentials will be visible on the configuration home screen.


  • Once you connect to the network, follow the steps on the screen and open the URL http://10.0.0.5 on that device. It should open a configuration screen which will let you set up the network and timezone settings for your DAKboard.


  • Next, we will fill out the required configuration details.
    • First, select the network you want to connect to from the SSID dropdown and then enter the credentials for the same network.
    • Second, select your location’s time zone.
    • Finally, add the Screen configuration options according to the display you have.

Once everything is setup, press the Save Changes button and you are done! Your Pi should now be connected to a network and you can move to the next configuration step.

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Creating a New DAKboard Account

Your DAKboard screen should now move from the Network step to the Register step. You should see a Link code on the screen now, as shown below.



To use this code, you need to create a new DAKboard account. The process to do this is very easy.

  • Just go to the DAKboard website and then press on the Login button on the top right.


  • This will open a new Login Window. In that, press the Create a free account button, which should be at the bottom.


  • This will open yet another window where you can choose the Google Sign Up option or enter credentials to sign up. I prefer to use Google Sign Up so I used that option, but choose any option you like and create a new Account.


  • Once you have created the new account, log in to that account using the same Login button. Enter the credentials or press Continue with Google, based on the method you opted for creating the account.
  • You should see the following home screen once you have logged into your account.

Now that you have a DAKboard account, you can use the Link code and connect your Raspberry Pi to DAKboard.

Linking the Raspberry Pi to DAKboard Account

To link your Raspberry Pi DAKboard screen to your DAKboard account, follow the steps below:

  • From the home screen, navigate to the Displays & Devices section.


  • A new section will open. Press the green Add Display button to link your Raspberry Pi’s DAKboard display to your account.


  • This will open a new window. Give your display an appropriate name, add the Link code visible on your screen (you may have to restart the Pi if the code expires) and finally, select the predefined screen as the assigned screen (only one available in the free plan).

    Then, press the save button to add this display.


  • Perfect, your Pi is now linked to DAKboard and you should be able to see your vibrant display appearing on the HDMI screen.

Great! You have successfully set up the DAKboard OS on your Raspberry Pi. Next, let’s look at some customization options that DAKboard offers under the free tier plan.

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Exploring Customization Options

This section will cover the various customization options the DAKboard display provides under its free plan. This includes Calendar integrations, Weather, the Newsfeed, and much more. Everything can be done through your DAKboard account page.

Note: Under the free plan, whatever changes you make in the display will appear on the Pi after a refresh time of 6 hours. You need a paid plan for immediate display refresh functionality.

To customize the display, select the Predefined Screen from the Screens section of your account. This is the screen that we assigned to our Raspberry Pi. Then you can start customizing things.

Calendar

First, DAKboard allows you to customize the calendar shown on the screen, link your existing Calendars to your display or upload a Calendar export file to show events. You can access these options under the Calendars section.



The first “Calendar Settings” allows you to change the appearance of your Calendar on the display. You can customize the following:

  • If you want to show the calendar or not.
  • Show it either in Agenda or Monthly format. Monthly shows all 30 days and the Agenda option shows a selected number of days (customizable) at once.
  • Additionally, you can choose from a range of view options as seen in the image. The options are pretty self-explanatory.

Apart from this, with “Connected Calendars”, you can add your custom Calendar URL or connect your personal Google or Microsoft Calendar with this display. This can be productive if you use such a display in your home office.



Once you have connected a Calendar, you can select the information from that calendar you want to display on your DAKboard. For instance, if you use a Work Display, you would like to disable something like Birthdays from the screen.

Weather

There are several customization options for the Weather widgets visible on the DAKboard screen. They are available in the Weather section of your screen.



Here are the customizations you can make:

  • Weather Source: You can select the Weather Source to show your Weather updates through a dropdown of popular weather forecast sites. OpenWeatherMap is selected by default.
  • Location: You can also select the location of Weather forecasts you would like to display on your screen. For me, it’s the city of Waterloo in Canada.
  • Temperature Unit: You can choose the temperature unit you want on the screen (Fahrenheit or Celsius). I prefer using the Celsius scale for this.
  • Forecast: You can select if you want to show an Extended Forecast on the screen for either 4 or 5 days.
  • Rain Possibility: Finally, you can also choose if you want to show the percentage chance for rain on a particular day.

Once you change everything according to your preference, press the Save Changes button to apply these changes. They will be visible on your display after the Refresh period has passed.

News

You even have the option to show popular News feeds on your screen. This can let you glance through the latest news with ease. Like before, you can make changes for this through the News section in the screen we select (predefined screen in this case).



Here is a list of customization options:

  • By default, the News Feeds are disabled. You can enable them using the RSS Enabled toggle. Once enabled, you can also select if you want to make the News windows clickable (I prefer to keep this off).
  • Once you have enabled News Feeds, set up a News Feed that your screen can access and showcase. The RSS Help button window gives you some popular News Feed Options to choose from.

    I prefer the New York Times, so I added their feed for my display.

Once you have made changes according to your preferences, press Save Changes.

That is all for the customization options for this article. There are several other options available under the paid plans that DAKboard offers which you can explore. Additionally, you can also change how your screen looks. In short, this was just a start, the possibilities are endless!

Great! You now know how to install and set up DAKboard OS on your Raspberry Pi.

There are numerous customization options in DAKBoard that you can explore like integrating To Do Lists, showing a custom message (maybe an inspirational quote) and much more. Additionally, you can explore some alternative options as well like OptiSigns and Raydiant.

Whenever you’re ready, here are other ways I can help you:

The RaspberryTips Community: If you want to hang out with me and other Raspberry Pi fans, you can join the community. I share exclusive tutorials and behind-the-scenes content there. Premium members can also visit the website without ads.

Master your Raspberry Pi in 30 days: If you are looking for the best tips to become an expert on Raspberry Pi, this book is for you. Learn useful Linux skills and practice multiple projects with step-by-step guides.

The Raspberry Pi Bootcamp: Understand everything about the Raspberry Pi, stop searching for help all the time, and finally enjoy completing your projects.

Master Python on Raspberry Pi: Create, understand, and improve any Python script for your Raspberry Pi. Learn the essentials step-by-step without losing time understanding useless concepts.

You can also find all my recommendations for tools and hardware on this page.

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