Sign/Page Administration

Develop New Page

Views for each Signage page are located in the code. To add a new page, define the context in The template should be defined in templates/signage/pages/<page_name>.html.

Create New Page

Each Signage display renders multiple pages. Each page is defined within a Page model. Within Django admin, define the:

  • name: Some descriptive name to represent the Page (required)

  • template: The location of the template (templates/signage/pages/<template>.html)

  • function: The function defined in for server-side rendering of context (e.g. hello_world)

  • button: The name of the font-awesome icon to be used on the navigation bar (e.g. fa-bus)

The other fields can be left at their defaults.


The example Page shown above is named Announcements.

  • Since we want the page to be rendered server-side (not as an iframe), the iframe box is not checked.

  • Since the page is not an iframe, we leave the url field as is.

  • Since the page is not an iframe, we can leave the sandbox checkbox as is (for more information about sandboxes read

  • The template field is set to announcements, meaning that Ion will try to render templates/signage/pages/announcements.html.

  • The function field is set to announcements, meaning that Ion will use the announcements function in as context.

  • The button field is set to fa-newspaper-o, meaning that this Font Awesome icon will be used in the navigation bar.

  • The order field is set to 1, meaning that the button is second on the navigation bar. The pages should be ordered as you want them to appear on the bar (required).

  • The strip_links field is checked off because you should not be able to navigate off a page by clicking a link. If this functionality is not desired, uncheck the box.

Create New Sign

Each Sign is defined within a Sign model. Within Django admin, define the:

  • name: Some friendly display name (required)

    • This is displayed on the main schedule page (e.g. Curie Commons)

  • display: A unique name (the Stick's host name) (required) (e.g. cs-curie)

  • landscape: True if display is landscape (bar on right-hand side) and False if display is not landscape (bar on the bottom of the screen)

  • map_location: This field is not used

  • img_path: A URL to an image to display on the main schedule page. Leave at the default for the default TJ image (required)

  • lock_page: A Page that should be the only page displayed (if not set all pages will be displayed)

  • pages: A ManyToManyField containing all pages to be rendered on the Sign (required)

  • default_page: A Page that will be reverted to after a period of time


The example Sign shown above is named Curie Commons (and should be deployed there):

  • Since it is deployed in Curie Commons, we should set name to that. This is also what appears on the Signage display as the display name.

  • The display field is set to cs-curie because that is the host name of Sign.

  • The eighth_block_increment field can be left as is because this field was only used in Signage1.

  • The img_path field is set to the default image path in order to render the default image of the front school. Appropriate images should be selected for each sign (generally a picture of the scientist for whom the commons is named for).

  • The lock_page field is left as is, meaning that all pages are displayed. For specific Signs, a lock_page may need to be specified.

  • The default_page field is left as is, meaning that the default first page when loaded is the schedule page. In some cases, a specific page should be displayed on a Sign. For example, the bus depot display (cs-audlob) needs to display the bus map by default.

  • All pages that should be rendered by the Sign should be selected in the pages field. They are ordered as per their specified order.

Special Events

Signage is often used to display pages for special events that occur at TJ. Generally, these are just iframes to some outside webpage. A specific Page should be made for an event. The iframe box should be checked off and a link to the page should be set in the url field. The template and function fields do not need to be filled out in such case.

Display Administration


Often it is necessary to reboot Signage displays. To perform a reboot manually, run sudo shutdown -r now or sudo reboot within the Signage's terminal. To reboot the entire deployment, run ansible -i hosts -a "shutdown -r now" -u user -K signage.


To SSH to the Signage displays, a CSL VPN is necessary. Ask a VPN admin to set up a certificate for you.

To SSH without the Signage password, you should add your RSA public key to the public_keys folder in the Ansible repo. Then, you should add the path to that public key to roles/signage/tasks/main.yml under Update authorized_keys. After that a Signage admin (or you, if you have access to the signagepi passcard) should run the playbook.

Running Ansible

It is a very good idea to keep all changes for the Signage deployment in sync through Ansible. Run ansible-playbook -K signage.yml to propogate changes from the Signage playbook to the deployment.

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