Network Configuration Overview

Each Signage Intel Compute Stick connects to TJ's Windows network. Each stick's MAC address is whitelisted by TJ's Tech Team to access the tjhsst network. Using wpa_supplicant and systemd-networkd, each stick is assigned an IP on the Windows network.


In the past, Signage was a separate web application from Ion, viewed on Raspberry Pis.

Now, Signage is run on Intel Compute Sticks running Ubuntu Server with a minimal GUI.

This guide will show you how to set up a new stick.

Manual Stuff

Installing the OS

When you first get one of the Compute Sticks, it should come pre-loaded with Windows 10 by default. If this is not the case, you probably got the wrong version of Compute Stick (the Ubuntu ones aren't powerful enough).

Prepare the Installation USBs

These steps only have to be done if there are no installation USBs around.

This guide assumes (hopefully correctly) that you know how to manage USBs on whatever computer you are using.

  1. Download the OS.

    • Head on over to Ubuntu's website and download the .iso for the the latest LTS version.

  2. Put the OS on a USB.

    • On Linux or Mac, use the dd utility to flash a USB with the OS installer. On Windows, use Win32DiskImager or something to that nature.

    • Example dd command: sudo dd if=ubuntu_server-16.04.iso of=/dev/sdx progress=status, replacing sdx with the actual USB device identifier.

  3. Download the wpa_supplicant package and dependencies.

    • On an Ubuntu system with the same architecture as the Compute Stick (preferably an existing Compute Stick), use this command to download wpa_supplicant and all of its dependencies:

      apt-get download wpa_supplicant && apt-cache depends -i wpa_supplicant | awk '/Depends:/ {print $2}' | xargs apt-get download
    • On a Windows or Mac system, you will have to do this manually by tracing dependencies.

Get Configuration Files

There is a GitLab repo which contains important scripts and config files to setup networking and an Ansible-ready system.

You should clone it by running within the mounted wpa_supplicant drive

git clone

Boot from the OS Install Disk

  1. Plug in a keyboard into the Compute Stick.

  2. Plug the Stick into an available monitor.

  3. Turn the Stick on.

  4. As the Stick is booting, repeatedly press the F10 key until you see a boot menu.

    • If this does not work, reboot and try again.

  5. At the boot screen, select the USB as the boot device.

    • If you can't boot, Google what went wrong.

  6. Follow the on-screen prompts to install Ubuntu Server LTS.

    • Try to install as few extra features as possible.

    • Set the username/password as instructed by the Signage Lead. The password, however, will be changed later.

Mount the USB

Now, plug in the other installation USB (the one with the packages on it) into the Compute Stick. Mount it with

sudo mount /dev/sdxn /mnt

where sdxn is the USB partition you stored the files on. x will usually be a, and n will usually be 1.

Automatic Configuration

Scripts to complete initial setup of the script can be found on GitLab. You will need to copy this repository to a flash drive.

  • Cd into /mnt/cs-config.

  • Run ./ <LAST TWO DIGITS OF IP> to configure networking.

  • Reboot.

  • Check that you have internet (ping) and use ip a to check that you have been assigned an IP address.

  • Run ./ to complete setup (install python basic config).

  • From your device, run the CSL Ansible play for signage (signage.yml) to configure the base of the system.

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