PiAware SkyView output to HDMI

Hello All,

I have a PiAware setup and it’s currently running headless. I saw in the 7.1 download page that there is support for an LCD Screen that would show you the skyview on the Pi. This is awesome; however, I don’t own an LCD screen and would prefer to be able to hook an HDMI monitor.

Currently when I connect an HDMI monitor to the Pi I get a text based status screen.

Is it possible to have the Pi output the SkyView screen that is output to the LCD over the HDMI connection?

Thank you in advance for your time and assistance!

Not the way you’re trying to do it.
On the device you will need a graphical desktop installed showing the web page locally. It will not run that way out of the box as no GUI is installed.

Thank you so much for your reply!

If there is no GUI installed how is the SkyView displayed on the LCD? I’m hoping that I can just redirect to it display on the HDMI port. I’m barely a user when it comes to Pis/Linux so I do not pretend know how they work.

I don’t think that the SkyAware map is displayed on the LCD (though I might be wrong). My understanding was that the LCD provided a touch screen interface for configuring the device - just menus, essentially.

I have one of the FlightFeeders with a display and this is how it works.

The SkyAware map needs to be displayed via a web browser, and in order to have a web browser directly on a Pi you have to have a desktop environment installed, as @foxhunter mentioned.

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OOOH Okay, that makes sense. I assumed that the point of having the LCD was so that you could view your plot.

Anyone else able to confirm jafrank very sensible theory? I have no doubt it’s true just looking for a second point of reference to confirm it.

As I understand how this works for us, dump1090-fa sends the adsb data to piaware and also saves data in a file at /var/run/dump1090-fa/aircraft.json. Also running on the Pi is a web server, lighttpd that reads the above file and creates the web page PiAware SkyAware map. Lots of programs working in the background to make everything just look so simple.

If you built your system using the downloaded FlightAware images, you will need a separate computer and web browser like Firefox or Opera to display the SkyAware map.

If you used the downloaded Raspian images from raspberrypi.org, then if you have the full “Raspberry Pi OS with desktop” image, you can then run the built-in browser to display via HDMI.

I think I have this correct, I am probably missing something, but hope this helps a bit. Have fun, keep learning. We are all noobs at this at some point or the other.

What more confirmations are needed? I don’t see any other way to display the map on a screen connected directly via HDMI than using a full desktop version of Raspberry open the browser and display then the map using the local URL.

I was hoping that someone that was using the “piaware-sd-lcd-card-7.1.img” could verify that you can or cannot view the SkyView map on the screen as shown in this thread post:
PiAware with a touchscreen - FlightAware / ADS-B Flight Tracking - FlightAware Discussions

My THEORY is that if the map can be displayed via the touch screen than it should be able to be displayed over the HDMI output however as stated earlier " I’m barely a user when it comes to Pis/Linux so I do not pretend know how they work."

My theory is that the device is using a GUI and is simply displaying the website using a browser.

The Raspberry OS alternative DietPI offers an installation where you do not have a full gui, but Chrome as a web browser running in Kiosk Mode.
This you can achieve by using DietPI and install dump1090-fa.

That’s the only option i see without a full desktop

Piaware is not required for showing the map. This is fully operated by dump1090-fa and the underlying webserver.
But you will need piaware to upload data to Flightaware

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That post is of a different thing.
There are some pictures of the PiAware touchscreen
LCD display here

As you can see it does not show the SkyAware map.

I tried the lcd-card image a couple of weeks ago. Nothing sent to the HDMI at all. No joy.

You must use a full desktop FlightAware OS to do what you want.

Please read through the thread you linked. Further down below it is explained that the developer used the full desktop version of Raspbian

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I use the LCD image. This is designed to display the customized status screens on a small LCD. It definitely does not display the skyview map out of the box. However, the HDMI interface is enabled. (I tested it and the command line is there up to a certain point, then it shifts to displaying on the LCD. Without HDMI connected when the device boots it displays the command line on the LCD. The LCD image is not set up with a desktop so it does not run the map… it is using custom scripts. In a standard Pi the display driver can only send info to one screen or the other. When you connect HDMI you get a the boot sequence until it flips to the LCD.

Hi @catman393, for us to help more can you describe a bit more what you are trying to achieve.

Do you want to be ‘headless’ but have a screen with the map? Then you are semi-headless and connect only a screen in which case you have a full desktop that can be displayed including skyview and other pages.

Full Image:

  • You use a full image with a desktop and view skyview in the browser on any HDMI connected screen. Just connect a screen to hdmi, add a mouse and key board temporarily, launch the browser from the desktop, connect to skyview and put it in fullscreen. Remove the mouse and keyboard. You don’t need the LCD image unless you want the special status screen.

  • Or you can connect via VNC from another device and see the piaware desktop in a window and launch skyview and the local stats pages in the window. Then you are headless but can access SkyView locally.

Here is that example (running in VNC as my device is remote, running a std image, but I could have just connected straight to HDMI). If I press F11 the browser will be full screen and I can set this to autostart if needed.

LCD Image

  • The SPI LCD image is for a status display (see my posts on rotating it LCD Rotation). It is a set of predefined icons, buttons plus some readouts from the underlying files.

  • As an experiment I enabled VNC on the headless Pi with the LCD image and you get the status screen in the window. Which actually I am very happy I tried and am surprised it worked. But it shows that there is only one display output on this image which is the LCD status screen.


  • in theory we can go to advanced/experimental options on the pi, turn on dual display (by default the Pi sends video to only one display at a time, hence when you boot the lcd image with the hdmi connected you get command line output for a while then it flips to the lcd). Then maybe we can get the status on the LCD and the map on HDMI. I have not tried this yet though and I don’t think that this was what you are asking.

and as you know you can connect to skyview via the flightaware pages remotely from any other computer.

Hope that helps,

And let us know the combination you prefer and we can try advise more.

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