Yet another use of a Raspberry with an old screen

I have an old ultra HD non-smart TV, here’s just a tip to make it to good use with a Raspberry.

TL;DR mpv is dope

What I wanted to achieve is an on-demand TV, where I can play whatever I want, without having to mess with VNC, RDP and stuff (which can increase the attack surface of the rapsberry used as a server even further). I start with Raspbian Lite, (yeah I find the default GUI bloated) then proceed to install xserver-xorg and i3, and, it’s pretty much it. If you don’t want to start i3 manually from the Terminal each time with startx , you can use a session manager. I use lightdm, but for hardcore minimalists, there’s SLiM

Now all you have to do is mpv <video_address>. To prevent the session to be terminated if there something wrong with the network, one solution is to use tmux, and by adding:

if command -v tmux &> /dev/null && [ -z "$TMUX" ]; then
    tmux attach -t default || tmux new -s default

To your .bashrc, or the config file of whatever shell you use compatible with this syntax, you’re all set.

Written on September 17, 2020