Video player for artists by artists

Jakub Valenta

Viktor Vejvoda

distributed under BSD 3-clause, a free and open-source license


VideoPi logo VideoPi photo


Video player for artists by artists

VideoPi is a simple video player specifically designed for art installations. It is a Linux distribution for the Raspberry Pi mini computer.


Commonly used media players don’t accept all video formats, require configuration to turn on looping, and need to be manually switched on.

VideoPi solves these problems:

Supported hardware

Not supported:


Latest version 2018-09-04

Extra features:

sha1: b151b9653c39316ba2b8659ec2544935f1e5d404

Stable version 2018-01-02

sha1: 44ab795337eeebff135a4ff02df2ee8184dea78e


  1. Download and install Etcher.
  2. Open Etcher and write the downloaded VideoPi image to your SD card.

Getting started

Make sure the HDMI or S-Video cable is connected before you power on VideoPi.

When started for the first time, VideoPi will show a message that it’s resizing the root partition and then it will restart automatically. After that a login prompt will appear for a few seconds. Do nothing and wait for the desktop to appear.

Once VideoPi finishes the startup, it will show a white desktop with its red logo. You can find a configuration icon in the top left corner. It allows setting screen resolution, sound output (HDMI or 3.5mm jack) etc.

To start playing videos, connect a USB stick. VideoPi will play all video files on the USB stick one after another in an alphabetical order. Once it finishes the last file, it will start again with the first file without any break.

To enforce particular video order, name your files with numbers or lowercase letters. Non-latin characters (with diacritics, cyrillic etc) as well as special characters (punctuation etc) are discouraged.

If all files on the USB stick are JPEG or PNG images, the image slideshow mode will be used.

In the slideshow mode, the time between two images is set to 5 seconds. It can only be adjusted by changing the parameter -t 5 in the file /home/pi/bin/video_pi_play to another number, e.g. -t 10 for 10 seconds. If you see the default time between images shorter than 5 seconds, it means the slideshow mode is not on. In this case, you can enforce the slideshow mode by editing /home/pi/bin/video_pi_play to have this content (do not rename the file though).

VideoPi supports 720p video resolution. 1080p videos usually don’t play smooth, but you can try:

Volume adjustment is not available. Adjust the volume on your speakers.

If HDMI is connected, the sound will play from HDMI not the 3.5mm jack. To change that, use the configuration icon mentioned above.

The loop (repeat all) function cannot be turned off.

Support and getting involved

If you have an idea on how to improve VideoPi or if you need help using it, send us an email to:

Also please let us know if you’re in Berlin or Prague and have a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ to lend out. We would like to test VideoPi on it.

Buy VideoPi

If you don’t feel like installing VideoPi yourself, we can

In either case, we will help you with the initial setup.


How it’s done

VideoPi uses:


To build your own VideoPi image or modify it, see the VideoPi git repository (forked pi-gen).


Release 2018-09-04



sha1: b151b9653c39316ba2b8659ec2544935f1e5d404

Release 2018-04-24



sha1: 6396ed11c2286ca8aa7b865c6e241ecadd4cbd95

Release 2018-01-02



sha1: 44ab795337eeebff135a4ff02df2ee8184dea78e

Last modified: