Linux picture frame serves as wireless Raspberry Pi display

Here’s a novel approach to adding a display to your Raspberry Pi. Instead of using a wired display — either via the HDMI (which can feed a DVI port with a simple hardware adapter) or the composite video out — [Chris Bryden] decided to use Bluetooth to provide a wireless display. This really depends on the hardware that you have available. He snapped up a hackable digital picture frame for a song and used the 320×240 display for this project.

You can see the USB nub plugged into the RPi in the image above. It’s a Bluetooth dongle and there’s with a matching one on the digital frame. With the two networked in such a way [Chris] got to work setting up a VNC that would let him pull up the X desktop over the network.

This ends up being one of the best uses we’ve seen for the Bluetooth protocol, and the small screen offers a huge advantage over the use of a simple character display.


  1. Josh says:


  2. jayqu says:

    Great to see this works, would like to hear how difficult this was to achieve. I want to try VNC over bluetooth to my android phone, when I get my RPi

  3. M4CGYV3R says:

    That is amazingly useful. Definitely one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” moments.

  4. Reggie says:

    Nice work on getting the df3120 talking to the pi, always nice to see them working in real world projects :)

    I noticed it was a little laggy but hard to tell whether that’s just the bluetooth or X being naturally laggy.

    • Eventhorizon says:

      Try using it with the HDMI first, if it’s slow with the HDMI, then it’s most likely not the bluetooth. But I think that the VNC is also to blame, with such a low spec computer running it, and using bluetooth will surely decrease frame rates.

  5. RobinJood says:

    Are we seriously going to do this? Everything that has been posted before as linux/router/micropc will just be ported to run on the Pi and then brought up as if its a whole new thing?

    The raspPi is a computer.. so yeah all those thousands of projects we’ve seen before will also run on it. NOTHING NEW HERE

    I love the fact that the raspberry pi is so powerful for the cost but hardly any of us can actually get hold of them and they’re just a computer at the end of the day, a really small one sure.

    • JohnBailey says:


      Deal with it, or I’ll make a binary clock with a pi, and publish that all over the internet. And I’ll use way too many expensive sub optimal components, and do it on a breadboard.

    • Reggie says:

      Ahahahahaha. There are somewhere in the order of 100,000 raspberry pi boards in the hands of end-users, you were probably still in bed or too busy whining about arduino posts to make an order at the right time.

  6. Reggie says:

    I wonder if they thought about using g_ether and have it as a tethered version?

  7. Reggie says:

    So which bit don’t you understand as a hack? He had to get linux on the parrot frame, that’s a hack not quite good enough for you? Of course though, you’ve offered up some insightful alternatives that we could all be looking at, I can’t wait to go and look at them, oh wait….

    • Chris Bryden says:

      To be fair, it was the very clever work of others that hacked linux onto the Parrot – see the link in the OP, all I did was pair it up with the Pi. I just thought the concept, and a bit of a how-to might be a useful time saver for others…

  8. txwikinger says:

    Reblogged this on txwikinger's blog.

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