Get GitHub Tickets IRL With A Raspberry Pi And A Receipt Printer

Thermal receipt printers are finding their way into all sorts of projects that are well beyond the point-of-sale environment that they normally inhabit. And while we applaud all the creative and artistic uses hackers have found for these little gems, this GitHub physical ticket printer has to be the best use for one yet.

According to [Andrew Schmelyun], seeing a fast-food order pop up on a thermal printer was the inspiration for this build. Maintaining over one hundred GitHub repos as he does, it’s easy for the details of any one bug report or feature request to get lost in the swarm of sticky notes that [Andrew] previously used to keep track of his work. To make it happen, he teamed an Epson thermal printer up to a Raspberry Pi Zero W and worked out the details of sending data to the printer using PHP. Luckily, there’s a library for that — the beauty of GitHub.

With the “Hello, World!” bit out of the way, [Andrew] turned his attention to connecting to GitHub. He set up some webhooks on the GitHub side to send a POST request every time an issue is reported on one of his repos. The POSTs are sent via ngrok to a PHP web server running on the Pi, which formats the data and sends the text to the printer. There’s a short video in the tweet below.

Between the sound of the printer working and the actual dead-tree ticket, it’ll be hard for [Andrew] to miss issues now. We’ve seen thermal printers stuffed into cameras, used to send pictures to Grannie, and even watched them commit suicide slowly, but we say hats off to [Andrew] for his solid work ethic and a fun new way to put a receipt printer to use.

15 thoughts on “Get GitHub Tickets IRL With A Raspberry Pi And A Receipt Printer

        1. I only know the blue one, a lot of supermarkets here switched to it a while ago. That’s the only reason why I even know “better” thermal paper exists.

    1. Besides handling receipts printed on thermal paper containing the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A will cause your body and hormone system harm. It is reprotoxic. Don’t count on the “new” paper containing Bisphenol “S”. That was just a scam to swap to a not-yet forbidden hazardous substance.

      Thermal paper makes you sick! There is NO doubt about it.

        “Replacing a hazardous substance with one that is also suspected to be hazardous is not what regulators or EU citizens want to see.”

        The irony was not lost on the ECHA chemists. Really makes you think about the industry and their ethics, willingfully making people sick. Think about people working as checkout clerks. They touch this paper from 9to5 and every product they hand you back.

        1. That would make me scream in joy! Though some businesses still use these, pre-printed with their logo and form on endless feed paper. Old car dealerships and repair shops mostly for their invoices.

      1. Trees are renewable energy. I don’t see a problem here. A bit of worry about nothing :) . The way things are going with the environmental crazies, it will about time to fire up the wood burning stove for affordable heating too.

    2. This hack is awesome.

      I was wondering why I quit reading HaD for the longest time. Now I remember. A roll or two of receipt paper not printed isn’t going to save the world any more than plastic straw bans served in plastic cups with plastic lids– especially when they are made from “Murdered Trees” too.

  1. I was happy to see this project, and I just managed to get hold of an RPi Zero 2 W so I could make my own (I’ve had a USB thermal printer kicking around for ages).

    However, I have instead ordered an Ethernet USB print server for this. I’m not happy installing headless Pis that might get shut down without the proper procedure. With a print server (cost about the same as the Pi) it won’t matter about turning it off, and all the smarts can be further up the pipeline on a Pi or PC or anything on my network.

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