Receipe for wallboards in your office (Raspberry + Jira)
16.04.2014 DevOps JIRA Raspberry PI

1. Use Jira software

There are a lot of task and Scrum Managment tools avalivable on the market. We tested in Macopedia a lot of them both open-source and commercial. After few months of research and testing few years ago we decided to use Jira due many reasons:

Installing Jira is very easy. You can also use Cloud hosted version. For small teams (less then 10 users) it is also very cheap, so You can try it.

If you want to test Jira go to this link

2. Install Jira Wallboards

Jira has got great official plugin created by Atlassian called: JIRA Wallboards. It is free and you can download it from Atllasian's Marketplace. This plugin turns your dashboard into great wallboard. Your wallboard can show data from one of available widgets also as a slide show:

  • GreenHopper Rapid Board
  • Task Board
  • Hour burndown charts
  • Statistical burndown charts
  • Cumulative flow diagrams
  • Project progress
  • Days left in current sprint
  • Build plan status
  • Code review blockers
  • Twitter

3. Buy Raspberry PI

Every wallboard screen needs device with Operating system and Network connection. We were looking for cheep solution and small one to supply TV screens with Linux operating systems. We found a lot of devices with Android (size of USB-drive), but we found something much more efficient.

Raspbery PI is a very small device with ARM processor (700 MHz), 512 MB of memory, HDMI, USB, Ethernet port and also slot for memory card.

You can buy Rasbberry PI with case and charger for about 50€ and it is so small that you can attach it in a back of TV screen or LCD monitor.

More information about Raspberry PI you can find on: http://www.raspberrypi.org/

4. Install Raspbian

Next thing you need to do it is to install operating system on Raspberry PI. There are a lot of install ready packages. We decided to use Raspbian, because it is based on Debian, and we love this operating system and also there is cool GUI.

The easiest way to install Raspbian on your Raspberry device is to download official image of operating system from: http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/. Next thing you need to do it is to copy it to SD card. On Raspberry PI page you can find nice documenation: 

After putting SD card inside your Raspberry PI you are ready to go!

5. Optimize Raspbian and Configure Jira Wallboard

In Jira the best way to run the Wallboards is to create special user for this purpose. For this user you can create a lot of dashboards (one for each Wallboard screen). Now you need to put Wallboard Widgets on a dashboard. If you put more then one you can use slideshow feature to have multiple Wallboards on your TV screen. To find correct links for your Wallboard you use Tools menu and then you have 2 options: 

  • View as a Wallboard
  • View Wallboard Slideshow

Problem with Jira Wallboards and autostart feature is user authorization. We bypassed it by putting login credintials and return URL into link.

{http://your-jira-url.com}/login.jsp?os_username={wallboard-user}&os_password={wallboard-password}&os_destination=plugins/servlet/Wallboard/?dashboardId={dashboard-id}

Next thing you need to do it is to transform your Rasbian into kiosk operating systems. We need to optimize OS and also to autostart Web page with Jira Wallboard.

We need to install chromium browser

sudo aptitude install chromium

Then we need to create correct autostart script by putting only these lines in file: /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart

@xset -dpms
@xset s noblank
@chromium --kiosk --disable-translate --incognito {http://your-jira-url.com}/login.jsp?os_username={wallboard-user}&os_password={wallboard-password}&os_destination=plugins/servlet/Wallboard/?dashboardId={dashboard-id}

Then we need to reboot your Raspberry PI and that's all!

6. Wallboard startup