Linux-Based Digital Signage Solutions: Pros & Cons

Many digital signs are based on Android, with the rest being Apple iOS or Microsoft Windows based. It is easy to see why these tech infrastructures are used so widely with digital signs, but what about Linux? These days, Linux is used more on server systems than on digital signs, but this may be a mistake. Linux still has a place in the world of digital signs.

Pro – A Truly Flexible and Free Piece of Software

People “Unlock” or “Root” their Android phones because they want full control of their devices. Perhaps they want to run a Windows program on their Android phone and the only way they can do it is to unlock their phone and add the relevant software.

This unlocking/rooting process happens because the operating system is built and locked by the manufacturer. Windows, iOS and Android are all locked by manufacturers, but Linux isn’t. Linux is a free software solution that is completely open, which makes it far more flexible and customizable than any of its locked competitors.


Con – Linux Digital Signs Have Less Online Support

You are going to find plenty of people online talking about Linux server solutions. You will find tutorials and long FAQ sections on websites. However, you will not find the same sort of information about Linux with digital signs. You will also find fewer (digital sign related) programs that are explicitly built for Linux.

You do not have to sail your ship alone when you use Linux with your digital signs; there are specialist websites and programs out there, but there are far fewer than with Android, iOS and windows. Luckily, now that digital signs are becoming more popular, we are seeing services like Kitcast offer a Linux option too.


Pro – A Little More Secure

Honestly, if you were to look at the rates of infection, if you were to look at the number of Linux digital sign viruses, there are far fewer than with the other operating systems. Even the malware that attacks Linux is pretty useless when it comes to digital signs. Linux is super stable, but then so are the others these days, but the risk of virus or malware infection is far less than with the other operating systems.

Also, if you have the coders and programmers available, you can really lock your systems up tight. They are still hackable, but hackers will have to pay special attention to your signs rather than setting their hack-bots on your systems like they do with the other operating systems.


Con – You Need More Technical Skill

Some may argue that this is not true. It is like sitting at the controls of a mechanical digger. You can figure out how to activate the bucket and arm, but you haven’t learned what all the other levers and knobs do. The same is mostly true for Linux. You can get by based on what you learn on YouTube and Rumble tutorials.

Yet, if you don’t have the technical skills required to get the most out of Linux’s open source software, then there is no point in using it at all. If you don’t have the technical skill, you may as well use Windows, Apple or Android. If you cannot pilot the highly complicated commercial aircraft, then get back into your glider.


Pros – Remote Maintenance is Far Easier

You have root access to your digital signs when you use Linux, so you can engineer a situation where remote maintenance is very easy. Even on the surface of the matter, you don’t need to have permission beforehand in order to do things like install new software.

Being able to reboot without being asked for user approval is a time saver on its own, not to mention the many other streamlining benefits that Linux offers. In reality, it is a darn good choice for your digital signs.