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A rapid package development tool for info-beamer hosted

Learn more about this feature on

The dev-mode tool allows you to rapidly develop new packages. It works by syncing local changes directly to an info-beamer hosted device of your choice. That way you avoid the slower git pull approach and instantly see the effect of changes you make.

You can rapidly build new packages or tweak existing packages that way: Just edit their node.lua file or assets and they get instantly synced to the device.

Installation on Linux

You'll have to install the python3-watchdog and python3-pathspec packages. On Ubuntu/Debian they should be available out-of-the-box:

apt install python3-watchdog python3-pathspec

Installation on MacOS

If installing on Mac OSX please be sure to use python3 and install the python watchdog module. pip install watchdog should be enough. Also if you have problems, use a virtual env with python3 to run dev-mode or specify the full path to the interpreter on the command line /usr/local/bin/python3 dev-mode.

Installation on Windows

You need to install Python3 from When installing, be sure to select the option to include python/pip in your %PATH%. After that, start cmd.exe as Administrator (enter cmd.exe in the start menu, right click on "Command Prompt" and select "Run as administrator") and run pip install watchdog. This will install the watchdog module used to monitor file changes.

Setting up your development machine

Fetch the dev-mode Python tool from this repository. It should work with python2 or python3 out of the box if you followed the instruction for your operating system above.

If you have any kind of firewall active you must allow incoming connections to TCP port 3333 to your development box. This is especially true on Windows where the firewall blocks incoming connections by default. When the firewall dialog opens, be sure to allow Python3.

Preparing your info-beamer device

The first thing you'll have to do is enable the rapid development mode on your info-beamer device. For that, place an empty file /config/dev-mode on the SD card of your device and restart it. The device is now ready.

WARNING: Never enable developer mode in an untrusted network or for production devices: developer mode allows unauthenticated access to your device and anyone with network access to the device can upload any content to it. This might result in a complete device takeover.

Syncing your first package

If you're working on an info-beamer package you should have all files for that package in or below a single directory. Run your dev-mode tool like this:

$ dev-mode /path/to/package

where must be replace by the IP of the device you prepared in the above step. On OSX or Windows you might have to explicitly run the tool using Python3 like this instead:

c:\> python3 /path/to/dev-mode /path/to/package

dev-mode will contact your info-beamer device and instruct it to fetch the package files from your dev machine, just like it usually fetches them from the info-beamer hosted file storage servers.

If you don't have a package ready, you can use the included minimal example in example/. Start dev-mode like this:

$ dev-mode <device-ip> example/

Then open the node.lua file in another terminal, edit the gl.clear values and save the file. Your changes should be visible immediately on the device.

The syncing process on the device directly fetches the files and doesn't do any of the syntax or semantic checks that info-beamer hosted usually enforces when importing or updating packages on So the development is less strict and it makes sense to push your code to once you've completed a task using the rapid development mode.

Usually packages you develop don't include a config.json file. When using the dev-mode tool, you'll have to write your own file. You might even include it in the package source code itself (unless it contains any secrets of course), as config.json files are ignored by the import process.

It is always recommended to ssh into your device to read the info-beamer log output. Have a look at the documentation to learn how to do that.


Why is "dev-mode" blinking on my device?

This is there to remind you that your device is configured for developer mode and to prevent the device from accidentally used in production.

How can I create a config.json similar to the real one generated by info-beamer?

Have a look at the package reference. All option types and their expected config.json output are documented. If you don't want to generate a config.json from scratch, the easiest way to get one is to push your package to, install it on your device and then take a look at the generated config.json file.

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