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Dear Internet,

I write to you on the chance you might find useful this modest piece of software, which I with all due seriousness named netfb.

netfb is a network service which listens on port 11235 for image data. Images it receives are appropriately converted and resized, composed against a matte of your choice (by default a respectable black), and rendered to an attached framebuffer device.

It was my pleasure to assemble these bytes with thrift and economy. They require only fbset, ImageMagick, and standard Unix utilities like bash and Perl. Once you have arranged with your package manager for these to be available, you may install netfb itself by issuing the following from a clone of the git repository:

make install
sudo gpasswd -a $(id -un) video

This will install a program into your personal bin directory, a systemd service in your personal services directory, and add you to the video group for access to the framebuffer. Provided all goes well, netfb will afterwards be ready and waiting on port 11235, which you may oblige by issuing:

nc localhost 11235 < image.jpg

Note well that you will need to issue these from a real terminal outside of a graphical session (Shift-Alt-F1 on Linux), otherwise netfb will not be able to meaningfully engage the framebuffer.

A word of warning: take care to only allow your closest friends and family to talk to netfb, as it is but a simple service and bound to be gullible and easily tricked into disreputable deeds.

I myself have plans to put netfb to use on a tiny computer attached to a respectable display for the purposes of displaying photos from other computers which are less tiny. I hope you will find your own uses for this modest contribution of mine.

Yours truly,

P.S. I expect you may, quite justifiably, scoff at the notion that anything requiring ImageMagick be described as minimal. This is a fair assessment for which my only defense is that I wanted you, dear Internet, to need not care about converting between image formats yourself.


Framebuffer as a network service



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