Software setup

Set locales

Since the config-file contains layouts for multiple languages, assure to have a utf-8 compatible locale:

echo $LANG

should return something, containing utf-8 at the end. E.g.:


If not, check this website, to adjust it:

3rd party dependencies (packages)

To install 3rd party dependencies (packages) enter in a terminal/commandline:

sudo apt-get install python-pip python-scipy scons git swig ttf-freefont

3rd party dependencies (python packages)

Required python dependencies:

  • astral (to get moon/sun information)
  • feedparser (to get access to latest feeds)
  • scipy
  • netifaces (to get the ip of the pi)
  • pil
  • svgwrite (to plot stencil/wiring layouts)

To install use:

sudo pip install pytz astral feedparser pillow svgwrite freetype-py netifaces

(Optional) dependencies to readout temperature sensor

To read out an temperature sensor (AM2302), which can additionally be connected to the raspberry via GPIOs, install the according dependencies:

These dependencies are


sudo pip install am2302_rpi

3rd party dependencies (git repositories)

Install 3rd-party dependencies (compiled on your own).

Install rpi_ws281x to your home-directory (to access leds):

cd ~
git clone
cd rpi_ws281x
sudo scons
cd ~/rpi_ws281x/python
sudo python install


Since this library is continiously updated: A version, which is tested to work with the wordclock is commit 2f9e03c45:

Install fontdemo to your home-directory (to render strings):

cd ~
git clone

This installs to ~/5488053.

Install pywapi:

cd ~
tar -zxf pywapi-0.3.8.tar.gz
rm pywapi-0.3.8.tar.gz
cd pywapi-0.3.8
sudo python build
sudo python install

Further details:

The wordclock software

Download software

Clone the wordclock software to the directory ~/rpi_wordclock (to run the actual wordclock):

cd ~
git clone

Link the previously installed file to ~/rpi_wordclock using a softlink:

ln -s ~/5488053/ ~/rpi_wordclock/

Adopt software

To adjust the wordclock to your own settings, create and edit the file ~/rpi_wordclock/wordclock_config/wordclock_config.cfg

To start over, you might just copy the file ~/rpi_wordclock/wordclock_config/wordclock_config.example.cfg and adopt this file.

Note: Each plugin of the wordclock project has its own section in the config-file (create it, if needed, but not existant)


If your wordclock has a stencil layout or display resolution, which is not supported yet, you might need to adopt the software by providing your own wiring-class (to the file wordclock_tools/

Run software

To run the wordclock software (with adapted wiring and config-file) do:

cd ~/rpi_wordclock
sudo python

In case, the whole thing is not working as expected: Maybe the section trouble-shooting might help...

Make software run on every startup

Add the python-script to crontab by calling the command:

sudo crontab -e

Add here:

@reboot sudo python /home/pi/rpi_wordclock/