Homescreen Skill

The new Homescreen Skill is now available in the Marketplace and it will soon be the default Homescreen for all Mark II’s. If you want to try it out right now, you can install it with a simple “Hey Mycroft, install homescreen”. Then select the new Homescreen from the pull down menu > Additional Settings > Homescreen.

I don’t get it, there’s already a homescreen on my Mark II…

Well yes and no. Currently the homescreen on the Mark II is provided by the Date Time Skill since at the moment it shows… the time and date. But there’s so much untapped potential when you have a touch screen sitting on your bench top. So we’ve split it out into it’s own dedicated Skill.

The first feature you’ll want to try is the ability to change your Mark II’s wallpaper. Currently we have a small selection of beautiful images that you can rotate through and we’d love to extend this collection so that every Mark II can look amazing and distinctive.

Post your favourite wallpapers that you think will look great on the Mark II display and it might get added to the official Skill. Please include relevant copyright information or we won’t be able to include it.

We’ll also be adding the ability to set your own custom images very soon. Here’s what my Mark II looks like at the moment:

What else is different
We’re adding the current weather at the top of your screen to give a quick view of the general conditions and temperature at a glance. This is another great example of using the new Skill API because the Homescreen Skill shouldn’t need to concern itself with a weather API when the Weather Skill already does that. It can just query the information from another Skill and make use of it.

The time is also much bolder to make it easier to see from across the room. This is what’s available right now, however more importantly the Homescreen Skill creates a foundation for extra features coming down the road.

The possibilities are pretty endless so we’d love to hear from you!

  1. What information would you like to see displayed on your Mark II Homescreen?
  2. What features would you like quick access to using the touch screen?

I want to build a fully custom Homescreen

If you’re looking to create a completely custom desktop - this new Homescreen Skill doesn’t change anything under the hood. Any Skill can create and register their own homescreens, and you can have multiple on the system at once, selectable by the user. Take a look at this Personalized Homescreen example Skill if you’re interested to create your own.


I installed mycroft-core on a Raspberry pi 4B via the Linux method. I am wondering, if I add a screen, how do I start the home screen via a terminal command instead of seeing my raspbian home screen? Or does this skill not work if I am using the gui version of raspbian?

Also, is home screen the same thing as the Mycroft GUI? I’ve been browsing too many articles lol.

Hi Tengh, welcome to the Forums :slight_smile:

The Homescreen is one Mycroft Skill that has a GUI and it’s what is shown by default on the Mark II when nothing else is happening.

Mycroft-gui is the Qt display framework - it sits behind the scenes and is what translates the code in Skills like the Homescreen to actually display things on the screen.

We haven’t been doing any work to bring the GUI to Picroft just yet as we’re focused on getting the Mark II out to everyone as soon as possible. If you want to try get it running on the Pi, you can install it using the same steps as for mycroft-core but using this repository:

Hi @tengh ,

I used a RPI4 and I added a screen and the AIY voice kit from Google. Then I installed the Mark II Image and change the “enclosure.platform” to “picroft”. After that, I have the screen perfectly working.

I hope this helps!!

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Awesome! Did you use picroft as the OS? I’ve been using raspberry pi OS with mine. Maybe that’s my issue.

I didn’t manage to make it work with the picroft image. What I did was to use the mark II image and changed the enclosure configuration parameter from the default one, to “picroft”.

There are a couple of things not working 100% well (I had to tweak a bit with the volume skill, for instance), but overall, it works well.

Now, I need to design and 3D print an enclosure :slight_smile:

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@gez-mycroft is the invitation to submit homescreen backgrounds still open? If so, did you mean “post” here in the forum? Or file an Issue in github? Also, could you give us some specs on the display dimensions and also acceptable image and file format?

Just at a glance, it seems like the included images are not the same dimensions as the devkit display (based on a peek at the skill’s github page).

Also: it seems that Homescreen skill only supports JPEG, or at least does not support PNG, is that accurate? That should be documented somewhere, and probably noted in the skill config panel and/or Mycroft should give more specific feedback to that effect, if a wallpaper error is encountered. I’ve just filed a GitHub issue on that latter matter ( Homescreen wallpaper filetype support expansion and/or more graceful error detail · Issue #17 · MycroftAI/skill-homescreen · GitHub ).