Software Installation

Download and install the free Lightwing SDK (Sign Development Kit) for Windows to get started creating awesome digital signs, video walls or touch-kiosks. This SDK is a collection of open-source tools for creating, testing, debugging and deploying custom sign content. These tools have been picked to complement the best sign authoring platform in the industry. Your project will play on Windows with either a landscape or portrait display orientation, with or without touch-screen capabilities. The Windows version of Lightwing is fully functional except that still images are substituted in place of videos. When your project is ready to deploy, copy your content files to any number of players, over a local network or the web, using the WinSCP tool in this SDK.

Installation Requirements

Windows 7, 8 or 10 (32 or 64 bit) is required with at least 1 GB of hard disk space available to install the Lightwing SDK. OpenGL version 4.0 or better is also required. Most desktop and laptop computers today have an Intel HD3000-HD6000 series GPU in the processor. These work fine provided that Intel’s latest OpenGL drivers are installed. Modern Nvidia and AMD GPUs will work also. If you are unsure about your computer’s OpenGL capabilities, please download, install and run the free glView tool before trying to use Lightwing. It reports a lot of information about your computer, including the version of OpenGL that you have.


The Lightwing SDK installer installs all the required software components for Lightwing content development on Windows as well as several open-source tools that are recommended. The optional tools have their own installers which are launched, if selected. These are open-source tools available from the web and are placed in the Lightwing tools folder for convenience. The PuTTY and WinSCP communications tools are only needed when you are ready to deploy content to Lightwing players.

Contents of the Lightwing SDK

Required Components                                                        Install Locations

Lightwing App                                                                         C:\Program Files (x86)\Lightwing
PVRGeoPOD Animation Object Exporter for Blender      C:\Program Files (x86)\Lightwing\Tools\PVRGeoPOD
PVRTexTool Image and Font Converter Tool                     C:\Program Files (x86)\Lightwing\Tools\PVRTexTool
Example CSV Data from Microsoft Excel                            C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Lightwing\data
4 Complete Demonstration Signs                                        C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Lightwing\demos
100 Image, Video and Font Effects                                       C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Lightwing\effects
35 Typefaces (700 Fonts)                                                        C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Lightwing\fonts
100 Example Images                                                               C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Lightwing\images
16 Animation Objects with Blender Files                             C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Lightwing\objects
40 Test and Tutorial Scripts                                                   C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Lightwing\scripts

Optional Tools

Desktop Shortcuts                                                                  C:\Users\<User>\Desktop
NotePad++ Text Editor                                                           C:\Program Files (x86)\Lightwing\Tools\NotePadPlusPlus
WinFF Video Converter                                                          C:\Program Files (x86)\Lightwing\Tools\WinFF
WinSCP Secure File Transfer                                                 C:\Program Files (x86)\Lightwing\Tools\OpenSSH
PuTTY Communications                                                         C:\Program Files (x86)\Lightwing\Tools\OpenSSH

The Lightwing SDK also includes some components of the PowerVR SDK from Imagination Technologies Limited.

Other Recommended Downloads

Content Authoring Tools

GIMP Image Editor for Windows
Blender 3D Editor for Windows


Font Squirrel Font Collection
Phases Design Studio Font Collections

Video Loops

Partners in Rhyme Video Loop Catalog
FreeLoops Video Loop Catalog
DownLoops Video Loop Catalog 
Video Blocks Video Loop Catalog

NotePad++ Installation

A text editor is required to edit Lightwing scripts on Windows. Any editor can be used provided it offers line numbering and does not insert odd control characters. If you do not already have a good editor, NotePad++ is recommended. It’s as easy to use as the original NotePad that comes with Windows, but offers a much more complete set of features. The installer for NotePad++ is included in the Lightwing SDK installation. If it’s not already installed, run the installer:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Lightwing\Tools\NotePadPlusPlus\NPP_Installer.exe

PuTTY Installation

PuTTY is a communications tool that is used to open command shells for Lightwing player hardware. Command shells are required to configure Lightwing players and manually launch tests and demos. PuTTY supports connections over a RS-232 or USB serial debug cable and secure connections over a local network or over the web using RSA keys. PuTTY also includes the PuTTYgen and Pageant tools to create and manage RSA keys. The installer for PuTTY is included in the Lightwing SDK installation. If it’s not already installed, run the installer:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Lightwing\Tools\OpenSSH\PuTTY-Installer.exe

    When PuTTY is launched, select either a serial connection or an SSH connection. Serial connections require a COM port number and a baud rate setting. For Lightwing, the baud rate is always 115200 and the COM port is usually COM3, but can vary depending upon how many serial devices are attached to your computer.

Putty is included with the Lightwing SDK

PuTTY Configured for a Serial Lightwing Command Shell

If your PC has a spare RS-232 COM port, it can be connected to a Lightwing player with a null-modem cable. But, most PCs today require an RS-232 to USB adapter cable to use a USB port, instead. The StarTech USB to null-modem RS-232 DB9 serial adapter cable (with integrated FTDI UART) is recommended for this. The first time this cable is attached, Windows will install the appropriate FTDI driver for it automatically. Windows will need to reboot. Then, launch PuTTY and setup the serial connection as described above.

Serial Command Shell

A command shell is used to make most configuration changes to Lightwing players, or to run tests and demos on players manually. A serial command shell is easy to establish and versatile, but it requires a serial cable connection between your PC and the  player. This is required if any configuration changes are needed at the U-boot level or to debug Linux booting problems (because OpenSSH is not available until Linux is booted) or if you are ever locked-out of a player because of a security key problem. Most users may never need to access U-boot. The most common reason would be to set a static IP address for a Lightwing player. However, files can not be transferred to Lightwing over serial connections, so an SSH connection is still required to transfer content using WinSCP.

SSH Command Shell

SSH command shells have most of the same capabilities of serial command shells, but SSH connections are encrypted and secure. They can be used over a local network or the public internet to configure a Lightwing player and to transfer files. This requires an Ethernet or Wifi connection, the IP address of the player you wish to connect with and the player must be powered and booted. Lightwing displays its assigned IP Address on its attached HDMI display whenever it is rebooted, provided that it’s connected to a network with a DHCP server or a static IP address has been configured. Most internet routers have a DHCP server built-in.

SSH command shells also have the advantage that larger console windows are supported than with serial command shells. This is particularly helpful when entering long file paths or editing files. The main limitation of SSH command shells is that they are only available when the Lightwing player is running. Therefore, SSH shells can not be used to debug Linux boot problems or to perform configuration changes that must be done at the U-boot level, such as configuring a static IP address for the player.

Putty is included with the Lightwing SDK

PuTTY Configured for a Secure Lightwing Command Shell

WinSCP Installation

WinSCP is a secure file transfer tool that is recommended for pushing content files to Lightwing players over a local network or over the internet using an OpenSSH connection. The installer for WinSCP is included in the Lightwing SDK installation. If it’s not already installed, run the installer:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Lightwing\Tools\OpenSSH\WinSCP-Installer.exe

    The first time WinSCP is launched, create a New Site connection and configure the Host name with the IP address of your Lightwing player. Lightwing displays its assigned IP address on its attached HDMI display whenever it is rebooted. The File protocol should be set to SCP. The Port number should be 22 and the User name should be root. There is no default password, so leave that blank.


WinSCP Configured for Secure File Transfer with a Lightwing Player

When WinSCP finds your Lightwing player on the network, it will display a warning message that says “Continue connecting to an unknown server and add its host key to a cache?”. This means WinSCP found something at the specified IP address, but it’s not sure what it is. WinSCP displays this warning any time you connect to a new player because its RSA security key has not been seen before. Clicking the Yes button will add the player’s key to a local cache so that you won’t get this warning again for this particular player.

If WinSCP fails to authenticate, it’s likely because there is a problem with the configuration of the OpenSSH server on the player. This requires connecting to the player with a serial command shell instead. Then, edit this file to resolve the problem:

nano  /etc/ssh/sshd_config

    When WinSCP does authenticate, a large window will appear with two panels. The left panel shows your local disk and the right panel shows the file system on your Lightwing player. Click on the file paths to change them to the proper folders for your Lightwing content.

WinSCP is included with the Lightwing SDK

WinSCP Session to Transfer Files Securely to a Lightwing Player

File System Locations and Paths in WinSCP

WinSCP Panels                                            Default Paths    

Left - Local Disk                                            C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Lightwing
Right - Remote (Lightwing player)            /home/root/lightwing

Updated content files can be copied either directly into the appropriate corresponding folders on the player’s file system or into the updates folder. Lightwing must restart to begin using the updated content files. Lightwing periodically checks the updates folder for new files. When they are found, they are automatically moved to the appropriate folders based on file types. Zip files are unzipped at the Lightwing home folder. Lightwing then restarts automatically to display the new content. The periodic time interval for updates is defined in the Lightwing configuration file.



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