Keeps Growing!
Dealing with the hardware

- A Foreword Some Things to Remember -

LCDs are rather sensitive little beasties. They are particularly sensitive to being connected backward to power supplies, being stepped on, and other assorted seemingly-obvious things. I mention them because, well, I've either done them or seen them happen. Letting out the magic smoke because you've plugged the power cable in backwards truly sucks, so I feel it's worth a mention.

Each display is different; make absolutely certain what every connection is and what (if anything) goes to it before you begin the installation process.

- Available drivers and supported displays -

The following table is sorted by driver name. No preference implied.

Legend: Type: T=Text, G=Graphical, G(T)=Graphical, text-mode used.


  • broken = Doesn't work, but has been fixed in CVS.
  • fully supported = This means that we have displays to test with and datasheets with full protocol description. It does NOT mean that every feature of the display is supported.
  • tested = Reported to work
Driver Supported devices Type Connection Status
(as of 0.5.6)
bayrad BayRAD LCD modules by EMAC, Inc T serial
CFontz CFA-632 and CFA-634 series by Crystalfontz, Inc. T serial/USB Fully supported
CFontzPacket CFA-533, CFA-631, CFA-633 and CFA-635 by Crystalfontz, Inc. T serial/USB Fully supported
curses Uses the curses library to draw on PC screen. T - tested
CwLnx CW12232, CW12832 and CW1602 by CwLinux G serial/USB
ea65 AOpen XC Cube-AV EA65 T serial
EyeboxOne Eyebox One server by Rightvision / Alcatel-Lucent T serial
g15 Logitech G15 keyboard. Requires g15daemon and g15tools. - -
glcdlib Bridge driver for graphlcd graphical display library - -
glcd Generic driver to support graphical displays. Support for LCDs is implemented in connection type (see below). G see below
-t6963 T6963 based displays in graphics mode.   parallel Fully supported
-serdisp Meta-driver using the serdisplib library. See their web page for a list of supported displays.   - Tested
-lcdp2usb Till Harbaum's GLCD2UDB device.   USB Fully supported
-png Writes frames to PNG images. Most usefull for testing.   - Fully supported
glk Matrix Orbital graphic displays using the GLK and GLC chipset. See User Guide for a list of supported models. G serial
hd44780 All displays using HD44780 and compatible controllers (like KS0066, KS0070, KS0076, LC7985, NT3881, SED1278, ST7066) T see below
-4bit HD44780 in 4bit mode   parallel Fully supported
-8bit HD44780 in 8bit mode with output   parallel tested
-winamp HD44780 in 8bit mode (winamp wiring) with output   parallel Fully supported
-serialLpt HD44780 using serial protocol   parallel tested
-picanlcd PIC-an-LCD serial device   serial
-lcdserializer LCD serializer   serial
-los-panel LCD on Serial panel device   serial
-vdr-lcd VDR LCD serial device   serial
-vdr-wakeup VDR-Wakeup module   serial
-pertelian Pertelian X2040 LCD display   serial
-lis2 VLSystem LIS2 device   USB
-mplay VLSystem MPlay Blast device   USB
-usblcd USBLCD device by Adams IT Service   USB
-bwctusb Controller board by BWCT   USB
-usb4all The PIC-based USB4all controller.   USB
-lcd2usb Atmel-based lcd2usb controller board (and compatible) by Till Harbaum.   USB Fully supported
-usbtiny Atmel-based USBtiny controller board   USB tested
-uss720 USS-720 USB-to-IEEE 1284 Bridge   USB
-ftdi HD44780 connected to FTDI FT2232 or FT245 chips   USB tested
-i2c HD44780 connected to I2C bus (Linux only)   I2C tested
-ethlcd HD44780 connected to ethlcd device   LAN (tested)
i2500vfd Intra2net Intranator 2500 VFD G USB
icp_a106 ICP A106 alarm/LCD board T serial
imon Soundgraph iMON VFD, requires Linux kernel module. T -
imonlcd Soundgraph iMON LCD, requires Linux kernel module. G -
IOWarrior HD44780 displays connected to a Code Mercenaries IOWarrior chip. T USB
irman Input only: IrMan IR remote control - -
irtrans IRTrans VFD (e.g. built-in Ahanix MCE303 case), requires IRTrans irserver package T -
joy Input only: Use joystick for input (Linux only) - DB15
lb216 Devices using the LB216 chipset from R.T.N. Australia T serial
lcdm001 LCDM001 device from kernel concepts T serial
lcterm LCTerm device from Neumark Elektronik T serial
lirc Input only: Use remote controls supported by LIRC as input. - -
lis VLSystem L.I.S MCE 2005 VFD T USB
MD8800 VFD in Medion MD8800 computers. T USB
mdm166a Futaba / Targa USB VFD, requires libhid G USB tested
ms6931 MSI-6931 display in MS-9202, MS-9205 and MS-9211 by MSI. T serial
mtc_s16209x MTC_S16209x LCD display by Microtips Technology Inc T serial
MtxOrb Character LCD / VFD series by Matrix Orbital T serial tested
mx5000 Logitech MX5000 keyboards, requires mx5000tools. - -
NoritakeVFD Character VFDs by Noritake itron. T -
picolcd PicoLCD 4x20 and PicoLCD 20x2 (OEM) T USB
pyramid Devices built into Pyramid Computer servers. T USB Tested
sdeclcd SDEC LCD devices in Watchguard FireBox firewall appliances. T Parallel
sed1330 Any device using EPSON/SMOS SED1330 or SED1335 LCD controllers G(T) Parallel
sed1520 Any device using EPSON/SMOS SED1520 controllers G Parallel Fully supported
serialPOS POS character-displays using AEDEX emulation protocol T serial
serialVFD Several VFDs made by NEC, Futaba, Samsung, Noritake and IEE. See User Guide for a complete list. T serial/parallel
shuttleVFD VFDs in Shuttle XPC cases. T USB
sli SLI-OEM from Wirz Electronics T serial
stv5730 STV5730A on-screen display board by Adams IT Service T parallel
SureElec LCD controller boards by Sure Electronics T USB (tested)
svga Bridge driver to use libsvga to draw on PC screen. - -
t6963 Any device using T6963 chipset. G(T) parallel Fully supported
text Output screen content as text to console - - tested
tyan Tyan GS10 and GS12 series barebones T serial
ula200 ULA200 controller board by ELV T USB
vlsys_m428 VLSystem VFD/IR combination in the "Moneual MonCaso 320" case. T USB (tested)
xosd Bridge driver to use libxosd to draw on X screen. - -
- Connecting displays -

Each display has two basic needs: power supply, and data supply. Both serial and USB displays can be connected to a PC with standard cables; the only real trick is making an in-PC installation look good.

Whether you are mounting the display with a manufacturer's mounting kit or installing it in your system's case yourself, the display needs to be physically mounted where it will not come in contact with stray power cables or other sources of unwanted electricity.

Connecting the power supply is usually straightforward, typically involving a modified PC power cable for 5V or 12V internally mounted displays, or by building (or buying) an external power brick for displays that sit outside the box.

Connecting displays to the parallel port usually requires that you build your own cabling. For those we provide information which pins to connect in the LCDproc User's Guide, see the documentation.

- Displays Take your pick -
CrystalFontz   Matrix Orbital   Cwlinux   Pyramid LCD   BWCT USB converter   Code Mercenaries IOWarrior   Pertelian  
- CrystalFontz -

CrystalFontz displays require 5V power. A standard PC power cable can be easily modified to power the display. Refer to this PDF file for a load of details.

Many thanks to Brent Crosby for this information..

CrystalFontz is now having USB version of CF632/4 LCD and those are supported by LCDproc starting from version 0.4.4. Wayne Wylupski made the necessary modification in the driver for this and also created a Howto CrystalFontz USB to give you more information.

- Matrix Orbital -
Matrix Orbital

We nor Matrix Orbital shall be held responsible for anything you manage to do to your system whilst following these instructions. Installing the LCD is very simple, but it is also very trivial to violently blow something up if you don't pay attention during the installation.

So don't sue us -- we warned you, and stuff.

The LCD requires a 5V power supply and a DB9 connection. I'll leave it up to you to figure out how to get one of your serial ports connected to the display, but I'll help you out in the power department.

Buy, borrow, or steal a 3.5" floppy drive power cable. You will need this for powering your display off of your computers power supply. Below is a diagram of what the floppy drive connector should look like, there are two ways to do it according to what model of display you bought. The first is the 5-volt model limited to just +5v so the power supply from your computer works really great for this. The second is the wide voltage models which take +6v - +15v. Again the computer power supply is great for this, but you have to use the +12v wires because +5v will not work with these displays. Check out the below diagram for a visual reference.

Matrix Orbital power connector

Once you've gotten this connector assembled, connect it to the display so that the red wire feeds the clearly marked +5V pin and the black wire feeds the also clearly marked GND (ground) pin. Turn on machine. Smile as you see the display tell you what BIOS version it has. Assuming you also connected the serial cable, you can now run LCDproc (see the README) on it.

- Cwlinux from a linux embedded company -
Cwlinux Hey, does this thing look good or what !
Cwlinux produces this module.
- Pyramid LCD Used in appliance-systems built by Pyramid -

This display is used in appliance-systems built by Pyramid. Get more information about this LCD.

The LCD is 2x16 chars, includes a 4-key keypad and 3 or 9 LEDs: a power LED, one for HDD activity, the others (1 or 7) are controllable by software. It is connected to the system via USB (cable included) and can be built into the front of a case or mounted in 5.25" bays.

- BWCT USB converters small and slim converters -
Bernd Walter Computer Technology sells converters from USB to HD44780-type LCD displays. The converters, which are really tiny and allow the display contrast to be controlled by software, are sold with LCD displays and without in case you want to use your own display.
- Code Mercenaries IOWarrior LCDs and more on USB -
Code Mercenaries build a series of universal USB converter chips named IOWarrior. Besides being able to drive HD44780 compatible displays the chips in the IOWarrior family offer various other functions such as controlling a matrix of up to 8x32 LEDs, an interface to the I2C bus, a decoder for RC5 infrared signals ...
In order to get you started quickly they also offer starter kits with all necessary parts included for initial testing.
- Pertelian USB LCDs -
ForeSight Systems produces the Pertelian LCD, a fully-enclosed USB connected display that can be driven by the Pertelian software or hooked up to LCDproc without the need of any modifications.
Created with PHP3
Copyright © 1998-2010 William W. Ferrell, Selene Scriven and many other contributors.