Running Heimdall Dashboard on the Raspberry Pi?

Heimdall Dashboard is an elegant solution to organize all your web applications and services in one easy-to-use interface for the Raspberry Pi. With Heimdall, you can access everything on your Pi through a single access point, rather than having to remember multiple IP addresses and ports.

Running Heimdall Dashboard on the Raspberry Pi?

Benefits of Using Heimdall Dashboard

Installing and running Heimdall Dashboard on your Raspberry Pi offers several key benefits:

Consolidated Access

  • Heimdall brings all your apps together into a single dashboard with icons and names
  • No more memorizing IP addresses or ports for each app or service
  • Quick access anytime to everything running on your Pi


  • Add any application with custom icons and preferred names
  • Re-arrange apps to suit your needs
  • Works great as a central launchpad for your smart home or media center

Optimized Performance

  • Lightweight interface avoids hogging resources
  • Streamlined design makes accessing apps fast and smooth
  • Enhances your Pi experience without slowing things down

Enhanced Security

  • Access apps safely within your home network
  • No need to expose services externally to access them

Easy Installation

  • Simple automated script installs everything you need
  • Great support community if you need help
  • Gets you running in just a few quick steps

By installing Heimdall Dashboard, you can save time while centralizing access and enhancing security. Next, let’s look at how to get Heimdall running on your Pi.

Hardware and Software Requirements

Heimdall has minimal requirements, making it great for lower powered devices like the Pi. Here is what you need:


  • Raspberry Pi – any model from Pi 1 onward
  • MicroSD Card with Raspbian OS
  • Network connection


  • Raspbian Jessie or later
  • Maru Asset Tracker [OPTIONAL – allows locating Pis on network]

That’s it! Now let’s install the required software.

Installation and Setup of Heimdall

The quickest way to install Heimdall is using the one-line automated install script. Follow these steps:

  1. SSH into your Pi if headless or connect keyboard/mouse
  2. Copy and paste the install command below:

curl -s | bash

  1. When done, access Heimdall at http://your_pi_ip:80/heimdall

The entire process takes just a minute or two to fully complete.

Below we explain what’s happening during the install process. Feel free to skip ahead if you used the install script.

Detailed Manual Install

If desired, you can install Heimdall manually without using the automated script:

  1. Update apt repositories

    sudo apt update

  2. Install Nginx, PHP, and dependencies:

    sudo apt install nginx php7.3-fpm php7.3-cli php7.3-common php7.3-curl php7.3-gd php7.3-json php7.3-mbstring php7.3-xml php7.3-zip

  3. Verify Nginx successfully installed:

    systemctl status nginx

  4. Clone latest Heimdall repository:

    git clone

  5. Configure Nginx

    sudo mkdir -p /var/www/heimdall

    sudo rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

    sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/default

  6. Paste the following, save and exit:

server {

listen 80 default_server;

listen [::]:80 default_server;

root /var/www/heimdall;

index index.html index.htm index.nginx-debian.html;

server_name _;

location / {

try_files $uri $uri/ =404;

Link Nginx configuration:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/default /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

Restart Nginx:

systemctl restart nginx

The base software is now installed. Next we’ll cover initial configuration.

Complete Heimdall Setup

To complete setup:

  1. In web browser go to http://your_pi_ip/heimdall

  2. Login using:

    • Username: admin
    • Password: admin
  3. Click Applications and you can now add or remove apps from your dashboard

And that’s it – you’re ready to start perfectly organizing your web apps and services in Heimdall!

Customizing and Optimizing Your Dashboard

One of the great features of Heimdall is the ability to customize it for your needs:

Adding and Removing Apps

  • Access the Applications section
  • Click + sign to add new application configurations
  • Enter Title, Icon, URL and Color details

Some ideas for apps to add:

  • Websites – Pi-hole, Home Assistant, Plex, Ombi, etc
  • System Apps – Terminal, Browsers, Editors, etc
  • Smart Home UIs – Home Assistant, Homebridge, openHAB, etc
  • Media Center Apps – Kodi, Plex, TVheadend, Spotify
  • Network Tools – Portainer, Pi VPN, DNS utils
  • And anything else running on your Pi!

To remove an app just click the trash can icon while editing or viewing an application.

Apps Options and Notes

A few things to note about adding applications:

  • You can pass username/password info in the URL field after the address. For example:

    http://user:[email protected]:8123

  • Enable Ignore SSL Errors if using self-signed certs on any apps.

  • Use the Notes field to store useful info about apps.

Changing Landing Page

By default, the first page shown is the installed dashboard view. You can change this to Apps page instead:

  1. Click username > Settings > Configuration Tab
  2. Change Landing Page to Applications

Now when you access Heimdall you’ll go directly to apps management!

Heimdall Themes & Style

To modify the visual style of your Heimdall install:

  1. Go to username > Settings > Style Editor Tab
  2. Choose from preset themes or modify CSS styles manually
  3. Click Save & Apply when done to see changes

There are tons of style options to make your dashboard unique!

Optimizing Heimdall System Resources

To ensure maximum performance:

  • Disable unused applications instead of removing them
  • Limit Heimdall tab refreshing to every 5+ minutes
    (username > Settings > Configuration Tab)
  • Close dashboard browser tab if not in active use
  • Use a lighter Pi OS like DietPi that utilizes less RAM

Heimdall itself uses very modest CPU and memory overall. Optimizing resource usage allows your Pi to dedicate more capacity to running all your apps!

Integrating Heimdall With Other Software

Heimdall has great integration potential to pull data and apps from other platforms:

PADD for Pi App Discovery

PADD is purpose built for the Pi – it allows discovering, installing and managing apps right within Heimdall.

To add PADD capability:

  1. Access Applications > Click + to add
  2. Enter these details:
    • Title: PADD
    • Icon:
    • URL: http://localhost:7652
    • Notes: App Store
  3. Save when done and now PADD will show in your dashboard!

Authelia for Single Sign On

If using Authelia for unified authentication on your self-hosted apps:

  1. Enable it as the logoutRedirect in Heimdall Configuration
  2. Set Authelia as the identity provider in Settings > Security

Then when logging into Authelia it will automatically log you into Heimdall!

HTTPS and SSL Certificates

To add HTTPS using Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate:

  1. Make sure your DNS has proper A record pointing to Pi IP
  2. Install Certbot on your Pi
  3. Obtain and install SSL certificate
  4. Redirect HTTP to HTTPS traffic

This will encrypt all communication between your device and Heimdall.

There are lots of possibilities with Heimdall to craft your ideal dashboard!

Maintaining and Backing Up Heimdall

Like any software, it’s smart to have proper backups and maintenance:

  • OS Updates – Periodically update the OS and Heimdall software:

    sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade -y

  • Dashboard Settings Backup – Configs are stored at /var/www/heimdall/config.php

    • Manually back this file up on a schedule in case you need to restore or migrate it.
  • Custom App Data Backup – Apps themselves may have independent data and configs to backup separately.

  • Heimdall Release Upgrades – When new versions arrive:

    • Backup your config
    • Pull latest Heimdall repo from GitHub
    • Restore config after updating codebase
    • Test that your dashboard works as expected!
  • Pi & SD Card Backups – Use your preferred method to backup your entire Pi OS install. Some options:

    • Flash SD image to a secondary card
    • Create system image backups to a share
    • Utilize cloud backup platform

Taking a few moments to establish backup processes gives peace of mind for any issues down the road!

Expanding Functionality with Heimdall Companion Apps

The main Heimdall Dashboard app can also be paired with companion apps that extend its capabilities:

File Browser

Adds ability to:

  • Browse files and folders on Pi
  • Upload/download files
  • Zip and extract archives
  • Play videos
  • Picture/text viewer
  • Touch interface capable

Easily access and manage your files without leaving Heimdall!

Android App

If you want mobile access, install the Heimdall Android App which includes:

  • All functionality of the web dashboard
  • Material design matched aesthetically
  • Offline caching so it loads instantly each time
  • Touch optimized interface

Control Heimdall anywhere with all your apps and files!

Troubleshooting Common Heimdall Issues

In rare cases you may run into an error during setup or use – here is how to resolve the most common problems:

  1. Blank Dashboard After Install

    • Fix Permissions:sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/heimdall
    • Restart PHP and Webserver
    • Refresh browser cache
  2. Dashboard Not Loading

    • Check Nginx config syntax for errors
    • Verify Phi PHP7.3-FPM is running
    • Reboot Pi
  3. Apps Not Opening

    • Ensure accurate URL info is entered
    • Check app is working outside Heimdall
    • Toggle Ignore SSL Errors if using HTTPS without proper cert
  4. Changes Not Appearing

    • Press Ctrl+F5 to hard refresh browser cache
    • Verify config changes were properly saved
  5. Uninstalling Heimdall

    • Remove repository: sudo rm -R /var/www/heimdall
    • Edit Nginx default site config back to normal
    • Reboot Pi

Hopefully covering these common scenarios will help troubleshoot anything that might pop up down the line!

Key Takeaways

  • Heimdall Dashboard provides a centralized place for all your web apps and services
  • Setup is straightforward with excellent community support
  • Tons of customization like themes and landing screen
  • Easy security by enabling access only within your network
  • Lightweight interface avoids dragging down your Pi OS performance
  • Backup your Heimdall settings and data from apps regularly
  • Expand functionality with File Browser and Android mobile apps
  • Quickly fix common issues like blank dashboard and apps not opening

Heimdall delivers an exceptional, tailored experience for your Raspberry Pi setup!


Heimdall Dashboard brings a clean, efficient way to organize and launch all your apps directly from your Raspberry Pi device. Following the simple install steps outlined earlier takes just minutes, allowing you to quickly benefit from the consolidated access to everything on your network. Customization like themes and app icons further enhances Heimdall perfectly to your needs. And integrations with companion mobile apps and single sign on solutions elevates the offering even more. Proactively backing up your system combined with easy troubleshooting steps ensures you can stay running smoothly. For anyone with multiple web services, smart home hubs, media center platforms or network tools running on a Pi, Heimdall Dashboard is an essential central launchpad that streamlines interaction. Now dive in and breathe new life into your Raspberry Pi!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What models of Raspberry Pi work with Heimdall?
    Heimdall Dashboard is compatible with all models of Raspberry Pi, from the early Pi 1 to the latest high powered Pi 4. The lightweight interface is optimized to avoid dragging down performance.

  2. Can Heimdall be used outside my home network?
    Accessing Heimdall externally over the internet is not recommended from a security standpoint. It is designed to be used privately within your LAN. Utilize a VPN service if remote access is needed.

  3. How do I backup the Heimdall configuration?
    Your config file containing dashboard settings, added apps, style customization, etc is located at /var/www/heimdall/config.php. Manually copy this file periodically to backup the Heimdall customization.

  4. What happens if Heimdall goes offline or crashes?
    The apps and services themselves still run independently of Heimdall. If Heimdall were to go down, access apps directly through your normal IP addresses and credentials as usual. Think of Heimdall as a convenient single pane of glass rather than critical infrastructure.

  5. Can I edit the underlying PHP code of Heimdall?
    Heimdall is an open-source GitHub project so the PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript code can be freely modified if desired. This allows customizing functionality beyond the standard settings UI options. However, editing the codebase is only recommended for those comfortable with web development.

  6. How do I uninstall Heimdall from my Raspberry Pi?
    To fully remove Heimdall, delete the /var/www/heimdall folder, restore your original Nginx site default config (removing reference to Heimdall) and reboot your Pi. This will erase all traces of Heimdall Dashboard.

  7. What’s the best way to migrate Heimdall to a new Raspberry Pi?
    When migrating to new hardware, install Heimdall fresh on the new device, backup and transfer over the config file from old Pi, restore said config file to same location (/var/www/heimdall/config.php) on new device, then access Heimdall and verify your dashboard is mirrored properly.

  8. Can I use Heimdall with smart home hubs like Home Assistant?
    Absolutely! Heimdall works extremely well for consolidating smart home dashboards like Home Assistant, Homebridge, Hubitat and more onto your central Raspberry Pi. Just add your hub’s IP address like any other web app when configuring Heimdall.

  9. Is there much overhead running Heimdall alongside other Pi software?
    Heimdall uses very little CPU cycles, RAM or disk space since it is primarily just a simplified web frontend pulling in other apps. It avoids hogging system resources so your Pi OS performance remains snappy. Monitor usage over time with htop utility if concerned.

  10. How do I create a mobile app icon to launch Heimdall on my phone?
    If using Heimdall Android app, simply add icon to home screen for quick access. For iOS, save a bookmark icon to Heimdall IP address on your home screen. Then accessing your dashboard feels like a native app experience.

  11. Can I contribute to the open source Heimdall project if I find issues?
    Heimdall’s source code is hosted on GitHub. If you encounter a bug or want to add functionality, feel free to submit issues there or directly create pull requests if able to resolve coding items yourself. Community contributions help improve Heimdall for everyone!

  12. What are alternatives to Heimdall for the Raspberry Pi?
    Some alternatives include Organizr (PHP), Muximux (Linux) and Homer (node.js). However none provide quite the same polished interface specially tailored to the Pi while remaining actively maintained. But review each option to see what best meets your specific needs.

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