Running webOS headless


Is there a way for webOS to be run headless?
As in, an RPi running webOS can be connected to a power source and the system takes care of the rest without any user intervention. That is, without the need for connecting a display or any peripherals/IO devices.

This is ideally achieved by having a specific app set as the "launcher". When the power is on, the system automatically launches that app and goes to work. The app can include only JS Services and be completely devoid of any visual component.

Is such a thing possible?

Install .ipk app in WebOS

it seems that there's been a problem where if you don't have a display attached, surface-manager will crash . . which likely means that systemd or upstart or whatever is being used right now, will probably attempt to restart it over and over ...

probably fixing that crash would be a good place to go, first, and then you could probably run whatever you wanted in whatever fashion.

i'm thinking webOS could make a fantastic home-controller type system, i wanted to dig into that on one of the old tablets, but never really got the time to deal with it. An Ethernet connected Pi with webOS would be a fantastic device, IMO, to connect a bunch of disparate home automation devices together.

on the other hand, there's a ton of hardware/software for doing that out there in the market now, unlike a few years ago


Noted. That's pretty interesting.
It seems that @JawPark has suggested a temporary fix in his question itself. I'll give it a go and see.

In the case that webOS cannot be run headless, is there any resource which I can refer to that includes which repos I need to work on if I plan to implement it?
Based on the link you shared earlier I have a hunch that I'd have to work on the surface-manager and wam repos. Then again this is just wild guessing.

IMHO, while the documentation for app development is pretty solid, I've had some trouble finding similar docs for platform development.

Mozilla has started their "Web of Things" project with similar intentions. Although it's not webOS it has a similar architecture from the looks of it.
I think it's worth being checked out. :slight_smile:


if surface-manager runs without crashing, then i would think that probably the remaining services and things (such as wam) would also run without crashing, and then you could safely ignore them. :smiley: If you're running headless, though, you probably don't need surface-manager and wam, so you could disable them. I'm not sure if any specific upstart signaling is done by those components though . . it might be possible that some other system services wait until surface-manager or wam are available before they activate.


Is there any documentation I could refer to get some clear insight into how this whole pipeline works? Maybe something from the Palm days (assuming the stack hasn't undergone any drastic changes).


I believe all the startup stuff is in /etc/init on device, and is usually supplied by each component. Traditionally, webOS has used Ubuntu's upstartd, I think. I'm not sure if that's different now.

Install .ipk app in WebOS

OSE is moving or has moved to systemd recently.


If it doesn't work without something plugged into the port, the easiest solution is a HDMI 'dummy plug' like one of these:


That looks pretty interesting @Gadg3ts,

But still it would be a stop gap. It'd be cool if webOS could be run purely headless similar to Android Things without any shoddy patchwork.