Control Center: Settings

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(Updated 2021.10.14)

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The settings listed under the General category allow users to access some of the key features of Userful™ such as Licensing, Failover Settings, Remote Control Settings etc.

Manage Licensing

With Userful™, Licensing is quickly and easily managed through the Control Center. The unlicensed version of Userful™ is fully functional but will display a brief registration reminder on all attached displays every 20 minutes or so. To enable the full version, you need a valid license for each display.

Getting License Key Online

Manually Install License

To get your Userful host licensed online, Go to the "Manage Licensing" link under Settings.

If you already have an activation code:

  1. Enter the Activation Code in the first box.
  2. Enter the maximum number of displays to be used in the second box.
  3. Press "Download and Install License" button to get the license key.

Note: The activation code is tied to a certain number of displays. The number of displays entered cannot exceed the number specified when the activation code was created.

To get the "Activation Code", click "Get Activation Code" and submit the form.

You will need an active Internet connection to automatically install the license key or to submit the request for an activation code.

Your web browser submits the basic system information to the license server as a part of the activation process. This information includes MAC address, Userful™ version, and other hardware information.

The license key file(s) are installed automatically and take effect without rebooting the system.

Installing a License Key from a File

Install License Key

An Internet connection is required to use the activation code to install your license. If there is no Internet connection, email the MAC address or System ID of the Userful host you need to license along with your activation code to the Userful representative. They will generate a license key and send it to you as an attachment.

To install a license key from a file:

  1. Copy the file to the desktop of the system to be licensed or mount a USB flash drive containing the license key file.
  2. From the starting screen of the Licensing section, click on the button marked "Manually Install License File" under Settings > Manage Licensing > Replace License
  3. Click on the "Browse" button and navigate through the file system to the directory where the license key is saved. Select the license key file and choose "Open".
  4. Click on the "Upload License File" button. The license key file is installed automatically and takes effect after rebooting the system.

Increase Licensed Displays

Increase Number of Displays

If your contract allows, it is possible to increase the maximum number of displays connected to a given Userful host without replacing the license. To do this, click on the "Increase Displays" link under Settings > Manage Licensing

If desired, backup the existing license by clicking the "Backup your current license file” link in the dialogue that appears.

Enter the “Activation Code” and the new "Maximum Number of Displays". Click on the "Request Increase from License Server" button to complete the operation. Please Note: The new maximum number of displays entered must be greater than the current maximum.

The "License Details" will now reflect the increased Maximum Number of Displays.

Backing up a License File

  • To back up a license file, go to Settings > Manage Licensing and click the "Download/Backup current license".
    • This will open a dialogue box asking to confirm the file-saving operation. Click "Save" to save a copy of the license file with a ".bak" file extension in the /etc/userful/license/ directory.

Replacing an Existing License

Sometimes it may be necessary to replace a license on a working system; for example, to add more displays to the license. Contact your Userful representative if you have any questions about obtaining a replacement license.
To replace a license, go to Settings > Manage Licensing and click the "Replace License" button. Follow the instructions to either get a license through the Internet (if you have an activation code) or install a license file manually.

Note: License persists when the product is upgraded to a newer version. That is, if you already have a license for a version of Userful™, you can update your system to the newest available version without obtaining a new license as long as you have an active maintenance and support contract.

Change Server Name

Change Server Name

User can change Server Name using this link.

  • Click on Control Center > Settings > Change Server Name link
  • A window will popup, enter New Server Name
  • Click "OK" to complete the process

This will restart all connected receiver devices and Control Center will be blocked until all the receiver devices come back online and the server name is changed successfully.

Peer List

Allow you to add and view your Command and Control servers outside of your LAN.

Failover Group Settings

Failover eliminates the risk of a single point of failure. It requires at least two Userful servers in the same subnet. In the event of failure, a secondary server can take over the displays that were assigned to the primary server. Please refer to Failover page for detailed information.

Remote Control Settings

Userful™ software appliance lists down various Remote Control Settings that user can enable or use to remotely control and interact with stand-alone displays and video walls. These settings include features like Source Switcher, Preset Switcher, and Interactive Viewer.

Remote Control Settings

Source Switcher

Source Switcher is available under all license tiers except Basic. It allows users to launch and switch source on displays and video walls using a single-click, it can be accessed from any web browser within the same network, using any device including smartphones and tablets. For more information, visit Source Switcher.

Preset Switcher

Preset Switcher is available only under "Ultimate" license or "Advanced Subscription". It allows users to launch and switch between the saved preset (i.e., display mapping configuration) using a single-click, it can be accessed from any web browser within the same network, using any device including smartphones and tablets. For more information, visit Preset Switcher .

Interactive Viewer

Interactive Viewer is available only under "Ultimate" license or "Advanced Subscription". It allows users to remotely interact with standalone displays or video walls playing Interactive sources (e.g., Web Browser, Linux Desktop, Cloud Desktop etc.), via keyboard and mouse of a different computer such as Userful host, connected display or any device in the same local area network. For more information on how to use this feature, visit Interactive viewer.

Layout Switcher

Layout Switcher allows single-click switching between saved layouts for Command and Control, it can be accessed from any web browser within the same network, using any device including smartphones and tablets. For detailed instructions visit Layout Switcher

Performance Settings

Performance Settings

Userful™ software appliance lists down system-level settings that user can use or enable for optimal performance and content synchronization. These settings include features like Nvidia Offload Support, Intel Offload Support, Direct Sync and Display Scaling. For more information, visit Performance Settings.

Broadcast Alert

Broadcast Alerts

Broadcast Alert allows the administrator to send short messages or alerts across online displays. To send message/alert across displays :

  • From the "Control Center" Navigation Panel, go to Settings
  • Enter the message in the text area provided.
  • Select "Alert level"
  • Select Display Length/Time Duration for a message from the drop-down (e,g. display a message for 2 minutes)
  • Click "Start Broadcast" button

The message will be displayed on all online displays including the Userful host. Admin can cancel a message broadcast by simply clicking the "Stop Broadcast" button.

Receiver Device Configuration

Receiver Device Configuration

Receiver Device Configuration specifies how new receiver devices are assigned to the Userful server (i.e., automatic or manual). Select one of the following options:

  • Automatically assign new receiver devices to this Userful server, or
  • Manually assign new receiver devices to this Userful server

By default, administrators have to manually assign receiver devices to the Userful server. To assign receiver devices, please visit Managing Displays.

For settings of the newly added receiver devices, select one of the following:

  • Automatically inherit the settings of offline devices
  • Generate new settings for new receiver devices

Browser Source Certificate

This feature enables you to download and add website SSL certificates.

Analytics and Cloud-based Logging

Toggle Analytics & Cloud-based Logging. If enabled, it helps Userful to improve its products and services by automatically sending usage and diagnostics data.

Local Logging Configuration

Logging Options
  • Human-Readable Logging - turns on some useful local system logs that may be useful for troubleshooting. These files are stored within the local server's file system in /var/log/userful and can be accessed with SSH or from a Linux Desktop source.
  • User Activity Log - Toggles the Activity Log page.

HTTPS Support Configuration

This section allows you to make the Control Center available via HTTPS. You can also configure to use a self-signed certificate and decide not to allow HTTP connection.

Screen Capture Configuration

Screen Capture Configuration

Screen Capture feature lets you view actual playing content on the video wall(s) and display(s) from GUI. Follow below mentioned steps to configure Screen Capture:

  • Open Control Center
  • Go to Settings > Screen Capture Configuration
  • Enable Screen Capture to view the actual content playing from UI
Screen capture button will appear on Control Center > Mapping below the "New Video Wall" button.
  • Enable Auto Refresh to capture the content on all the display(s) refreshing itself as per the specified time.
Please note that the default time is 10 seconds.
Mapping-Screen Capture
  • Go to Mapping
  • Click "Screen Capture" button to view the actual playing content on the display icons, OR
  • Double click on the display icon to view the actual playing content inside Display Settings dialog window

uClient Settings

Settings related to uClients are here. For more information, consult our New Support Portal

On-Prem Server URL

This allows uClients to find and pair to the Userful server if they are on a different subnet than the primary network adapter. For example, if the primary adapter is connected to the corporate network with an IP of, but the secondary adapter is connected to a network with an IP of, then in this field you would enter This will allow uClients to find and be available to pair to the server.

Notification Settings

Turn on Warning notification enables on-screen warning messages when there are firmware or app updates available. Turn on Information notification enables on-screen progress messages when a uClient device is downloading files.

Latency Settings

Set a global latency value for uClients. This provides extra time for devices to play content without falling behind timestamps. Useful in conditions with less-than-optimal network capabilities, or if video walls are being played far away from the server. Values are in milliseconds.

Lock Task Mode

This setting prevents input devices connected to the uClient Adapter (keyboards, mice, etc) from being able to exit the uClient app.

Connection Type

Selecting a connectivity mode for uClients

This setting selects the type of connection that a uClient uses to maintain connectivity to its assigned server.

  • Standard is the default for all new setups and uses a websocket connection.
  • Legacy should only be used if you are experiencing connectivity issues and uses xhr-polling.

Power Management

Automatic Nightly Shutdown / Reboot (Server)

Automatic Nightly Shutdown

To enable this:

  1. Click "Auto Nightly Shutdown / Reboot (Server)" link
  2. Enable the checkbox and choose between the toggle button Shutdown or Reboot the Userful server
  3. Enter the time in (HH/MM) format

Note: Warning message will pop 5 minutes before the scheduled time to notify all users to save their work.

Control Center also provides instructions to do automatic power-on using BIOS. This feature is particularly helpful if it is hard to access the Userful server physically. Click on the " change BIOS settings" link and follow the instructions.

Power Management (Display)

Power Management

Userful™ software provides an option to save power for receiver devices. It can also be used to maximize the useful life of display devices including projectors. To enable power management for displays:

  • Open Control Center > Settings > Power Management (Display).
  • Enable the options available as per the requirement:
  • Show screen saver after the specified time
  • Enter the screen saver directory
  • Enter the screen saver interval(s)
  • Power off displays on inactive display after the specified time
  • Power off all displays between the specified time period
  • Click "OK" to complete the process

All connected displays including the host display will go offline as per the option selected.

Note: Screensaver can only be activated on certain sources (e.g., Welcome Screen, Cloud Desktop etc.)

Reboot and Shut Down System

The Userful server can be rebooted or shut down using the "Reboot System" and "Shut Down System" links respectively. Clicking on each button will bring up a confirmation dialogue and once confirmed appropriate action will be performed.

Storage Management

Storage Settings allow users to transfer and access files across displays. It enables users to configure various settings and optional password protection feature to access the "shared-files" folder.

USB Storage Settings

USB Storage Settings

This option allows users to mount USB storage devices from certain interactive sources like Linux Desktop and Cloud Desktop. To allow access to USB storage devices:

  • Enable access to USB storage
  • Click OK to complete the process

Note: USBs cannot be mounted by default, as the initial setting of "Enable access to USB storage" is Off.

Shared Files Settings

Desktop Shared Files Settings

Desktop Shortcut

This option enables easy access to the "shared-files" folder on the native desktops. (i.e., Cloud Desktop and Linux Desktop)

Auto Cleanup

This option enables deletion of the unused files under the "shared-files" folder that have not been accessed within the specified number of days.

Source Content Settings

Source Content Settings

Browser Access

This option provides read-only access to source content from the Web Browser. Users can see the list of files by typing http://localhost:81 or http://[Userful server IP Address]:81 in the browser’s address bar.

FTP and Network Share Access

This option enables a password protection feature for FTP Server Access and Network Share Access. If enabled, users will need to use "files" as the username along with the specified password.

Network Share Access

This option provides access across the network, e.g.:

  • Windows users can access the folder by typing \\[Userful server IP Address] in a browser.
  • Mac users can access shared-files folder from Finder > Go > Connect to Server

FTP Server Access

This option allows users to access the source-content folder using an FTP client.



User Management

The settings listed under User management allow users to change the root password, create staff user, change staff password to maintain the proper authentication process.

Change root Password

Change root Password

Userful™ software appliance does not set the root password by default. Root access is only necessary for non-graphical troubleshooting and advanced integration. Users can set and change root password using this link. To do so:

  • From the "Control Center" Navigation Panel, go to Settings
  • Click on the "Change root Password" link
  • A window will pop with an advise not to set the root password as this will limit the level of support from the Userful team
  • Click OK to continue
  • A window will pop up, enter New Password and Repeat Password
  • Click "OK" to complete the process

The change will take effect immediately without system reboot.

Change user Password

Change User Password

To change the user account password set during the "Initial Setup" process, click "Change user Password" link

  • A window will pop up, enter the current password, new password and repeat password in the respective fields
  • Click "OK" to complete the process

The change will take effect immediately without system reboot.

Create Staff User

Note: This page has been updated in our new Support Portal - try it here!

Create Staff User

With the release of Userful 8.6, Userful provides the ability to create a "staff" user account for limited access functionality. A staff user will have limited privileges as compared to an "admin" user (user account created during the Initial Setup) and can access the following Control Center features:

  • Play and pause video playback
  • Interact with video walls via Interactive Viewer functionality
  • Remap displays and video walls to existing sources
  • Create Mirror groups
  • Reboot / Shutdown the Userful host
  • Reset zero client devices
  • Broadcast alert messages
  • Contact Support and access to support portal

To create and edit the staff user account:

  • Open Control Center > Settings and click "Create staff user"
  • Enter the data in the "New Password" and "Repeat Password" fields
  • Click OK to complete the process

Once completed, log out of the Control Center. On the login screen "staff" user is listed under the available username drop-down.

Create Operator User

Create Operator User

Creates an operator user within UCC. This user has view-only access to Command & Control - they can move and recall Sources and Layouts, but not edit any settings, Sources, or Layouts. This function is deprecated in favor of User Accounts.

System Updates and Extra Packages

Userful team is continually working to improve product stability and feature set for upcoming version releases. Occasionally, Userful may release important updates between official software version releases. <be>

Note: An active Internet connection and a valid subscription is required to access the software updates. Please contact your Sales Representative or send an email to for more details.

Check for System Updates

The best way to install Userful and other system updates is through Control Center > Settings

  • Click the "Check for System Updates" link
  • Select option as per your maintenance contract and click "Continue" and follow the update prompts.
  • Reboot the system after update.
  • It is strongly recommended to back up your content and display mapping configuration before updating the system. Userful suggests noting down your existing configuration (i.e. sources present and their corresponding display/video wall mapping).
  • If you need any help to back up your system that has more than 20-25 different sources, please contact Userful Support or send an email to

Check for Available Packages

Installing Additional Packages

All the CentOS-provided software packages that come with a base Userful software install are free and open source and can be redistributed under various open-source licensing schemes. However, several essential packages (such as media codecs, capture card drivers) cannot be redistributed freely and must be downloaded and installed from proprietary repositories.

Userful provides the ability to install additional packages, test videos and software directly through the Control Center. To access this functionality, click the "Check for Available Packages" link under "System Updates and Extra Packages". Users can install the following packages:

  • Desktop Software Suite
  • Educational Programs
  • LibreOffice
  • Media Player Codecs
  • Sample Media Content etc.

Select the package and hit "Apply" to start the installation process. Changes will take effect without a system reboot.

Time, Location and Language

These settings allow users to change time & date, location, and system language.

Date and Time

  • Users can set date and time manually by entering values in the text box provided or can set it to "Automatic".


  • To select a time zone, choose your region and then the nearest city from the drop-down
  • Click OK to complete the process

System Language

  • Select system language and system keyboard from the drop-down
  • Click OK to complete the process

The changes will take effect only after the reboot.

Network Settings

Configuring Network Settings

Network Settings section displays following information on Network Interface Card:

  • Interface Name
  • Link Status
  • IP Address
  • Lease Time
  • DNS
  • Proxy Settings

"Edit" button located to the right of the IP address opens the network settings configuration box for the Userful host. By default, the Userful host automatically retrieves its network settings and IP Address from router or DHCP server. It is possible to override this setting and manually configure the network.

Proxy Settings

Proxy Settings

Control Center uses the Internet to contact the Userful licensing server in order to retrieve licenses, access system updates, and access web browsers via certain sources (e.g., Cloud Desktop, Linux Desktop, Web Browser etc.). If the computer system is behind a proxy server, administrators must set a proxy address within the Control Center to allow the Userful server to access the options requiring the Internet access.

To edit Proxy Settings:

  • Go to Control Center
  • Click Settings > Network Settings > Proxy Settings
  • Select the "Manual Proxy Configuration"
  • Enter the Userful server proxy address and the TCP port
  • Click "OK" to complete the process

There is also an option to set session-specific proxy settings while configuring Session Management.

Related Links