Controlling the device locally

A microscope on display

Since the microscope uses a Raspberry Pi to control the hardware, by connecting a display, mouse, and keyboard, you can use OpenFlexure Connect on the microscope directly. You can launch OpenFlexure Connect from your application menu, under ‘Other’.

From here, ensure that the ‘Connect locally’ option is checked, then click ‘Connect’. After a few seconds, you should see a live preview of the microscope camera, and full software control over the device.

Controlling the device remotely

OpenFlexure Connect allows you to control your microscope from another device on the same network. This is the reccommended way to use your microscope.

In OpenFlexure Connect, use the Nearby Devices section to find your microscope.

If your device cannot be found automatically, you can manually enter an IP address or hostname with the Connect Remotely option.

Use your existing network

OpenFlexure Connect works by sending commands to the microscope over a network connection. This means that if the Raspberry Pi is connected to the same (wired or wireless) network as your laptop, for example, you can remotely control the microscope from that device.

Connect directly via ethernet

On most modern computers, you can simply connect the Raspberry Pi directly to the device via an ethernet cable for simple, high-speed control. For many applications using a single microscope, this is a preferred setup.

Web Browser Access

Alternatively, you can access the OpenFlexure graphical interface from any web browser connected to the same network as your microscope.

You’ll need to know either your microscope’s IP address, or it’s hostname (by default microscope.local).

The interface runs on port 5000, and so can be accessed from either http://microscope.local:5000 or http://{your microscope's IP address}:5000 (inserting your IP address, for example http://192.168.1.60:5000).

Managing the microscope server

Our installer now includes various commands to simplify common tasks when using the OpenFlexure Microscope. From the terminal on your Raspberry Pi, you will have available commands such as:

ofm start - Start the server background service

ofm stop - Stop the server background service

ofm update - Pull and install the latest version of the OFM CLI itself

ofm upgrade - Pull and install the latest version of the server

For a complete list of available commands, run ofm help

Raspberry Pi configuration

Additional Raspberry Pi configuration options, such as network and interface settings, can be accessed by running sudo raspi-config from your terminal.

Developing plugins

Developer documentation for the microscope server software can be found on Read the Docs. This includes documentation and tutorials on developing plugins for the microscope software.

Please see our contribution guidelines for more information on contributing back to the project.