Here you'll find all required software to use Hitachi HD44780 based LCD
The first time I bought one of those it was a 20x2 Crystal Fontz display:
It's quite cool but it's not very easy to install in a PC. You have to solder a
bunch of electric wires from the LCD to a parallel port connector and a
couple more wires to get the proper voltage from your power supply. You can
find a very good HOWTO by Michael Sobik here.
Then I bought a serial display by cw-linux called CW1602.
It's smaller (just 16x2) but nicer. It also has 6 buttons and 4 GPIO (general purpose I/O) that could be very useful for embedded application. You don't have
to solder anything, just plug it into the internal or external serial connector,
plug-in the power cable and that's it. The USB version is available on
cwlinux site too.
Latest release is 0.2.1
You can download it here: lcd-0.2.1.tar.gz
Both lcd.ser for the cwlinux display and lcd.par for parallel one
(connected as suggested in the above mentioned HOWTO)
work like the well-known echo command. Just call the proper program
(based on your display type) followed by the text you want to display.
Echo a '\n' char to step down one line.
Note that the first parameter of lcd.ser
must be the serial device file to use (i.e. /dev/ttySn).
At this stage there are no more features except this very basic echo function
but you'll be able to add your own very easily.
# lcd.ser /dev/ttyS1 hello world!
# lcd.par hello world!