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EMCOMM Mesh Raspian Distro

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kb5zvp
EMCOMM Mesh Raspian Distro


Spawning from a discussion about "Safe and Well" on a mesh (http://www.aredn.org/content/safe-and-well-mesh), Dale suggested a custom EMCOMM Mesh Raspian Distro for Raspberry Pi would be cool, and I agree!

I'm not the most proficient RPi'er in the world but I'd be happy to figure out how to get a custom distro built, if I knew what should be in it.

Dale's Suggestions:
-Asterisk
-MeshChat
-VideoChat
-"PersonFinder"
-internet Proxy (SOCKS) server for authenticated internet access (instead of the "mesh gateway" all-or-none option)

My addition:
- winlink relay (if there's a linux alternative? Suggestions??)

PersonFinder is Google's PersonFinder application, similar to the Red Cross's "Safe and Well" - see the referenced thread to read about that, and volunteer to help port it :P 

I'd appreciate input in what works, what doesn't, and what should be included in a distribution.

Thanks!
Scott
KB5ZVP

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
btw, for Asterisk, to be

btw, for Asterisk, to be specific, I really recommend the FreePBX version of Asterisk.
Thanks for starting the thread.

73, Darryl

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
Possibly an OpenStreeMap

Possibly an OpenStreeMap server for offline maps  (would most likely require a RPi 3)

KE2N
KE2N's picture
FreePBX

The recent versions of Free PBX gets pretty upset when there is no Internet connectivity - but I think that can be worked out,  In fact, it must be worked out before general use.   The Asterisk which runs repeaters is a different one. Some people may want that one instead. But I am of the opinion it would be better to have a separate PI (or whatever) running the repeater and using an Asterisk "trunk" between the mesh unit and the repeater unit.  So I am happy with the Free PBX version being the one in the "package".

KG6JEI
Interestingly enough, I'm in
Interestingly enough, I'm in the middle of decommissioning my FreePBX version of Asterisk and moving back to config files.
 
I stood up the FreePBX after about 5-8 years of not being active with an Asterisks server and I found the GUI to be too complicated and too limited once you got past anything more then provisioning phone lines.
 
While the GUI lets you do some OK stuff, it really makes a mess of the config files in the backend making debugging a bit of a nightmare (I got caught in an undocumented flaw that you can't have newlines in a Text To Speach input -- which reminds me I really need to file a bugfix on that still)
 
​Of course I grew up on Asterisk 1.2.x and 1.4.x so I've been around a while and probably do not represent the 'average' HAM.
K6AH
K6AH's picture
i wouldn't worry too much

i wouldn't worry too much about getting it all in the first distro.  I'd encourage you to get something out there and let people play with it.  After the 3rd iteration you'll have a very useful toolbox for the masses.

I'm a supporter and I'll be a customer !

Andre, K6AH

PS.  I wouldn't mind seeing Nagios on the list ;-)
 

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
Agree with Andre.  At $35/ea,

Agree with Andre.  At $35/ea, this could easily be modularized to multiple distros.
They key is having the FIRST one!

WL7COO
WL7COO's picture
Can we consider adding "ownCloud" freeware version to the list.

If, as I believe, it works without need to contact Corporate 'ownCloud' for anything other than the rare upgrade, the freeware version should be very functional at AREDN speeds.  It almost works well in our rural 'upload deprived' ADSL environment.

it might be an easily supportable way to deploy a uniform, SQL(Lite) based, Document Management Center with a useful GUI interface, capable of mirroring NIMS and SIMS document libraries.

Just thinking out loud about subjects I need to know more about <g>

pax & 73
...dan wl7coo
 

kk6ffz
:)

:)

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
we us ownCloud for our ARES

we us ownCloud for our ARES group here as well.  For disaster planning, we have the ownCloud Linux client that syncs to our mesh periodically so we have a mesh-only copy of everything that stays up to date.  We expose that directory with Apache.  Very simple setup.
 

w6bi
w6bi's picture
+1 for Nagios!

+1 for Nagios!

KG6JEI
Nagios is a great tool.

Nagios is a great tool.

I however use Zabbix these days as its 100% GUI (SQL backend) without a need for config files. But the flip side is this may be a bit too abusive for a Pi SD card 

kb5zvp
OK, ready to start loading up...

OK, I've got my raspberry PI 2 dusted off and loaded up with the latest jesse distro, and would like to start adding some of these packages.

From the discussions so far, I've got:
 - Google PeopleFinder - (Got it running locally anyway)
 - askterisk - FreePBX seems to be the consensus?
 - meshchat - this to run on the server, or on the node device?
 - videochat - load it up and try it from the other forum?
 - ownCloud (I've seen the how-to's on this)

Does that sound like a good starting point?  Any other suggestions?

I'll throw a VoIP question here - I've got 1 PolyCom IP-550 phone laying around - which I think uses that funky verseion of VoIP protocol.  Could I re-program this one or look for other gear?

Scott
KB5ZVP

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
I might suggest, starting

I might suggest, starting with the following:

  • MeshChat
  • VideoChat
  • PeopleFinder
K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
That polycom would need to be

That polycom would need to be converted to SIP protocol.  No experience with that phone.
 

N4SV
Polycom SoundPoint IP-550

There is really nothing "funky" about the IP-550, it's just an upgraded version of the IP300 series with more phone features.  It is a standard SIP VoIP phone and can easily be configured for use on any standard Asterisk-based VoIP installation like FreePBX or Switchvox.  I configure all the Polycom phones I work on via the web GUI, I just find it easier that standing up and maintaining a TFTP server and the necessary config files.  Now it is possible the phone you have was "customized" for some specific VoIP provider or company, in that case it may need to factory reset it, but don't go this route till you have tired the GUI config approach.  If you need some config pointers for that phone I'd be happy to assist off-forum.

Bill, N4SV

KM4PSL
How about a Web Server?

Maybe a server for a website on there? It might be useful for a node to have Apache, PHP, and MySQL pre-installed. Or is that even possible?

KG6JEI
Just a note this thread is

Just a note this thread is about an OFF NODE setup so the node limitations don't really come into play.

KM4PSL
Sorry, that's what I meant, I

Sorry, that's what I meant, I just phrased it the wrong way.

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
H2 database is lighter than

H2 database is lighter than MySQL (and is compatible)

KM4PSL
Sounds good, I hadn't heard

Sounds good, I hadn't heard of that before. And also, maybe Nginx may be a better choice than apache.

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
agree with Nginx too.

agree with Nginx too.

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
I'm super excited to see this

I'm super excited to see this.  Thanks for taking this on!
BTW, KM4PSL, let's get your node pinned on the AREDN map.  You'll be first in Georgia!
 

K6AH
K6AH's picture
Excited to see this...

+1
Andre

KM4PSL
Sadly, I'm not first in

Sadly, I'm not first in Georgia. I don't have a node set up... yet.

kb5zvp
Progress

I've got an RPi2 loaded up with
PeopleFInder, MeshChat, and VideoChat.

PeopleFinder isn't quite ready for primetime, so maybe we'll start by leaving it out and folding it in when it's more ready
VideoChat works as advertised
MeshChat, I get an error when clicking on the advertised service link: "Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at raspberrypi.local.mesh:8080"  I've probably not set up a port forward or something?

I may be reaching the outer limits of my understandings - newbie and all - esp. with the network configurations

That being said, I think starting with MeshChat and VideoChat is as good a release point as anything.
Would a GitHub and/or Sourceforge project be helpful for folks to grab, modify, contribute? Suggestions?  Does someone else wanna take over?

Scott
KB5ZVP

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K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
The Pi's web server is

The Pi's web server is probably listening on 80, not 8080.
 

kb5zvp
Sorry for the long delay, you

Sorry for the long delay, you were right Daryl the port was the problem.  Simple setup fix, so that's all running now.

What would be the best way to distribute such an animal?  I could re-install and then create a complete 4GB image (as I'd expended the file system to whatever size SD Card).  But it's a mighty big download.  I may have a website I could post it on - but I'm open to best ideas / practices for this group.

I'm completely ignorant about scripting, but would just making install scripts be better, and have them available somewhere.

And as I'm working with my PI, I'm thinking about designing a 12V "hat" with a couple power poles, a 5V regulator, and a 12-V POE injector all in the form factor of the Pi.  Would anyone else be interested in having such an animal?

Scott
KB5ZVP

K6AH
K6AH's picture
Similar..?..

That sounds real similar to the How To article: http://www.aredn.org/content/use-ubiquiti-toughswitch-remotely-control-p...

Andre, K6AH

kb5zvp
I wasn't particularly

I wasn't particularly thinking about being able to provide that functionality, though I could fairly easily.  I was more trying to eliminate having to cobble together a 5V supply for the pi, the POE injector, and also have my power-pole distribution.  It could all fit on a pi daughter card, and even more nifty if someone had a 3D printable case to enclose it all :D

Scott
KB5ZVP

ve3zcv
soundmodem and ax.25 apps

Just a suggestion but you may want to add soundmodem and ax.25apps to your pi. I have been working on a similar project (a ham distro) for my pi, it is setup so you can access a bbs via telnet on the mesh, and by using ax.25 over 2m. I wanted a way to bridge the gap between mesh networks and old school packet radio. I figure the two systems can enhance each other.

ve3zcv
Telnet and Telnetd

You may also want to install telnet and telnetd, it doesn't come pre-installed with raspian.

ve3zcv
List of ham radio programs that will work on the pi

here is a list that I used to build my image for the pi: https://packages.debian.org/jessie/hamradio/

kb5zvp
Call for more input (or I've Not Given up yet)

I've not given up on this, just several other things have slipped their noses in. 

  After some thought, the PeopleFinder app seems a bit onerous, esp. as I'm not a coder by trade, and it's a little too bloated I THINK to be really useful?

Only having 1 IP phone, I'm not sure I'll be too sucessful at working out the PBX functionality either, so basically I'd be down to looking at:

*Mesh Chat
*Video Chat
*NGinx Web Server
*OwnCloud

Since I'm in BBHN territory, there isn't much interest in AREDN around Austin yet, and it's definitely not on the EMCOMM radar just yet.  So, still more input if that's not a good set.

Another thought MIGHT be to start perhaps a repository of setup scripts?  They'd be smaller than trying to store entire images, and pretty much every deployment is gonna have it's own uniqueness?  (I'm not a scripter either - so I'm learning that as well ;) )

 

KE6UPI
Hello Everyone, David here. I

Hello Everyone, David here. I'm new to the forum but I would like to comment on FreePBX (Asterisk). I would try XIPAR (xelatec.com) if you need a web based GUI. It uses FreePBX, Asterisk and APP_RPT. APP-RPT is apart of Asterisk and turn your PBX into a RoIP connecting radio network to other radio networks. Check out AllStarLink. (allstarlink.org). I think XIPAR has a network install. I'll check if you would like me too.

73's
KE6UPI

kb5zvp
Hello, David

Hello, David

it would be great if you could check that out.  More information the better!

Scott
KB5ZVP

N2KGC
N2KGC's picture
Awesome project!!!

I love this idea and was looking to see if someone had already thought of doing this. In my estimation rather than being the killer app this becomes the "Killer Appliance". When it matures it would be good to be able to have it advertise its services once connect to the mesh with littler intervention. It would be good to have a setup web page on the Pi to be able to just check which packages/service this appliance is going to offer. Simple WYSIG web based web page setup would be good so that just about anyone could post files and documents in a disaster. 

In the bigger wish list I could see a use for being able to make an RTL-SDR dongle available to the mesh, basic database with web setup so that if a shelter was opened it would not take much to quickly establish a basic database there. Similar to the old ARESdata program.

Some sort of gateway to legacy packet networks would be good and serve a couple of purposes. One it could offer a much wider reach for things like chat nodes, BBS access and winlink telepack connections.

Has the disk image being worked on been posted anywhere?

Thank you,
Brian N2KGC

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
Totally agree Brian!  I don't

Totally agree Brian!  I don't think there has been any progress on this.  Perhaps you can solicit for others to join you and get it started!

N2KGC
N2KGC's picture
Killer appliance

OK I will start doing some research and see what I can find and/or get accomplished.

Thanks,
Brian

Ai6bx
Let me join the party

Let me join the party as I might have just the resources in a group of college students in a cyber security program who may be interested in taking on the compilation task to create the distro.

if a finalized list of software has been identified for v.1, send it my way and I will put that and a few Pi3s in front of them to build on.

keith - AI6BX

KO2F
Progress?

Has anyone made any progress on this effort?

Bob
KO2F

Ai6bx
I am working on a distro

i am working on a distro and hope to have a test version out for pi3 later this summer.

n4tna
n4tna's picture
Progress?

It's been a while with no activity on this thread.  Just wondering if there has been any progress on the Pi project?  Just got my first pi and gonna start playing around with it tomorrow.

73 de N4TNA

KC7ZDM
Is there any update on this? This thread looked promising...

I didn't want to duplicate work if there is a distro available. Is there any news on this effort? Sounds really super cool!

K5DLQ
K5DLQ's picture
Need somebody the lead this

Need somebody the lead this effort!  Who will step up?
 

kk6ffz
any news on this

Anything happen yet?

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