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meshchat v0.7b4 released *FEATURE COMPLETE*

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meshchat v0.7b4 released *FEATURE COMPLETE*

This version is feature complete, just need to find remaining bugs.

Detailed information and installation instructions can be found here:

**** Action Script support is now ready for testing. More info here: ****

Installation is the same for v0.7b4 as in the blog post link above. Doc and blog post will be updated when beta is finished. Just change the files for these ones:

Raspberry Pi:

This is a BETA version. Bugs guaranteed. Please try it and let me know what you find. This will place nicely with v0.6. v0.6 will display all messages regardless of channel from v0.7. You can install this version right over top of any existing version of meshchat.

**** Raspberry Pi / Debian / Linux Users ****

After you install the package you need to edit this file:


These 2 lines at the bottom:

our $pi_zone                    = 'MeshChat';
our $local_meshchat_node        = 'k7fpv';

$pi_zone is the zone that mesh chat should sync with. Zones are described in the release notes below.
$local_meshchat_node is a AREDN node on your mesh running mesh chat v0.7. The Pi queries this node to get the node list it should poll for the zone it belongs too.

Once those config file changes are made, restart the daemon:

sudo /etc/init.d/meshchatsync stop
sudo /etc/init.d/meshchatsync start

So to run mesh chat on a Pi you need to have the same version of mesh chat installed on a AREDN node somewhere on your mesh.

**** If you change your Zone on an AREDN node it is recommenced that your reboot the node for it take effect. ****

v0.7b4 Release Notes:
UI queries the message db version and only downloads when it does not match what it has loaded. This dramatically reduces the network traffic and load on the node.
Tighten up white space to bring messages above the fold
Added message search
Change file list sync to use one file per node vs a merged db 

v0.7b3 Release Notes:

Play sound alert when a new message arrives
Mobile layout fixes
Permission problems on FreePBX - thx KE2N
Action Scripts ready for testing
Ctrl-Enter will send a message vs clicking the Send button

v0.7b2 Release Notes:
Fixed Updated secs on files and status pages
Poll lists / zone fixes
Lowercase node names on Pi
File table layout fix
Detect apache user and set permissions accordingly
Fixed height on channel drop down
Keep log of message ids processed by action scripts so they can’t repeat
Support USB drive for files on AREDN node if mounted
Action script log on status page 

v0.7b1 Release Notes:
Zones: You can now have segmented mesh chat databases on a single mesh. Mesh chat looks up the service name it has been given in OLSR. The default is MeshChat. It will only sync with other nodes / pi's that share the same service name. Now you can setup SoCalMeshChat, UtahMeshChat, etc and only the nodes with the same service name will sync with each other. Now when you tunnel into another mesh you won't dump your whole message db into their mesh chat, unless of course you share the same service name.

Change max message db size from bytes to 500 max messages: There was some issues when the db would get full, the whole db would get sent over every sync since the version did not match. To make things simple and robust all message db's are limited to 500 messages so when it is full, the quick version check works properly. Message db's are now stored in sorted order as part of this change too.

Added channels: You select or create a new channel when you send a message. You can select the drop down filter at the top of the message pane to select which messages to display. All message db's contain messages from all channels. They are filtered client side with the display filter.

Action scripts: Action scripts are only supported on the Pi version. This is pretty much done but needs more testing. If you feel adventurous you can add a line in /etc/meshchat_actions.conf You can read the comments in that file on what kind of matches you can do. I have a SMS gateway and archive working. More details and code to come.
Fixed + in messages
Added version, node, call sign, and zone to top of every page
Cleaned up interface
Added config option on Pi for mesh chat node - see above
Added config option for zone name on Pi - see above
KE2N's picture

Happy PI day everybody. (Also Einstein's birthday).
On the pi version - long file names spill into the next column (this is not a problem in the ubiquiti version).
More of an issue is that I find that I cannot access files, uploaded by ras pi, from the ubiquiti side.  
I can retrieve them ok from the ras pi side.

Sounds like a DNS issue. Is
Sounds like a DNS issue. Is there a DHCP reservation setup in AREDN for the Pi? Does that hostname match the /etc/hostname in the Pi?
KE2N's picture
file link port

I found that the link reported for the file does not consider the port being used. For example :



When you ask for the file from the non-ras node you do not get any port number - if I manually insert ":8080", of course, it works.

Apparently the browser needs an explicit port number when it comes to downloading a file (?)

Two different ports are two different websites.
Two different ports are two different websites, so yes the browser needs the right port. When you don't see a port it's port 80 or if you're on https it's 443.
KE2N's picture
to be clear

The problem is that the raspberry pi version posts links that are missing the :8080 port designation.  
It's a deficiency that I am sure Trevor will patch on the next go-around.

Yeah I was counting on Pi

Yeah I was counting on Pi users running apache on something other than port 80. I'll fix it in b5.

That's something to look at
That's something to look at too, but the main problem is if you're on a Pi and want to download a file from a node it doesn't append :8080. The *nodes* are what are running uhttpd on 8080.
KE2N's picture

This would appear to  be self-inflicted. When installing the mesh chat on my FreePBX, the first thing I did was set the http listening port to 8080, because I saw that all the AREDN stuff used that port.  Still - it be good to follow the way that advertised services links are done in the Mesh Node - the URL incorporates a specific port designation....

Ah no problem, b5 will handle
Ah no problem, b5 will handle any port now.
The ERR_CONNECT_REFUSED is because the nodes don't have anything running on port 80, so they refuse connections to it.
When you release a stable 0.7, can you release an ipk that works on BBHN/Linksys? Contrary to what I was told, it WILL fit. Recursively extracted AREDN ipk is 320k, and my Linksys has 456k free.
Mesh Chat depends on curl and
Mesh Chat depends on curl and those 3 packages are 270k in ipk form. Don't think it will fit.
Oh yeah, forgot about the
Oh yeah, forgot about the dependencies.
Has nothing to do with the
Has nothing to do with the program itself, I'm just curious as to why you list it as the "Pi version" not the "Debian version" I have it running on my Kubuntu laptop and my Ubuntu server.
Habbit :). I'll start calling
Habbit :). I'll start calling it the Debian verison.
Sure is quite. So either I
Sure is quite. So either I found most of the bugs, or no one is using it. Which is it? :)
w6bi's picture
Installed just fine here,
Installed just fine here, both nodes. Still think some improvement could be done on vertical white space.    
Every so often I get this in
Every so often I get this in my /var/log/apache2/error.log:

AH01215: sh: 1: cannot create /tmp/ma.log: Permission denied: /usr/lib/cgi-bin/meshchat, referer: http:/

I don't notice a problem but I figured I should report it.
Ok I know what this is. It is
Ok I know what this is. It is not effecting anything, but I'll fix it.
kj6dzb's picture
Give me a few days I need to
Give me a few days I need to do a clean install on the RPI with xastir, I need to clear out HSMM-pi and syncthing, some combination is crashing my RPi b 512.

Bug in saveing file names that have a space

If a file name with a space in it is saved, the file name that is saved, does not have the space or letters past space saved, and gets a bin extention.


This works for me in Chrome.
This works for me in Chrome. Can you give me more specifics on your environment?

It was a file that Andre K6AH uploaded so do not have upload environment. Name shown was Woodson Explanation.xlsx download file was Woodson.bin I am using windows so don't think it would add a .bin


K6AH's picture
I sent Trevor the file
I sent Trevor the file I uploaded.  It was done from Chrome.

Actually I have seen Windows
Actually I have seen Windows/IE add the .bin extension if a file is binary and has no extension on it or if the mime-type was "binary" in the http headers.

Looks like a issue with SeaMonkey could also apply to it's relatives Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird.

Yeah firefox issue. Fixed in
Yeah firefox issue. Fixed in b5.
b5 fixed it

b5 did fix SeaMonkey.

Good job.


v0.7b5 is released:http://www
WL7COO's picture
Trevor, thank you for all the great work you have been doing.

We are thrashing Meshchat V0.7b5 on our small,  two county,  still isolated,  island.  
There are only 5 of us using it so far and we have been discovering well implemented, well designed capability every time we look closely.

An unanticipated 'use-case'  for Meshchat  is to log SNR and throughput as you survey various locations post installation of Mtn Top infrastructure.  If you get a good enough signal to use MeshChat you know you have a useful location for whatever type of MESHMobile gear or GoBox you are using

When I compare Meshchat to many other EmComm oriented messaging systems I'm blown away by how well you have designed and integrated Meshchat (& the embryonic yet very  enticing Video Chat) into AREDN. Those two apps coupled with real broadband connectivity will effect a revolution re:  how Amateurs can provide EmComm  support to managers  who will immediately recognize the benefits of using their own handsets (cellphones) and Office equipment.

The ability to use Meshchat to pass files on RPIs or other linux host computers makes it the 'does nearly everything' messaging environment for real time tactical communications.

 Do you know if anyone is working on a 'Meshchat Handy User Guide' or do you have any more complete instructions someplace I haven't found yet?

Your message above is the most complete intro to Meshchat I've seen to-date. I haven't yet undertaken digesting the 'Action Script' capability so pls forgive if having done so would answer any or all my questions.   Can you predict whether Meschhat will be happiest with any specific RasPi (3) distro?

Is it your design intent to leave Meshchat entirely open with no call sign or other 'login' validation, or do you see eventually  having the option of making specific channels invisible w/out some kind of user ID, callsign or tactical,  check?  I'm thinking of Meshchat as a Served Agency real time texting utility wherein they might prefer to not see 'our' background noise. 

Also, will  the 'alldeb' version of Meshchat replicate File Spaces among itself and gracefully address widely different file space situations  (MBs vs GBs vs TBs)?  

Re: VideoChat - the problem of audio echo feedback on most laptops/computers pretty much requires use of a headset.
We recently discovered that a  recent MAC Pro (Jan 2013) very much minimized the problem and almost permitted headphone free Audio Video 'chat' without any audio echoing issue.  Possibly the noise cancelation hardware is simply better than on the other computers we've tried to use, including an new M$oft Surface Pro 4.

We haven't yet tried something like a JamBox  as speaker/microphone for the audio I/O  (I'm guessing they have to have good audio feedback cancelation) but I'm curious if you believe you will be able to solve the problem with software and make Video Chat 'auxiliary headset and/or noise canceling microphone free' and immediately useful from pretty much any BYOD Served Agency laptops?  

Thank you very much, please don't stop<g>.

73, ...dan wl7coo

WL7COO's picture
Of course, I immediately found very good documentation.

I should have listened to my instinct  more carefully ...'his code is so good he must have some decent documentation too'.

How about we just pretend I never wrote much of yesterday's message?

'slow is smooth, smooth is fast'   .... maybe someday.

73, ...dan wl7coo

K7OPA's picture
HI - we are looking at providing texting and file transfer ability for local hospital emcomm.  My question is - how should I compare MeshChat to RMS Express?   73, Ron k7opa
k1ky's picture
Two different functions
To put it simply, comparing the two is like comparing instant messaging to e-mail.  Two really different functions, yet they both serve a communications function. MeshChat can be a great tool to coordinate your "message traffic" in a similar fashion to voice communications. RMS Express (now WINLINK Express) is an e-mail type application that can deliver  formal traffic with"attachments".  It can also utilize standard EMCOMM form structure, such as an ICS-213 and the like. They are both great tools for your communications toolbox.  We utilize both MESHCHAT and WINLINK EXPRESS to support our communications support to served agencies in Tennessee.  How you implement them can be tailored to each situation.  Feel free to contact me direct to discuss your specific situation and needs. - T.D.
k1ky's picture
Oh yeah - and one more thing...
I forgot to mention that both of these applications work great for message delivery independent of the Internet on a MESH network.  You can set up a designated "Post Office" server on the MESH network to handle the collection and delivery of your formal and informal message traffic.  There are options within the WINLINK applications to automate the delivery and retrieval of these messages. 
w6bi's picture
MeshChat de-installation bug?
I installed, then decided to remove meshchat_0.7b7 from a couple of nodes.
It kind of looked like the Package removal never finished on either of them, after many minutes.  I confirmed the package was no longer listed as installed, and reooted.

On the first one, the Service is still listed on the mesh page:http: //w6bi-24-0.local.mesh:8080/meshchat.  Clicking on it takes you to an apparently functional MeshChat page.  But clicking on (for example) Status gives you:

Not Found

The requested URL /meshchat/status.html was not found on this server.

Clicking on Files yields a similar error  (even after rebooting).

On the second server, after removing the package and rebooting, verified the package was no longer listed.
Click on the MeshChat service gives this:

Index of /meshchat/

  1. ../
    modified: Thu, 30 Jun 2016 00:39:21 GMT
    directory - 0.00 kbyte
  2. db/
    modified: Thu, 30 Jun 2016 00:39:21 GMT
    directory - 0.00 kbyte
In both cases it looks like the removal was partial.

Anyone else seen this?
In addition to reporting a possible bug, I'd like some guidance on finishing the removals manually.

Orv W6BI
K5DLQ's picture
(browser cache??)  
(browser cache??)

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