No drives with Kolibri resources are connected to the server

Hi James

On the Model 4 when I connect to 10.10.10.10 from my Android mobile I can not only access RACHEL-Kolibri local page but can also access sites on the internet from my phone browser through it. On the Model 3 when I connect to the WiFi it warns “Your device is connecting to RACHEL-Pi. However this network may not provide Internet access”. And sure enough it doesn’t allow me to browse any sites. But the RPi are all getting a DHCP address from my router over Ethernet - this one is 192.168.1.40 for example. And I can ping sites on the Internet from a terminal session on the server.

It seems that on the Model 3 it is just not routing through from the WiFi to the ethernet connection.

I should say that it is probably not a real issue for us since most Malawi schools are not currently connected to the Internet. They could be in future, I guess.

We’ve flagged the issue over here and will try to fix the issue without you having to modify the RACHEL module.

I think waiting for a fix in 0.13.2 might be better since I think the RACHEL order = reverse-orde of Kolibri might just be a coincidence (so reversing the list in the RACHEL might not be the right fix for all situations!).

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Thanks @jonathan. I appreciate it. I will put up a new image with 13.2 when it’s ready.

Hi @AndrewC,

To test the wifi I just flashed rachel-pi_03_16_2020 to a MicroSD and plugged it into my Pi3. I connected to the RACHEL-Pi network with ethernet plugged in and I could access google, etc, on my phone and on desktop. This image should be the same as the beta2 image, but it might be worth trying the 03_16_2020 one to be sure.

If you’ve plugged it into a pi4 and then a pi3 it may be that a network setting was changed somewhere that’s incompatible between the two. The /etc/rc.local file is where the iptables are restored on boot to enable internet forwarding. If you try “sudo nano /etc/rc.local” you should see the “iptables-restore < /etc/iptables.ipv4.net” line at the bottom. If that’s there and it’s still an issue can you give me the output of “sudo iptables --list”?

James

Hi James

Still can’t access the Internet on the Model 3 from my phone.

I have examined the contents of rc.local in the Model 3 and attached a photo of the screen for you to see (I don’t have a browser installed in the lightweight LXDE GUI).

The last lines are as you say except that it is /etc/iptables.ipv4.nat (not .net.)

The output from the sudo iptables --list is also attached.

If it is, as you suggest, due to me testing the image card in the RPi 4 then that would not normally happen in production since we would be building the standard image on a microSD card and cloning it multiple times for our roll-out. Does that create any issues with Kolibri IDs? The individual schools are not connected and unlikely to be in the immediate future.

!!Update
I just tried the Model 3 with your previous Beta 1 image and after running sudo rfkill unblock wifi to re-enable it I find it works fine with accessing Google from my phone.

So unless it is something that you changed in the Beta 2 image it is probably down to me putting it in the Model 4.

Regards
Andrew

Hi @AndrewC,

Everything looks okay. .nat is the right file name, /etc/iptables.ipv4.nat, and the iptables look correct. It’s strange that it was only blocking on your phone but I guess it must have been moving it between models. I just can’t think of what. If you get a chance can you try with http://rachelfriends.org/downloads/public_ftp/rachelpi_64EN/rachelpi_2020/rachel-pi_03_16_2020.7z just to be sure? I have an iPhone but no Android to test with here so maybe it’s something to do with Android as well.

James

Hi James

That works using your released version!

I put it in the RPi 3 and WiFi works fine with Internet on the phone.
As I test I put the same card then in the RPi 4 - works
Then put it back into the RPi 3 - still works.

So whatever it was that caused the issue it seems now to be sorted, and I am very happy with that, thanks.

It sounds like Jonathan is preparing a 0.13.2 release. Will you be incorporating that in a new image?

Regards
Andrew

Hi Andrew,

That’s great! I have no idea what could have caused that but at least it’s gone now.

I will definitely release a new image when 0.13.2 is out. Even though it’s probably okay to just do an apt-get update, I don’t really like people having to do that as you never know what can go wrong. I am also working on another image with some experimental modules that I’m hoping to release this week.

James

Hi James

That’s fine. I share your concern on the technicalities of the update process which is why I was so pleased to find that you had built this one! Depending on the likely date for release I might hold off for a bit installing all the modules as, to a certain extent, I am beholden to others to finalise the selection of modules in both RACHEL and Kolibri that we are now going to provide.

Do you just deal with the Apache Server version of RACHEL (as used on the RPi) or would you be interested in the challenge of replicating what you have achieved here in the non-server (html-file based) version of RACHEL that is used now on Windows PCs?

The reason for the question is that whilst we have some schools that will only have solar power, and therefore work best with low-power consumption RPi devices with tablets, we also have over 70 Malawi schools (to date) having mains power installed with labs of 20 PCs each and would like to provide each with a “Big Disk PC” in each lab to serve up the RACHEL-Kolibri content.

But no urgency for a reply here - enjoy your weekend!

Regards
Andrew

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Hi Andrew,

I’ve taken some time to think about this and I think the best way to approach this if you’re going to have one PC with a big drive is to do an Ubuntu installation on that PC. The installation is very similar to RACHEL-Pi and I only have to slightly modify the installation script to get it working. I think this is the way to go but to configure it around your networking situation with the router or switch setup that you use.

I could look at developing RACHEL for Windows but it would be extremely alpha and not tested for deployment. Since you’re looking at a major deployment to 70 schools, I wouldn’t suggest this.The html based content from RACHEL, the USB stick version and -static modules is what I guess you’re referring to, were made by people that I don’t think are around anymore. I don’t have access to the World Possible content servers to change content as they need to keep it all working for the RACHEL-Plus devices. I have access to the FTP for uploading RACHEL-Pi related stuff only. If I could find a way to convert it all to static html files I would have to either host it on the FTP or somewhere else. I don’t think this is a good approach.

Another option is to use a RACHEL-Pi with a router. This is known to support 20 users, or a RACHEL-Plus with the big hard drive. I’d be happy to help you with whatever option you decide.

James

Hi James

Thanks for taking the time to think about it and for your consideration.

It’s a challenge I have wrestled with for a while, without an ideal solution. In schools without networks we have been reduced to putting RACHEL (the USB stick version as you say) on EVERY single PC which is not the way it is intended to work at all. Our focus now is on getting the schools networked and a Linux-based server of some sort may be the way to go. We would either have to cash out for RPIs in each school (which as a charity might not be affordable for us) or go with a Linux PC as you suggest. We have loads of donated PCs and laptops prepared by volunteers so that is indeed the cheapest solution for us. Our preference if we go that way would be to use Linux Mint which we already have experience of in-house. As that is a similar environment to Ubuntu, would that work for you in order to make a RACHEL-Kolibri install script?

I already use Mint as my Kolibri Master system and have downloaded and exported all the modules from that to external USB drive to transfer to the RPi environment that you have fixed up so well for us. We just have to decide which of the available modules we want to import.

I will consult with our CEO and project team to see what they think.

Many thanks for your help so far - much appreciated!

Regards
Andrew

Hi Andrew,

You’re welcome and I’m happy to help where I can.

I definitely understand what you’re going through here. I’ve been through that process of installing content to each device and it’s way too time consuming. The amount of time saved from only having to set up one device with the ability to update one set of content with a server is really the best approach.

I will start developing a Linux Mint installer for you so you can see if this is the approach you want to take. I’ll let you know in advance that this is a bit tricky and might take some back and forth to work out. Currently the script has to be up to date with the latest packages available so when something like php gets updated, it may require an updated script. I’ll look at automating that process while I write this one. The networking setup is going to require some work as well. On the Raspberry Pi the hardware is the same so it’s easy but this can vary on other hardware and I know that driver settings can be an issue.

So with all of that, I’ll leave you with these questions to discuss with your team

  • Which exact version of Mint are you using?

  • How do you plan on networking the devices or will it be a mix of wired and wifi depending on hardware available?

  • Will your servers be laptops in some situations or desktops?

  • Will your servers be x86/64, arm, or a mixture?

  • Would you want to install RACHEL locally on a device with the ability to download content from a local server when connected?

James

Hi Andrew,

Just thought I’d let you know that there are some issues with Kiwix and shutdown issues with Kolibri so I’m waiting until those are properly fixed to release another new RACHEL-Pi image. I wouldn’t use the current one for deployment and I’ll let you know when a new one is available.

James

Hi James

I think that’s perfectly sensible to await the next release.

I’m sorry not to have got back to you yet on the questions in your previous post but my team are all in lockdown at present and I don’t have all the answers. My own view (which is subject to amendment by the CEO and PM) is as follows:-

  • Which exact version of Mint are you using?
    We currently use v19.3. We have found some older machines that only worked on 19.1 but we would probably not use those as servers.
  • How do you plan on networking the devices or will it be a mix of wired and wifi depending on hardware available?
    It will be a mix of both. Schools are struggling to afford cabling in some cases.
  • Will your servers be laptops in some situations or desktops?
    Again possibly a mix of both. It might be worth giving a Teacher a Laptop Server so that it can be secured when not in use.
  • Will your servers be x86/64, arm, or a mixture?
    I think we would probably stick with x86/64 machines so as not to complicate support.
  • Would you want to install RACHEL locally on a device with the ability to download content from a local server when connected?
    I suppose that would be a bonus rather than an essential. At present we are having to put it on all 20 PCs in each installed Lab. But some schools are getting laptops instead of desktops so could possibly use them offline.

BTW only a handful of private schools currently have internet access and state schools don’t. So our local partner, CYD, can update stuff in their office, albeit data is expensive, but not once the kit is on site.

Hope that helps with the plan!

Regards
Andrew

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Hi Andrew,

That’s no problem at all! I’m in a similar situation here so I completely understand. Hope you’re doing well through all of this.

Thanks for all of the answers. Once this Kolibri shutdown issue is fixed I’ll continue with the Mint installer and I can adjust it accordingly once things get back to normal. Do you have any preference between Cinnamon, Mate, and Xfce for the desktop?

James

Hi James

We are using Cinnamon. I find it pretty user-friendly and it has useful features like running File Manager with elevated privileges.

Keep safe and keep well.

Regards
Andrew

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Hi @AndrewC,

Just wanted to let you know I haven’t forgotten about this and I am testing installing RACHEL on Mint this week. Hope you’re doing well!

James

Hi James

That’s fine. I don’t have any update for you on our preferences as my team are all cooped up in rabbit holes at present :).

I assume that we still don’t have Kolibri 0.13.2 yet?

BTW do you prefer that we start a new thread for this or are you happy to continue with this one which has rather strayed from the original issue!

Best Regards
Andrew

Hi Andrew,

Seems to be the way of the world right now. I hope it ends soon.

We could start a new thread here but it’s more related to RACHEl. If you could open up a post at community.rachelfriends.org that would be great. I can also send you my email if you’d like to discuss it there.

I’m not sure if you saw but there was a major issue with Kolibri not stopping properly at shutdown causing a 90s delay on the pi. I worked on that issue with Benjamin and I’m just flashing his latest build that hopefully fixes that now. I’ll make a new RACHEL image when it’s an official version.

James

Hi James

At your suggestion I have now moved the discussion to the RACHEL community forum

Regards
Andrew

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Thanks Andrew.