Saturday, July 18, 2015

Webmaker tools on Raspberry Pi

Last year in Bamako, Mali I watched the participants struggle with slow Internet connectivity during a web literacy WebMaker event. I thought it is very important to make Webmaker tools available offline on a local server. I started working on a custom Rasbian based SD-card image with Mozilla Webmaker tools on Raspberry Pi. The setup uses the most minimal setup without any connectivity to Internet. The Raspberry Pi Server will host Web maker tools like Thimble with some learning templates. The users could connect to the server with WiFi from their laptops or using school computers using local Ethernet connection.

The goal was to finish the project by MozFest East Africa in July, 2015 and release it for testing.

How to use Webmaker tools on Raspberry Pi?

Download the testing version of the image here. It is large 2.8GB file, it will take some time to download. In this setup I am using an older Raspberry Pi B model with 8GB SDCard with a TP-Link TL-WN322G+ USB WiFi dongle. The WiFi dongle is optional, you can connect the Raspberry Pi to your router or networking hub with an Ethernet patch cable.

  1. Download and write the image to the SD-card (Tutorial)
  2. Boot the raspberry Pi with the SD-card
  3. Connect the Raspberry Pi to your local Ethernet network. (If you have USB Wifi dongle then you can connect to 'Webmaker' WiFi network with 'raspberry' password.)
  4. On your computer, Open browser and type 'http://webmaker.local' You should see the Thimble App UI.
Webmaker Thimble running on Raspberry Pi server

Please do report any problems and bug reports!

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