Internet-in-a-Box (IIAB) version 7.2 will build upon IIAB 7.1, and is expected July 2021 (Roadmap Ideas, GitHub Milestone, Wiki) in service of DIY digital libraries for schools, clinics and communities across all corners of the planet.
See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ.IIAB.IO) and consider installing a pre-release today:
Internet-in-a-Box brings the Internet’s crown jewels and the very best of the World’s Free Knowledge (Wikipedia, Khan Academy, OpenStreetMap, E-Books, etc) to those who are burning for learning — but just happen to be offline.
Use drag-and-drop to craft your very own “learning hotspot” with local gems too — tailored to the needs of your school, your library, your prison, your region and/or your very own family!
Why not build your own LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA with a $35 Raspberry Pi 4 computer, starting today?
- Satellite Photos for any 100x100 km, 300x300 km, or 1000x1000 km region(s) of the world needed by your community! PR iiab/maps#29 iiab/iiab-admin-console#340
- These include 14 levels of zoom — allowing you to see schools, city parks, sports fields and farm details.
- 10 levels of zoom are also included, for the entire world — allowing you to see urban, industrial and ecological patterns at a high level — observing glaciers, lakes, forests, deserts, cities and agriculture.
- IIAB Map Packs (for your favorite continent, based on OpenStreetMap) now download up to 100X faster. PR iiab/maps#38
- Students can add map overlays, photos and descriptions for local points-of-interest.
- Please see What’s New with IIAB Maps in IIAB 7.2? and look over a sample screenshot of the “Install IIAB Maps” page.
- Connect 5X more WiFi client devices than Raspberry Pi OS (which limits you to 6 student WiFi devices on most recent Raspberry Pis, or 10 on older Raspberry Pis). #823
- IIAB 7.2 increases this to 30-32 simultaneous students’ WiFi devices — in support of full classrooms.
- Use this so your student devices and teacher/librarian smartphones don’t get locked out!
- JupyterHub 1.4.2+ Notebooks (README) give schools a new way to integrate programming projects, allowing students to bring together science experiment results (e.g. dynamic interactive graphing) with their program output, in a “Notebook” document or blog. PR #2733
- Support for Linux Mint 20, as requested in several developing world countries, for its friendlier graphical interface. Thanks to IIAB’s support for Ubuntu 20.04+ (on PC’s and Raspberry Pi both!) PR #2501
- On PC’s, IIAB can also run on Debian 11 (Bullseye) pre-releases. PR #2582 #2749
- On Raspberry Pi, your safest bet is the 32-bit Raspberry Pi OS, that includes the new 5.10 LTS Linux kernel. PR #2686
- Also on Raspberry Pi, 64-bit OS’s are starting to appear, though beware these remain rough! At Your Own Risk, you can try out IIAB’s experimental support for: 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS, 64-bit Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) and 64-bit Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri) pre-releases. #2422 #2585 #2610 #2624 #2744
- Instantly turn the Internet on or off (for your student/client devices, e.g. to avoid online distraction during class time) using commands
iiab-internet-off. PR #2728
- The account you use to administer IIAB (generally iiab-admin) no longer requires full sudo (root) access! iiab/iiab-admin-console#345
- IIAB’s 1-line installer now makes it easier than ever to join the IIAB community trying out experimental pre-release features. All you need is the GitHub Pull Request (PR) number. PR iiab/iiab-factory#158
- Ansible 4.2.0 by Red Hat / IBM is now overhauled with Python 3, and modularized using Ansible Collections, with its core engine being ansible-core 2.11 (changelog, formerly known as ansible-base) to help future-proof safer installation of IIAB apps/services. PR #2527 PR #2541 PR #2655 #2659 #2721 PR #2743
- You can now choose a medical layout (as used by the Wiki Project Med Foundation) when you install Internet-in-a-Box, in addition to the usual choices: MIN-sized, MEDIUM-sized and BIG-sized. PR iiab/iiab-factory#149
- IIAB’s home page launches automatically (in the Chromium browser, after boot) if you install IIAB onto Raspberry Pi OS with desktop. PR #2609
- Please also see the many new capabilities of IIAB 7.0 and IIAB 7.1 — and consider “What might future versions bring?”
- IIAB’s ability to set up Wi-Fi for offline community learning is better than ever. Thanks especially to Jerry Vonau. Optionally, you can also connect your IIAB to the Internet — using the very same Wi-Fi hardware in your IIAB. If you use the Linux command-line, it’s usually as easy as 1-2-3:
- After IIAB’s software is fully installed, run
- Connect your IIAB to the building’s Wi-Fi Internet — e.g. by running
raspi-configif it’s a Raspberry Pi, to enter the building’s 2.4 GHz SSID and its password — or do the same thing using IIAB’s Admin Console (box.lan/admin) > Control > Wifi Control.
sudo iiab-hotspot-onthen Reboot, to verify that “student” WiFi devices can once again connect to your IIAB! Note: “student” WiFi devices (i.e. your IIAB’s WiFi client devices) are blocked from accessing the Internet by default.
- Separately: In general, if you ever change your IIAB’s networking layout/topology or networking devices, you should then run
cd /opt/iiab/iiab ; sudo ./iiab-network(this runs for about 2-to-5 minutes). See the IIAB Networking README for more details.
- After IIAB’s software is fully installed, run
- Nextcloud 22.0.0+ (changelog) with URL box/nextcloud PR #2684
- Moodle 3.11+ (changelog) with URL box/moodle PR #2841
- WordPress 5.8+ ETA 2021-07-20 (5.7 field guide, 5.6 field guide) with URL box/wordpress PR #2836
- Kolibri 0.14.7+ (changelog), can now export/import Kolibri Channels to/from USB drives, with URL box/kolibri PR #2715
- Kiwix 3.1.2-5 (changelog), 3.1.3+ based on libzim 6.3.2 and 7.0.0 ETA mid-2021, with URL box/kiwix PR #2815
- CUPS Printing (Common UNIX Printing System) and its web administration are much improved, with URL box/print PR #2858
- Calibre-Web 0.6.12+ (changelog) with customizable URL’s box/books, box/libros, box/livres PR #2666
- Calibre (4.12+ on Ubuntu and 3.39.1+ on Raspberry Pi OS/Debian) with URL box:8080 (same versions as IIAB 7.1)
- Transmission 3.0 (or 2.94 on older OS’s, see changelog) BitTorrent client for content provisioning, with URL box:9091 PR #2707
- Lokole 0.8.0+ (changelog) email for rural communities, students and teachers — with new options to sync email nightly. With URL box/lokole PR #2514
- MediaWiki 1.36.1 LTS (changelog) with URL box/mediawiki PR #2825
- Minetest 5.1.1 Server (changelog). Allows client machines with the 5.x Minetest app to run this Minecraft-like collaborative game in a shared virtual environment. (same version as IIAB 7.1)
- Sugarizer 1.5.0 (changelog) using Sugarizer Server 1.3.0 (changelog) with URL box/sugarizer (now with Debian support, thanks to MongoDB 4.4.x) PR #2755
- Node-RED 1.3.5+ (changelog, docs) with URL box/nodered
- Gitea 1.14.5+ (changelog, blog), lightweight self-hosted “GitHub” version control system, to learn to code collaboratively, with URL box/gitea PR #2725
- Elgg 2.3.17 LTS (changelog) with URL box/elgg PR #2734
- phpMyAdmin 5.1.1 (changelog) for remote administration of MySQL PR #2812
- NGINX now handles most all IIAB Apps, instead of Apache. NGINX’s FPM (FastCGI Process Manager) settings e.g.
nginx_high_php_limitsare set during Stage 4 of IIAB’s installation, within the www_options role. PR #2832
- PHP 8 is now supported, allowing testing with pre-release OS’s like Ubuntu 21.10 PR #2832
- Node.js 16 LTS (changelog), now across all apps PR #2816
- usbmount 0.0.22 to automount USB sticks/drives (containing teacher content, “instantly” displayed at http://box/usb) #2491
- MySQL (MariaDB) security enhanced PR #2488
- iiab-diagnostics now uses sprunge.us so volunteers can help you with remote IT support, redacting your passwords to protect your community’s security PR #2476 PR #2681
What might future versions bring?
- “Fieldback” Community Analytics
- **# Friendly for village librarians, (2) Actionable for IT implementers, (3) Thorough for education/medical researchers #1268
- Charts showing usage hourly/daily/weekly/monthly PR #2511
- Matomo for usage analytics, alongside some careful re-thinking of how IIAB teachers and content contributors can learn from users’ needs. #1762
- IIAB out-of-box guided discovery
- Automatic installation of “Content Bouquets” during IIAB installation (up to 64 GB or 128 GB typically, “I want what she has!”) so new implementers can pick a language — then hit the ground running. #1958
- Updating & Versioning Infra for:
- Torrent-like content interchange between IIAB’s (“Maps might be enough for starters…possibly also including Satellite Photos?”) as the Sneakernet-of-Alexandria grows more real! PR #2572
- Better support for Raspberry Pi Imager for effortless installs of prefab IIAB images #2338
- Enhanced HOW-TO Videos (old view) for enterprising implementers, teachers and students, with actionable subtitles in common languages. Building upon IIAB’s YouTube channel. #1975
- Out-of-box experience/guidance on our most popular OS (Raspberry Pi OS With Desktop) ? #1979
- Local Search Engine across most/all IIAB Content #2429
- For a more detailed list, see the Internet-in-a-Box (IIAB) 8.0 Milestone
Thank you e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e for building your own DIY Library of Alexandria. To serve One & All.
Building on this software and designs contributed by Nzolantima Swasisa, Nathan Koops, Shanti Bhardwa, Mir Rodríguez Lombardo, Mitra Ardron, Kurt Maier, T.K. Kang, Eric Nitschke, César López-Natarén, Joshua Kanani, Josh Dennis, Arky R., Matt Johnson, James Heilman, Sam Zidovetzki, Reno McKenzie, Anish Mangal, Mikko Kotila, Avni Khatri, Blondel Mondésir, Evelyn Fitzgerald, George Hunt, Tim Moody, Jerry Vonau, Adam Holt — among many other contributors !
Not just in your own community — but by keeping in touch with our global volunteer community network (http://OFF.NETWORK) each of you are providing the lifeblood “fieldback” — that keeps us motivated enabling Internet-in-a-Box’s quality content collaborations across ALL communities!
Join our Thursday calls if you too can help: MINUTES.IIAB.IO
Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ.IIAB.IO
- If you connect your IIAB’s internal Wi-Fi to the Internet over 5 GHz, you’ll prevent older laptops/phones/tablets (which require 2.4 GHz) from connecting to your IIAB’s internal hotspot, if
wifi_up_down: Truewas set e.g. in /etc/iiab/local_vars.yml
- If you’re booting from a USB device (e.g. an external disk or flash drive) please set
usb_lib_enabled: Falsein /etc/iiab/local_vars.yml prior to installing IIAB, so that your filesystem is not viewable at http://box/usb. You can also do this after installing IIAB, using Admin Console (http://box.lan/admin) > Content > Services Enabled > USB based content libraries (uncheck the checkbox) > Save Configuration > Install Configured Options — give it 1-2 minutes and then check that this completed in Utilities (menu) > Display Job Status — and finally reboot. #2552
- The 1st boot of an IIAB microSD card should NOT occur in a Raspberry Pi Zero W, as this can freeze or worse corrupt the microSD card, failing to expand (resize) the main partition. If you do need to resize: make sure the 1st boot of your IIAB microSD card happens in a Raspberry Pi 3, 3 B+ or 4. #2517
- Node.js applications like Asterisk/FreePBX, Node-RED and Sugarizer won’t work on Raspberry Pi Zero W (ARMv6) if you installed Node.js while on RPi 3, 3 B+ (ARMv7) or RPi 4 (ARMv8). If necessary, run
apt remove nodejsor
apt purge nodejsthen
rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nodesource.list; apt updatethen (attempt!) to install Node.js on the Raspberry Pi Zero W itself (a better approach than “cd /opt/iiab/iiab; ./runrole nodejs” is to try
apt install nodejsor try installing the tar file mentioned at #2082). You might also need
apt install npm. Whatever versions of Node.js and npm you install, make sure
/etc/iiab/iiab_state.ymlcontains the line
nodejs_installed: True(add it if nec!) Finally, proceed to install Asterisk/FreePBX, Node-RED and/or Sugarizer. #1799
- A few residual issues may remain at: https://github.com/iiab/iiab/milestone/7