Build an IoT de­vice

Highly spe­cialised Linux dis­tri­bu­tions reared for very par­tic­u­lar tasks

Linux User & Developer - - Feature -

Use the Pi to turn appliances into In­ter­net of Thingsen­abled smart de­vices.

Linux’s mal­leable na­ture is of­ten ex­ploited to cre­ate bare­bones dis­tri­bu­tions that per­form sin­gu­lar tasks. This might be run­ning routers (OpenWRT), soft­ware fire­walls (IPFire) or gate­way servers (ClearOS).

Quick servers

One such in­ter­est­ing distri­bu­tion is

TheSSS (Small­est Server Suite, http://, which helps you de­ploy servers with a sin­gle key­stroke. The distri­bu­tion in­cludes pop­u­lar open source pack­ages over a min­i­mal Linux base to roll out fully fledged web, file, proxy servers and more on your lo­cal net­work. There are sev­eral use cases for such a quick fire server. For in­stance, you can de­ploy a FTP server to quickly share files be­tween sev­eral users on an in­tranet. Or, set up a tem­po­rary proxy server to see if it helps take some load off the net­work. Broad­cast meet­ing min­utes or other in­for­ma­tion via the in­cluded web server. By weed­ing out the de­ploy­ment com­plex­i­ties from these es­sen­tial ser­vices, TheSSS opens the doors to lots of pos­si­bil­i­ties.

TheSSS runs as a Live sys­tem by de­fault, but it can also be in­stalled on a hard disk. Once the distri­bu­tion is up and run­ning you can en­able the servers with a sim­ple com­mand, such as httpd start, to fire up the Apache web server. The fact that the distri­bu­tion en­ables you to run the servers from mem­ory with­out in­stal­la­tion makes TheSSS very use­ful. It’s the per­fect backup server for when the main server run­ning on a net­work goes down. TheSSS runs on both 32bit and 64-bit hard­ware and the ISO weighs in just over 100MB. It’s based on the 4M Linux distri­bu­tion which in it­self is a minis­cule distri­bu­tion that packs in a fully func­tional LAMP server along with the usual desk­top pro­duc­tiv­ity tools.

A stor­age pool

A sim­ple backup server is some­times not enough. If you se­ri­ously want to pro­tect your data you need to use a Net­work At­tached Stor­age de­vice. While off-the-shelf NAS de­vices cost sev­eral hun­dred pounds, the De­bian-based Open Me­dia Vault (OMV, www. open­medi­ en­ables you to cob­ble

to­gether a NAS server of your own for free. The dis­tro of­fers the power of com­mer­cial so­lu­tions in a pack­age that’s easy to set up and man­age. OMV is a light­weight dis­tro and doesn’t re­ally need a very pow­er­ful host; in fact, the project makes an im­age of the distri­bu­tion for the Rasp­berry Pi. Us­ing the Pi as an al­ways-on NAS box sounds like a won­der­ful use of the silent lit­tle de­vice.

Be­fore in­stalling the distri­bu­tion, plug in all your stor­age de­vices to the server. If you’re us­ing the Pi you can use self-pow­ered USB disks. Once OMV is up and run­ning, you can con­fig­ure and man­age the server us­ing its in­tu­itive browser-based ad­min in­ter­face.

above The servers in TheSSS can be con­fig­ured via a web-based in­ter­face. In ad­di­tion to all these servers, the 4M Linux distri­bu­tion in­cludes sev­eral use­ful main­te­nance tools

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.