Deploying custom index page and web files through RACHEL

Hi all, I work the National Park Service as a Digital Media Specialist.

We currently have deployed a few “LibraryBox” setups in various parks where there is no connectivity, as a test of offering content, videos, etc. See for more details. LibraryBox is based on PirateBox, but allows us to replace all content so that users only get the website that we put onto the USB drive that’s installed in the LibraryBox. (So no user uploading their own files. This is simply one-way pushing of a website to our end users.)

For various reasons, I’m hoping to find a different solution. I’m curious if RACHEL or RACHEL-Pi, with some easy customization, may be the solution?

We need to be able to easily put our own index page and subsequent web content on the devices, and let users connect to see our content.

Has anyone done something similar using the RACHEL devices?

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Hi @mpoyner – you can definitely use RACHEL-Pi or RACHEL-Plus to do this. Both of those devices run a full LAMP stack and can host any of your content. RACHEL Pi’s index page is at /var/www/index.php and RACHEL-Plus’s page is at /media/RACHEL/rachel/index.php.

Let me know if we can help! You can also enlist us to build the image for you:

Great, thanks for the reply!

Is it as simple as popping the SD card into a computer, replacing the index file with our own and adding the rest of the files? Or is there more to it?

I’m hoping to be able to allow park staff themselves to change their content, but don’t want them to be need to use terminal commands or anything like that to change the files.

One other question: are we able to change the SSID name that is broadcast?

Thanks, Matt. If your staff add content are they capable of editing the HTML to point to that content?

The short answer to all of your questions is basically Yes, though most of this is much easier with RACHEL-Plus than RACHEL-Pi. We could do a quick call so I can better understand if you want.