RACHEL Plus on Ubuntu server PC


I am reviewing all the scenarios in which I will be deploying RACHEL.
Some of the nonprofits and schools I am working with have a ethernet-based network already.
The client PCs are desktops with no wifi capability.
I could buy and import a RACHEL+ device, but the costs are prohibitive.
I don’t want to install RACHEL on their primary server, as I may need to bring the RACHEL server back to the city to do bulk updates, load custom data sets etc.

So, I am considering installing RACHEL+ on Ubuntu on a repurposed desktop PC.
I’ll then connect that to the network switch.

I am in the process of trying the following:

  1. Installed Ubuntu on the PC.
  2. Downloaded the CAPv2_RACHEL_Recovery_USB_20170517.img.zip file
  3. Will attempt to use this to turn the PC into a RACHEL+ installation

There is a good chance that I am going in the wrong direction, since my skills in this area are a bit thin.
Please let me know!

Otherwise, I will report back on my progress after the weekend.


Well, I can now see that that isn’t going to work, at least out the box…

In cap-rachel-configure.sh
Line 222:
echo; printError "This isn’t a CAP; sorry, I can not continue."
echo; exit 1

Looking through the file, I can see that I need to use it as a guide, and then transform the commands to suit my server. This is a bit beyond my skills, but within reach if someone wants to collaborate with me.

Any takers?


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@adeptdigital – it’s probably something someone on upwork would be happy to do at minimal cost!

@adeptdigital If you are in a hurry to get something up and running, you could try installing Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Server, preferably the 64-bit version, that we use on the latest RACHEL-Plus. (Don’t use a Desktop installation unless you are a real expert in setting up a server. Be sure to include all the default applications in the Server package such as the Apache web server and many other utilities.

You would then need to load most of the RACHEL content into the “www” folder for Apache.

Then you could separately install KA-Lite and set if for Port :8008 and Wiki-Serve from their websites and set these servers fo and set it for Port :81 and download their content in the folders used by these special servers. Each of these programs have installation packages for Linux servers.

For longer term plans and sustainability, you should keep in mind that the RACHEL-Plus server will support desktops on a wired LAN. You need one low-cost router on the LAN to assign IP addresses. Then you see the IP address for the RACHEL-Plus server, type this address into the browsers on the desktops and you will get the RACHEL Home page from the RACHEL-Plus server.

The back up battery in the RACHEL-Plus is very valuable because the server is set up for a controlled shutdown before the battery runs out. This is hard to set up and maintain with an external UPS.

Also, the RACHEL-Plus is very easy to carry to a location with a high speed Internet that does not charge per GByte downloaded.

Finally, by using a RACHEL-Plus you make it easy to scale up your work and for others to copy what you have done to maximize your impact.


Thanks for the responses. Much appreciated.

I have made lots of progress.

Ubuntu, LAMP and configuring the contentshell went well.
I am able to login to the admin section.

I can’t get the “Download modules” functionality working.
I can search for updates.
When I press the download button, nothing happens.
For now I am just doing the rysnc method, and that is working well.

I am at a loss as to how to get kiwix integrated.
The bare bones notes on build your own RACHEL+ says something like install kiwix.
Any further detail would be appreciated.

@edresor: I note your approach, but would like to try and match RACHEL+ as closely as possible. Ideally I would like my instructions to simply represent a parallel method of getting RACHEL+ for the contexts I mentioned in the first post.


@adeptdigital – kiwix is continually changing their install processes. I would head to their website for up to date install instructions. glad you’re making progress. I hope you’ll share some documentation for the community!

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HI @adeptdigital

I have been trying to do a similar install. I have successfully loaded the contentshell into my root directory on my apache server. The home page is loading fine However I am unable to login to the admin panel. could you please share wha tprocess you used and password did you use for the admin center. I have tried using admin: Rachel+1. however it takes me to a blank screen. What credentials did you use?


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try dhis: