Using a USB for Modules


Sorry if this has already been covered, I am pretty new to Rachel. I understand that RACHEL-USB was shut down do the expense of writing lock USBs and reliability concerns.

Suppose one were to use software to lock the flash drive to protect the information inside (avoiding costs of write lock USB sticks). Could one use a RasoPi with a smaller/slower SD card, or in my case a Linux device with an old/small HDD inside to run the Rachel off of, and then plug in a USB drive containing the modules, and have Rachel read the modules straight from the USB drive as not to have to transfer data onto the computer.

My reason for this is that downloading modules directly through Rachel’s admin side or transferring files from a USB stick into the modules folder is very slow. I am hoping to use Rachel as a way to revamp old computers, and if I can plug in a 128 or 256GB flash drive (only $20-$35 for Kinston) instead of a more expensive SSD or HDD. Not only does that make it cheaper to get Rachel running on old devices, but it also means people who are not comfortable opening up computers to change out drives could still deploy the system.

Looking forward to seeing if anyone has tried this, and if so, how,

Hi Duncan,

RACHEL-USB was mostly discontinued because of the lack of static content. Most things have moved into either learning management systems, Kiwix ZIM files that run from a Kiwix server, or copies of websites that include PHP. Finding new content that is static html/js to run offline is more rare these days, but some modules can still be just placed on a USB drive and accessed that way. Anything on that has -static in the name and a few others like GCF2021 and w3schools can just be placed on a USB stick and opened in a browser.

I brought back RACHEL-Pi and RACHEL Desktop as a volunteer a few years ago when they were in a similar state as RACHEL-USB. They’re both not officially supported as I still maintain them in volunteer time, but I try to keep them up to date. RACHEL-USB is something I don’t really plan to bring back as people can download content and create their own USBs with what they want.

The way RACHEL is set up makes it difficult to just add another drive to load modules. It is something that can be done, but the time involved in reworking the code and making sure it works is the main hurdle. If you did want to try a hack way to get it going, you can try deleting or renaming the /var/www/modules folder and then create a symlink in it’s place from that folder to the USB drive. The USB drive would then essentially act as the modules folder. The issue with this is making sure the USB drive mounts in the same place every time it’s plugged in.

Most people opt for using this tutorial’s method for transferring content to a device without repeatedly downloading it.


Hi James,

If I don’t have a Rachel Plus and with that, an SSH Username/Password, is this still possible?


hi @duncan.csan - It should be either root/rachel or pi/rachel for the desktop. You can run “ifconfig” on the desktop to see what IP to connect to.