jofori
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 1:29 pm
Location: London-Accra

Please Help -Pinet Epoptes client SD cards just won't boot

Wed May 30, 2018 2:03 am

Hi,
I've only just got my first Raspberry Pi 3B+ (10 days) and I've managed to get a wifi hotspot and dnsmasq working, however for the last 48 hours i've been working nonstop on Pinet with no luck getting any client SD card to boot up.

The Ubuntu server has been successfully installed twice with APT update and upgrades applied...
once on a dedicated Mac Laptop machine with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as the only OS on the machine.
And now on another mac laptop running Windows 7 OS and the latest VirtualBox with ubuntu 16,04 LTS.

In both cases, Pinet and Epoptes Gui successfully installed and client SD cards were formatted with "SD Card Formatter" Fat32 and also tried "fat32formatter".

Tried formatting with Sd Card Formatter on windows and mac versions, with the overwrite option selected.

Transferring files to Client Sd cards - tried using pinetSDimage - right click and using Disk Image Write (no errors) and copying the files manually - nothing works.

Regardless of what I try, When I boot with the formatted sd card in the Pi 3B+ all i get is the rainbow (HDMI) or vertical bars (composite).
No network activity on the ethernet hub.

What am I doing wrong? Really need this to work for an ICT project in a remote village in Africa , any help would be greatly appreciated.


many thanks
Jay

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 17817
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm

Re: Please Help -Pinet Epoptes client SD cards just won't boot

Wed May 30, 2018 9:56 am

jofori wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:03 am
Hi,
I've only just got my first Raspberry Pi 3B+ (10 days) and I've managed to get a wifi hotspot and dnsmasq working, however for the last 48 hours i've been working nonstop on Pinet with no luck getting any client SD card to boot up.

The Ubuntu server has been successfully installed twice with APT update and upgrades applied...
once on a dedicated Mac Laptop machine with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as the only OS on the machine.
And now on another mac laptop running Windows 7 OS and the latest VirtualBox with ubuntu 16,04 LTS.

In both cases, Pinet and Epoptes Gui successfully installed and client SD cards were formatted with "SD Card Formatter" Fat32 and also tried "fat32formatter".

Tried formatting with Sd Card Formatter on windows and mac versions, with the overwrite option selected.

Transferring files to Client Sd cards - tried using pinetSDimage - right click and using Disk Image Write (no errors) and copying the files manually - nothing works.

Regardless of what I try, When I boot with the formatted sd card in the Pi 3B+ all i get is the rainbow (HDMI) or vertical bars (composite).
No network activity on the ethernet hub.

What am I doing wrong? Really need this to work for an ICT project in a remote village in Africa , any help would be greatly appreciated.


many thanks
Jay

https://github.com/PiNet/PiNet/issues/146

https://github.com/PiNet/PiNet/issues/142
Adieu

Gbaman
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:43 pm

Re: Please Help -Pinet Epoptes client SD cards just won't boot

Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:40 am

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 9:56 am
jofori wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:03 am
Hi,
I've only just got my first Raspberry Pi 3B+ (10 days) and I've managed to get a wifi hotspot and dnsmasq working, however for the last 48 hours i've been working nonstop on Pinet with no luck getting any client SD card to boot up.

The Ubuntu server has been successfully installed twice with APT update and upgrades applied...
once on a dedicated Mac Laptop machine with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as the only OS on the machine.
And now on another mac laptop running Windows 7 OS and the latest VirtualBox with ubuntu 16,04 LTS.

In both cases, Pinet and Epoptes Gui successfully installed and client SD cards were formatted with "SD Card Formatter" Fat32 and also tried "fat32formatter".

Tried formatting with Sd Card Formatter on windows and mac versions, with the overwrite option selected.

Transferring files to Client Sd cards - tried using pinetSDimage - right click and using Disk Image Write (no errors) and copying the files manually - nothing works.

Regardless of what I try, When I boot with the formatted sd card in the Pi 3B+ all i get is the rainbow (HDMI) or vertical bars (composite).
No network activity on the ethernet hub.

What am I doing wrong? Really need this to work for an ICT project in a remote village in Africa , any help would be greatly appreciated.


many thanks
Jay

https://github.com/PiNet/PiNet/issues/146

https://github.com/PiNet/PiNet/issues/142
Thanks @fruitoftheloom, beat me to it :)
Yeah, PiNet currently only contains support for the Raspberry Pi 3B+ in the Jessie-Alpha branch. There is still a little bit more work on the implementation to do, but version in the branch supports most required bits. Unfortunately life got in the way shortly after getting base Pi 3B+ out the door, the new hardware was as much a surprise to me as most of the other folks in the community...
But I hope to get more time over the next few weeks to get back to it and finish the implementation.

I have though updated the installation docs to mention this. You can switch Release Branches from the "Other" menu in the PiNet control panel.
Lead developer of PiNet, a free and opensource centralised user accounts and file storage system for Raspberry Pi classrooms used in over 200 schools across the world.
http://pinet.org.uk

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 17817
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm

Re: Please Help -Pinet Epoptes client SD cards just won't boot

Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:22 am

Gbaman wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:40 am
fruitoftheloom wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 9:56 am
jofori wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:03 am
Hi,
I've only just got my first Raspberry Pi 3B+ (10 days) and I've managed to get a wifi hotspot and dnsmasq working, however for the last 48 hours i've been working nonstop on Pinet with no luck getting any client SD card to boot up.

The Ubuntu server has been successfully installed twice with APT update and upgrades applied...
once on a dedicated Mac Laptop machine with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as the only OS on the machine.
And now on another mac laptop running Windows 7 OS and the latest VirtualBox with ubuntu 16,04 LTS.

In both cases, Pinet and Epoptes Gui successfully installed and client SD cards were formatted with "SD Card Formatter" Fat32 and also tried "fat32formatter".

Tried formatting with Sd Card Formatter on windows and mac versions, with the overwrite option selected.

Transferring files to Client Sd cards - tried using pinetSDimage - right click and using Disk Image Write (no errors) and copying the files manually - nothing works.

Regardless of what I try, When I boot with the formatted sd card in the Pi 3B+ all i get is the rainbow (HDMI) or vertical bars (composite).
No network activity on the ethernet hub.

What am I doing wrong? Really need this to work for an ICT project in a remote village in Africa , any help would be greatly appreciated.


many thanks
Jay

https://github.com/PiNet/PiNet/issues/146

https://github.com/PiNet/PiNet/issues/142
Thanks @fruitoftheloom, beat me to it :)
Yeah, PiNet currently only contains support for the Raspberry Pi 3B+ in the Jessie-Alpha branch. There is still a little bit more work on the implementation to do, but version in the branch supports most required bits. Unfortunately life got in the way shortly after getting base Pi 3B+ out the door, the new hardware was as much a surprise to me as most of the other folks in the community...
But I hope to get more time over the next few weeks to get back to it and finish the implementation.

I have though updated the installation docs to mention this. You can switch Release Branches from the "Other" menu in the PiNet control panel.

Why still Jessie ? surely Stretch on 3B+ would be better ??
Adieu

Gbaman
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:43 pm

Re: Please Help -Pinet Epoptes client SD cards just won't boot

Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:07 am

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:22 am
Gbaman wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:40 am
Thanks @fruitoftheloom, beat me to it :)
Yeah, PiNet currently only contains support for the Raspberry Pi 3B+ in the Jessie-Alpha branch. There is still a little bit more work on the implementation to do, but version in the branch supports most required bits. Unfortunately life got in the way shortly after getting base Pi 3B+ out the door, the new hardware was as much a surprise to me as most of the other folks in the community...
But I hope to get more time over the next few weeks to get back to it and finish the implementation.

I have though updated the installation docs to mention this. You can switch Release Branches from the "Other" menu in the PiNet control panel.

Why still Jessie ? surely Stretch on 3B+ would be better ??
I very much agree, but a major upgrade like Jessie-Stretch for most schools only makes sense over the summer holidays, but many schools will increase the number of Pis they use throughout the year and obviously will only buy 3B+ after it is released.
As such, a middle ground was needed so instead of Stretch, I put the work into it for Jessie (which works great) with support for 3B+.

Stretch work is slowly continuing in the background, but only so many hours in the day, especially given PiNet development comes after all the support queries etc. Still a few bugs in it that need squashed, then need to build a seamless migration process and docs to go with it.

Finally, Jessie is still well within support, with LTS till 2020. Sure it won't get the most shiny new package updates that Stretch gets, but beyond that isn't a whole lot else the end user notices.
Lead developer of PiNet, a free and opensource centralised user accounts and file storage system for Raspberry Pi classrooms used in over 200 schools across the world.
http://pinet.org.uk

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 17817
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm

Re: Please Help -Pinet Epoptes client SD cards just won't boot

Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:26 pm

Gbaman wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:07 am
fruitoftheloom wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:22 am
Gbaman wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:40 am


Thanks @fruitoftheloom, beat me to it :)
Yeah, PiNet currently only contains support for the Raspberry Pi 3B+ in the Jessie-Alpha branch. There is still a little bit more work on the implementation to do, but version in the branch supports most required bits. Unfortunately life got in the way shortly after getting base Pi 3B+ out the door, the new hardware was as much a surprise to me as most of the other folks in the community...
But I hope to get more time over the next few weeks to get back to it and finish the implementation.

I have though updated the installation docs to mention this. You can switch Release Branches from the "Other" menu in the PiNet control panel.

Why still Jessie ? surely Stretch on 3B+ would be better ??
I very much agree, but a major upgrade like Jessie-Stretch for most schools only makes sense over the summer holidays, but many schools will increase the number of Pis they use throughout the year and obviously will only buy 3B+ after it is released.
As such, a middle ground was needed so instead of Stretch, I put the work into it for Jessie (which works great) with support for 3B+.

Stretch work is slowly continuing in the background, but only so many hours in the day, especially given PiNet development comes after all the support queries etc. Still a few bugs in it that need squashed, then need to build a seamless migration process and docs to go with it.

Finally, Jessie is still well within support, with LTS till 2020. Sure it won't get the most shiny new package updates that Stretch gets, but beyond that isn't a whole lot else the end user notices.

RPF/RPT are not involved in the Community Supported LTS Debian

https://wiki.debian.org/LTS
Adieu

Gbaman
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:43 pm

Re: Please Help -Pinet Epoptes client SD cards just won't boot

Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:01 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:26 pm
Gbaman wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:07 am
fruitoftheloom wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:22 am



Why still Jessie ? surely Stretch on 3B+ would be better ??
I very much agree, but a major upgrade like Jessie-Stretch for most schools only makes sense over the summer holidays, but many schools will increase the number of Pis they use throughout the year and obviously will only buy 3B+ after it is released.
As such, a middle ground was needed so instead of Stretch, I put the work into it for Jessie (which works great) with support for 3B+.

Stretch work is slowly continuing in the background, but only so many hours in the day, especially given PiNet development comes after all the support queries etc. Still a few bugs in it that need squashed, then need to build a seamless migration process and docs to go with it.

Finally, Jessie is still well within support, with LTS till 2020. Sure it won't get the most shiny new package updates that Stretch gets, but beyond that isn't a whole lot else the end user notices.

RPF/RPT are not involved in the Community Supported LTS Debian

https://wiki.debian.org/LTS
Yip, but does mean important general security updates will be available. Organisations can't be expected to migrate operating system versions overnight, overlapping periods to allow time for migrations are essential, most OSs this period is at least a year or 2. PiNet receives basically no support or forewarning from RPF/RPT for new software/hardware releases, so I work with what I have got.
To throw into the mix of new Raspbian and new Pi hardware, there is also Ubuntu 18.04 which needs testing as well.

In general, PiNet will always lean towards the side of stable/reliable, as opposed to potentially unstable but with shiny new things. Educators overwhelmingly prefer this from conversations I have had with many of them.
As such, any new updates lean on the side of caution and so will always be slow.
Lead developer of PiNet, a free and opensource centralised user accounts and file storage system for Raspberry Pi classrooms used in over 200 schools across the world.
http://pinet.org.uk

jofori
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 1:29 pm
Location: London-Accra

Re: Please Help -Pinet Epoptes client SD cards just won't boot

Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:47 am

Hi and thanks to everyone who is contributing to this post,
the Alpha version DID boot up as expected (really grateful), but have not fully tested it yet.

I am pretty sure I read somewhere that Pinet needs a standard PC/Laptop to act as the server, but I am still not 100% sure I understand why I can't use a Raspberry Pi 3B+ as the Server and another Pi 3B+ as student-clients.

Is there really no way I can build Pinet school platform based only on Pi3B+ machines or have I misunderstood something?

regards
Jay
=====================================My Project is aiming to do this========================================

From developing country point of view (Cost, Power availability, premises):

1) Trying to get away from using My Macbook/Windows Laptop/PC which is power hungry and relatively heavy compared to a single Pi 3B+
2) I would like to make cloning the operating systems and hardware as easy as possible (currently booting from USB SandDisks and Micro SD Cards, utilising Berryboot) - Cloning hardware and software is to provide backup of both (hardware/software) and reproduce a whole classroom system to drop off at other villages whilst travelling in Africa.
3) I would like to make the whole system/classroom totally portable so that it can fit in custom carry cases (like musicians do, with keyboards and a like)
4) I would like to make the system power efficient by utilising power from the Sun(solar) and Rivers (Dynamo) to constantly charge rechargeable batteries (whilst being used by the Pis) that can power enough Pis for a class of 10 students (9 + tutor) and a couple extra to manage lighting/security and such for night schooling.
5) The monitors, keyboard and mouse - (touch screen solution) - the problem at the moment is that I can't find cost effective durable touch screens/tablets that provide a popup keyboard (like on our UK phones or tablets) and I would like someway of integrating a stylus pen for drawing.
6) Incorporate a satellite phone/communication for occasional internet connectivity (maybe 2 times a month to keep costs down), to enable downloading classroom updates from my custom website, so that the schools can keep up to date with carefully regulated content which I will create in the UK.

The scenario is that some African school environments are basically a blackboard on stilts with wooden desks arranged under corrugated sheets of iron for a roof, with virtually no power. (basically a large shack with no walls on a mountain top/plateau.) and the tutor teaches from paper books.
=================================================================================================

Gbaman
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:43 pm

Re: Please Help -Pinet Epoptes client SD cards just won't boot

Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:41 pm

jofori wrote: Hi and thanks to everyone who is contributing to this post,
the Alpha version DID boot up as expected (really grateful), but have not fully tested it yet.

I am pretty sure I read somewhere that Pinet needs a standard PC/Laptop to act as the server, but I am still not 100% sure I understand why I can't use a Raspberry Pi 3B+ as the Server and another Pi 3B+ as student-clients.

Is there really no way I can build Pinet school platform based only on Pi3B+ machines or have I misunderstood something?

regards
Jay
=====================================My Project is aiming to do this========================================

From developing country point of view (Cost, Power availability, premises):

1) Trying to get away from using My Macbook/Windows Laptop/PC which is power hungry and relatively heavy compared to a single Pi 3B+
2) I would like to make cloning the operating systems and hardware as easy as possible (currently booting from USB SandDisks and Micro SD Cards, utilising Berryboot) - Cloning hardware and software is to provide backup of both (hardware/software) and reproduce a whole classroom system to drop off at other villages whilst travelling in Africa.
3) I would like to make the whole system/classroom totally portable so that it can fit in custom carry cases (like musicians do, with keyboards and a like)
4) I would like to make the system power efficient by utilising power from the Sun(solar) and Rivers (Dynamo) to constantly charge rechargeable batteries (whilst being used by the Pis) that can power enough Pis for a class of 10 students (9 + tutor) and a couple extra to manage lighting/security and such for night schooling.
5) The monitors, keyboard and mouse - (touch screen solution) - the problem at the moment is that I can't find cost effective durable touch screens/tablets that provide a popup keyboard (like on our UK phones or tablets) and I would like someway of integrating a stylus pen for drawing.
6) Incorporate a satellite phone/communication for occasional internet connectivity (maybe 2 times a month to keep costs down), to enable downloading classroom updates from my custom website, so that the schools can keep up to date with carefully regulated content which I will create in the UK.

The scenario is that some African school environments are basically a blackboard on stilts with wooden desks arranged under corrugated sheets of iron for a roof, with virtually no power. (basically a large shack with no walls on a mountain top/plateau.) and the tutor teaches from paper books.
=================================================================================================
As fantastic as the Raspberry Pi hardware is, even with a Pi 3B+, its networking interface is still slow. The main issue is simply that it (along with the 4 USB ports) share a single internal USB2 port. The best real world speeds I am seeing from a 3B+ is around 200mbit/s, which is 1/5th standard gigabit ethernet that you would get from a standard laptop/desktop computer with dedicated networking hardware. This difference in performance is very noticeable when you have any more than 3 or 4 Pi clients connected. I am aware of plenty of schools running PiNet using half decent netbooks etc.
This is the main reason why PiNet (and I believe PiServer) don't support running the server itself on one.

Unrelated to PiNet, I would caution smaller screens (for example like the official 7 inch touch screen) for use in classrooms with students. Small screens like that are difficult to use given their size and hard to work with for students we have found.
Lead developer of PiNet, a free and opensource centralised user accounts and file storage system for Raspberry Pi classrooms used in over 200 schools across the world.
http://pinet.org.uk

jofori
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 1:29 pm
Location: London-Accra

Re: Please Help -Pinet Epoptes client SD cards just won't boot

Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:20 pm

Hi GBaman, thank you for your reply.

If I understand you correctly...

1) If I want to demo my setup to others with say only 4 x Raspberry Pi 3B+ (i.e 1 for the server and 3 for Pinet clients) , Pinet Server will install on a 3B+ and run with the clients (3 x Pi 3B+ machines) booting up accordingly.

This is installable and would work? i.e There is not a technical/architectural reason for the "server part" not to work?
If It is possible and I get it to work, I understand it's not supported, but ignoring that, the only drawback is the networking functionality will be greatly diminished if I add more machines?

2) Thanks for the tip on the screen/monitors.

regards
J

Gbaman
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:43 pm

Re: Please Help -Pinet Epoptes client SD cards just won't boot

Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:44 pm

jofori wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:20 pm
Hi GBaman, thank you for your reply.

If I understand you correctly...

1) If I want to demo my setup to others with say only 4 x Raspberry Pi 3B+ (i.e 1 for the server and 3 for Pinet clients) , Pinet Server will install on a 3B+ and run with the clients (3 x Pi 3B+ machines) booting up accordingly.

This is installable and would work? i.e There is not a technical/architectural reason for the "server part" not to work?
If It is possible and I get it to work, I understand it's not supported, but ignoring that, the only drawback is the networking functionality will be greatly diminished if I add more machines?

2) Thanks for the tip on the screen/monitors.

regards
J
So I actually can't answer the first question, I genuinely have no idea if it would work. As a minimum you would need to install it on Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi (not Raspbian), but I have no idea. Because there is no point me putting time into testing a platform that won't be used by educators in general, I don't doing any testing with Pis as the server platform.
Unfortunately only have a very limited amount of time I can put into PiNet nowadays, so spend that only testing on Ubuntu on x86/64.

I will warn you now though, installing on a Pi will if it works, certainly take quite a while! Could be end up 4+ hours...
Generally for folks who want to try out PiNet / give a quick demo, I would usually advise going down the virtual machine route, given that allows you to setup PiNet on another computer and delete it later if you want with few clicks - http://pinet.org.uk/articles/installati ... albox.html
Lead developer of PiNet, a free and opensource centralised user accounts and file storage system for Raspberry Pi classrooms used in over 200 schools across the world.
http://pinet.org.uk

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