Pi at Work

While it has been a while since I posted an article here, that is about to change. I have a special Raspberry Pi image which is an ongoing effort for over a year now. The goal was to create a portable compute tool that my colleagues and customers can use to test and troubleshoot cable modem networks and video applications over DOCSIS. I work with small scale DOCSIS CMTS systems and my Raspberry Pi build has a lot of applications installed that are meant to help you test and troubleshoot that environment.

The notion of this project is to have a portable compute tool that can replace using a laptop for many tasks. As we all know, eventually you can bog down a laptop with a lot of stuff, and sometimes you would like to leave a test running but you don’t want to leave your laptop behind. Here is a list of the things my Pi build supports:

  • isc-dhcp-server for DHCP
  • tftpd-hpa for TFTP
  • vsftpd for FTP with chroot
  • SSH enabled
  • NTP service
  • xInetd for RFC868 TIME protocol only
  • hostapd for Wi-Fi Access Point with iptables for NAT
  • udpxy for UDP proxy of http requests to IP Multicast joins
  • xrdp for access by Windows Remote Desktop
  • tcpdump to analyze services
  • iperf to test TCP and UDP traffic
  • rsyslog to catch logs from external sources
  • logrotate for, you guessed it, saving space
  • apache2 / PHP5 / mysql for the core web server
  • WordPress for documenting the build and diagnostics
  • Ookla mini-server for speed tests
  • IP Multicast streamer
  • Multi-personality shell scripts
  • cKermit for serial console support
  • Ser2Net for remote SSH serial console access via rc.local
  • locate service because I am lazy

Yep that’s a lot of stuff. And before you say it, I know the Raspberry Pi is not a speed demon, so having speed test app on it is just a means to test functionality. Some of these applications were installed as binaries, and some from source. I didn’t build this all at once. I am on version 17 of the build, adding a little at a time and documenting the build in web pages as I go.

I have been considering offering the build on an SD card with a Raspberry Pi for purchase, and shortly I will make an announcement on where to get one. If you are interested, post a reply (they are not published) and leave me your contact information.

Cheers –