IIAB 6.6 Release Notes

A Holt edited this page Sep 28, 2018 · 198 revisions

Internet-in-a-Box (IIAB) 6.6 was released September 12, 2018, incorporating an extensive amount of teacher feedback from IIAB 6.5 — a knowledge hotspot in service of DIY digital libraries eveywhere — for schools, libraries, medical clinics, and families too (Wiki, GitHub).

Consider installing IIAB 6.6 today!

What's New?

  • Experimental support for Kolibri 0.10.2+ (background, changelog) which is similar to KA Lite but offers many more curriculum design tools beyond Khan Academy, to create, remix and refine offline content packs. Runs in a Python Virtual Environment for safety: #841
  • Sugarizer 1.0.1 is a "kids construct" learning environment originally from One Laptop Per Child, with easy accounts for kids to save their work. Sugarizer 1.x is a major change from earlier versions: #798, PR #888, #974
  • Calibre-Web is an E-Book Library like Calibre, but with a more modern web interface. Teachers can upload E-Books, arrange them onto different bookshelves, edit E-Book metadata, and convert them into different formats (at http://box/books). Calibre-Web saves students the hassle of logging in with a password (as Calibre requires below) making it much easier to read and download e-books! Bonus, it runs in a Python Virtual Environment for safety: #816
    • Those who want to stick with Calibre's original E-Book server (now upgraded to version 3.31+) can still do so. Calibre's installation procedure is significantly ruggedized, and Calibre itself remains at http://box:8080 — where teachers can now add and delete E-Books, edit E-Book metadata, and convert E-Books to other formats like PDF and EPUB. (IIAB's installer now creates the default Calibre usernames and passwords listed in http://FAQ.IIAB.IO so students can immediately explore E-Books that their teachers upload for them.) PR #1057
  • OpenStreetMap regional maps packs are now almost 10X smaller, offer far more local detail, are more up-to-date, and are easier to install — thanks to regularly published vector-based tilesets — instead of the older bitmap tiles:
  • BitTorrent tool "Transmission" can download thousands of compressed KA Lite videos/thumbnails: just pick among 7 languages within /etc/iiab/local_vars.yml prior to installing, then watch your download(s) progress at http://box:9091 ! Also use Transmission to download any other torrentable Content Pack. Instructions within http://FAQ.IIAB.IO at "KA Lite Administration: What tips & tricks exist?" #884
  • PREVIEW: Backup, shrink & duplicate Internet-in-a-Box (IIAB) microSD cards using IMAGER 0.2. Allows teachers in the field to copy from any microSD to any other microSD that's big enough. These are teachers who cannot realistically use Linux command-line tools to truncate (AKA shrink, or minify) and then dd. Please see IMAGER screen shots in the GET STARTED GUIDE. Non-technical teachers can expect significant improvements to the UI/UX in coming months: #827

What's Upgraded?

  • Internet-in-a-Box's 1-line installer for Raspbian Stretch, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Debian 9 is ruggedized and more efficient (and can quickly recover if Internet is interrupted during your IIAB installation). Pick your favorite suite of Internet-in-a-Box apps the very moment you begin: whether you want ~6, ~12 or ~20 apps! Implementers please read http://FAQ.IIAB.IO to get to know /etc/iiab/local_vars.yml — as well as the commands "./iiab-install" and "./runrole" within IIAB's main directory (/opt/iiab/iiab).
    • New, more convenient location for your IIAB installation settings: /etc/iiab/local_vars.yml. Regional communities can now instantly re-use their favorite/custom IIAB configurations (much like IIAB microSD card cloning, also coming soon!) It's as easy as taking the installation settings (/etc/iiab/local_vars.yml) from another machine, dropping that file into place on a fresh/new machine, and then starting your IIAB install! How does this work? With our 1-line installer: curl download.iiab.io/6.6/install.txt | sudo bash
    • Internet glitches? Same instructions! Simply RE-run curl download.iiab.io/6.6/install.txt | sudo bash thanks to IIAB's new unified installer!
    • Now with explanations in context as IIAB is installing, and major improvements in Ansible code readability (IIAB's Ansible playbooks are far more readable, with modern indentation, instead of cramming too many things into 1 line). Our move to Ansible 2.6 helps future-proof Internet-in-a-Box configuration management. Bonus: upgrading Ansible itself is now far easier, with the new scripts/ansible and scripts/ansible-2.6.x commands.
    • OpenVPN remote support is beefed up: your openvpn_handle can now be pre-specified in local_vars.yml, before it's auto-saved to /etc/iiab/openvpn_handle. Commands like ./install-support, iiab-remote-on and iiab-remote-off help clarify, when remote support is needed: #995, PR #1000, PR #1081, PR #1090
    • Experimental support for Debian 10 "Buster" is included, in advance of Debian 10's release in 2019. Daily builds of Debian "Sid" (Debian's "unstable" bleeding-edge branch) may also work.
  • Media-rich and searchable offline (ZIM) content thanks to an even far better and far more compact Kiwix engine 0.6.1 (2018-08-30) under the hood, with the "iiab-make-kiwix-lib" command now far more efficient (handles incremental additions and deletions of ZIM files). Watch out Google here we come :-) PR #1089
  • KA Lite (LMS for Khan Academy videos & exercises) is upgraded to 0.17.5 with installation greatly streamlined, thanks to "Transmission" the content-downloading tool, described above.
  • Wikipedia's own MediaWiki 1.31.0 LTS is now part of BIG-sized installs of IIAB, for doc collaboration. You can also install and enable it from local_vars.yml (typically on Lines 143 and 144).
  • Nextcloud (for student "dropboxes") is upgraded to Nextcloud 14 (changelog) with a focus on security e.g. video verification, and Signal/Telegram/SMS 2FA support.
  • WordPress is upgraded to 4.9.8 including “Try Gutenberg” visual/block editor preview. Reinforces GDPR privacy compliance, based on WordPress 4.9.
  • Moodle is upgraded to 3.5.2+ LTS based on 3.5 LTS for privacy, better quizzes, speed, messaging integration and modern usability (preview, new features).
  • Offline Social Network Elgg is upgraded to 2.3.8.
  • phpMyAdmin is upgraded to 4.8.3.
  • More comprehensive Offline Docs, onboard your Internet-in-a-Box and available to all in the field, at http://box/info — including instructions on how to upgrade (or reinstall while offline) your IIAB server apps a.k.a. IIAB services.
  • Extensive Fixes. See our changelog of accomplishments!

How do I try it?

TL;DR! Try our 1-line installer for Raspberry Pi 3 (or 3 B+), Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or Debian 9:

 curl download.iiab.io/6.6/install.txt | sudo bash

On Raspberry Pi, you'll want the latest Raspbian Stretch OS (2018-06-27 or higher) installed onto a microSD card large enough for all your content. Installation usually completes within two hours, if your Internet speed is very fast. An actual Ethernet cable greatly helps avoid Wi-Fi glitches! See download.iiab.io/6.6 for speed and security tips to hit the ground running.

Finally if you're adventurous, try installing onto another Linux, using our Do Everything from Scratch install instructions — getting you to the most important step — where you can add content!


Thank you e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e for building your own DIY Library of Alexandria. To serve One & All. Building on this software and designs contributed by Joshua Kanani, Josh Dennis, Arky R., Matt Johnson, James Heilman, Reno McKenzie, César López-Natarén, Anish Mangal, Avni Khatri, Blondel Mondésir, George Hunt, Tim Moody, Jerry Vonau, Adam Holt — among many others!

Not just in your own community — but by keeping in touch with our global volunteer community network (http://OFF.NETWORK) each of you are providing the lifeblood "fieldback" — that keeps us motivated enabling Internet-in-a-Box's quality content collaborations across ALL communities!

Join our Monday/Thursday calls if you too can help: MINUTES.IIAB.IO

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ.IIAB.IO

Known Issues

  • RACHEL's OER2GO catalog does not show sample modules and cannot be refreshed due to regression(s) on their server. This should not stop you from downloading RACHEL/OER2GO modules using the built in (older) catalog however: #853
  • Admin Console (http://box/admin) -> Configure -> Services Enabled includes several obsolete options, and is missing a few others. If you need the latest IIAB apps, please install and enable them by running (as root) "nano /etc/iiab/local_vars.yml" then "cd /opt/iiab/iiab" then "./iiab-install --reinstall"
  • Ubuntu Server 18.04.1 may neglect to populate /etc/apt/sources.list since 2018-07-25, preventing sshpass and hence Ansible from being installed. Here is a bug description and manual workaround, if you've already installed Ubuntu and fell in this trap. Or install Ubuntu Server 18.04.1 using their 65 MB netboot mini.iso installer, which does not have the bug! Avoid their 2018-07-25 23:39 812 MB "live" installer. It's not yet known if their 2018-07-25 03:00 715 MB installer is any better?
  • IIAB can be slow to power off, if you include many/most of the apps: #822
  • Nextcloud 14 can lock you out completely when upgrading on Ubuntu 18.04 with "weak" passwords. Workaround is off of: #1098
  • Some short/memorizable URL's like http://box/kolibri do not yet work. Use http://box:8009 in the interim: #923
  • Raspberry Pi's internal Wi-Fi hotspot very occasionally fails to provide IP addresses, when Ethernet ISN'T plugged in? #989
    • Raspberry Pi's internal Wi-Fi hotspot very occasionally fails within an hour of booting, when Ethernet IS plugged in? #926
  • Calibre 3.29 (like 3.27.1, 3.24.x and 3.25) prevent IIAB microSD's from booting in Raspberry Pi Zero W. This is fixed since 3.30+. Still, if you don't need it, turn off Calibre in /etc/iiab/local_vars.yml prior to installing IIAB: #952, PR #1057
  • USB memory sticks may need to be removed and re-inserted into your Internet-in-a-Box before Teacher Content appears at http://box/usb e.g. if stick was inserted just prior to a cold boot: #329
  • Set a default locale in your OS in /etc/default/locale (also the "locale" command and $LANG environment variable should show the same, e.g. "C.UTF-8" or "en_US.UTF-8") to avoid language restrictions upon re-installing WordPress.
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