XS Community Edition/0.4/Configuring


Jump to: navigation, search

The XS Community Edition content hereunder does not necessarily reflect the opinion of OLPC. These pages were created by members of the volunteer community supporting OLPC and deployments.


Initial Setup

  1. Use "ifconfig" to determine the ip address of the XS.
    Take note of its eth0-ip-address = WAN-ip.
    If you've inserted the USB Ethernet Adapter above (serving the LAN/Intranet) also take note of the school server's eth1-ip-address = LAN-ip =
  2. If you inserted the USB Ethernet Adapter above, configure its own Wifi Access Point (AP) to properly serve other LAN/Intranet client XOs. (If the Wifi AP is a router, DO NOT plug into its "WAN" port -- instead use any of its LAN/normal ports. And be sure to enable the AP's "bridge mode" or similar, or specifically disable the AP's own DHCP)

Access Point Setup

It's best to start with your AP set to factory settings. You can search the model number to find reset instructions for your particular AP, as well as the IP of the administrative interface and the login credentials.

Once you've connected to the AP and logged into the administrative interface, turn off wifi security. You can always reenable it once you've made sure it's working with the XSCE.

Next, disable NAT and the DHCP server. Last, set the IP address of the AP to an IP in the range and the netmask to That IP range is set aside on the XSCE for static network devices. Be sure to make a note of what you set the IP to so you can get to it later when it's connected to the XSCE.

At this point, most APs require a reboot for the changes to go into effect.

Once you've got it connected to the XSCE and passing traffic, you can change the administrative password and enable wifi security if desired.

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (dhcpd)

Internet Domain Name Server (named)

Network Address Translation/NAT (iptables)

XMPP server (ejabberd)


Web server (apache)

If you want to have simple password authentication to a web directory, it's fairly simple. Here's an example.

Say you'd like http://schoolserver/secret to be password protected. Create /etc/httpd/conf.d/secret.conf:

<Directory /var/www/html/secret>
  Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
  AllowOverride AuthConfig
  AuthName "This is a secret dir, but the user/password is secret/phoebe"
  AuthType Basic
  AuthUserFile /home/admin/.htpasswd
  Require user secret

Generate the password hash (these aren't the usual instructions because of a bug in Apache 2.4.4):

htpasswd -nb secret phoebe > /home/admin/.htpasswd

Where secret is the user name (no, it's not a user on the XSCE) and phoebe is the password.

Restart the server:

systemctl restart httpd.service

Now when users go to http://schoolserver/secret, they'll have to enter the username and password in a login box.

Proxy server and web cache (squid)

To disable squid: (eg. on an XO-1 whose memory/storage can only handle minimal services)

systemctl stop squid.service
systemctl disable squid.service
rm /etc/sysconfig/xs_httpcache_on

OLPC-update (rsync)

Activity update (activity updater)

Virtual Private Network (OpenVPN)

For release 0.4, software keys are provided which will enable you to connect to an OpenVPN server at xsce.activitycentral.com. This will create a worldwide party line which can potentially connect the school servers within a deployment with administrators and support people in other parts of the world, and to one another.

This "virtual private network" is really a public network. Anyone who installs XSCE can connect to the central server, and attempt to connect to any of the computers that are similarly connected. However, conversations on this "public" vpn will be encrypted by ssh, and only directed to the two machines that have established an ssh connection.

CAUTION: Since the XSCE has enabled passwords for ssh conversations, and has created the "admin" user, and a standardized password, It is vitally important to change the password for user: "admin". This can be done by becoming "root", and setting a new password by the terminal command "passwd admin".

A more secure approach would be to turn off password authentication completely, and use ssh_keygen to create your own set of public/private keys for use with your deployment and machines.

More details are available for Setting Up an XSCE VPN

Content Filtering with OpenDNS

There are two components to settting up content filtering with OpenDNS. First, the XSCE needs to look at OpenDNS's DNS IP addresses for DNS. Then there must be an OpenDNS account associated with the XSCE's public IP address. Simply specifying the OpenDNS servers as the XSCE's DNS servers doesn't filter any content. You need to set up an account and configure the content filter level so that OpenDNS knows what to block for your specific IP address.

You may wish to use the OpenDNS DNS servers instead of your ISPs DNS servers if your ISP's DNS servers are unreliable. If you don't need content filtering, no account is required.

To point the XSCE to the OpenDNS DNS servers, edit /etc/named-xs.conf.in for the forwarders line:

        /* make named use port 53 for the source of all queries, to allow
         * firewalls to block all ports except 53:
        forwarders {;;};

Run this command to write the change to named-xs.conf.in to named-xs.conf:

Restart the named service:
systemctl restart named.service

Now the XSCE is pointing to OpenDNS's DNS servers. However, internet content will not be filtered until you set up an account with OpenDNS and configure your filter level.

From the IP you wish to enable content filtering for, go to http://www.opendns.com and create an account. When setting a label (friendly name) for your network, it's best to avoid special characters and spaces.

Once your OpenDNS account is created and your network is listed in the settings tab, click on the network's IP to manage settings. Under "Web Content Filtering," select your desired content filter level and click Apply.

If you have a static IP, setup is complete. If your IP is dynamic, the ddclient service is necessary to update OpenDNS when your IP changes.

The ddclient service requires three pieces of information about your OpenDNS account: username, password, and network label. The network label can be found under the OpenDNS Dashboard, in the settings tab, listed in the "LABEL" column under "Your networks."

To install ddclient:
yum -y install ddclient

At the bottom of /etc/ddclient.conf, append the following lines:

## OpenDNS.com account-configuration
use=web, web=myip.dnsomatic.com

Remember how you needed three pieces of information about your OpenDNS account? Edit these three lines with your OpenDNS login credentials and your OpenDNS network label:


Enable the ddclient service, for all future boots:
systemctl enable ddclient.service

Start the ddclient service, during the current boot:
systemctl start ddclient.service

If ddclient fails to start with the above command, reboot the XSCE and verify that ddclient came up at boot:
systemctl status ddclient.service

The default ddclient update interval is 300 seconds, which you can change in /etc/ddclient.conf.

Personal tools
  • Log in
  • Login with OpenID
About OLPC
About the laptop
About the tablet
OLPC wiki
In other languages