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Raspberry Pi 3, 3 B+, 4, 400
Ubuntu, Debian, Mint
OLPC XO-1.5, XO-1.75, XO-4
Welcome to Internet-in-a-Box (IIAB) which is a global community of volunteer professionals taking the One Laptop per Child movement into a new decade, enabling quality learning among the world's poorest children. Note that we officially renamed from XSCE (School Server Community Edition) to IIAB (Internet-in-a-Box) in 2017.
Please listen to the 23min BBC podcast "How to put the internet in a box" from 2020-10-20 ! Consider also see our summary origins, and Don Watkins' May 2017 article at opensource.com and check out our YouTube channel.
Internet-in-a-Box is also being used for medical education, as can be seen in this Dominican Republic video.
Contributors of all kind are invited to contribute your talents to kids and schools and libraries worldwide, making their learning more meaningful in any way you can!
Professional/Commercial support for our free software is available for those who need it, via freelance consultants as necessary. Contact holt @ unleashkids.org if you need to get to know your choices here.
Global community volunteers keep our Frequently Asked Questions (and answers!) fresh thanks to organic input from folks just like yourself, always welcome!
Internet-in-a-Box (IIAB) provides rich content and reliable communication to schools, libraries and classrooms. In everyday usage, a well-designed school server brings laptop/tablet collaboration to life, to bring kids the very best learning opportunities imaginable:
- Content – bring the best educational media available to your kids and teachers.
- Classroom connectivity – install quickly like a home Wi-Fi router, or extend it across your school.
- Internet gateway – control Internet costs with laptop/device policies you choose.
- Maintenance – manage laptop/device auto-updates, so teachers can focus on teaching.
Get started by downloading and installing the latest, with our official Install Doc. Raspberry Pi fans and Ubuntu 20.04 / Debian 10 users should try out our IIAB 7.2 pre-release 1-line installer. All consider a Quick Install, to install the best open learning content you need, and please give us input on which directions IIAB 7.2 should head!
XSCE 6.0 was released March 27, 2016, following our Toronto Summit, including many new features for educators and administrators. For example Elgg for students and Nextcloud for teachers, as tested in Malaysia starting March 2015. Downloadable images for different OS's are increasingly available (e.g. on CentOS 7.2+ for larger servers) but drop us a line if you need assistance.
Earlier, XSCE 5.1 was released July 27, 2014. Read the full announcement and release notes to learn about its capabilities. The list is impressive: Samba filesharing, XOVis visualization of student work patterns, vnStat traffic-monitoring console, better Internet-in-a-Box searchability, customizable web-filtering requested by many schools, OpenVPN remote access, and a new module for automated field-testing. XSCE 5.0 was released Jan 22, 2014 introducing ansible progress for developers especially (announcement). XSCE 5.0 RC 1 was released Dec 17, 2013, formerly known as 0.5 RC 1, and XSCE 0.4 on Oct 3, 2013.
Internet-in-a-Box (IIAB) is a community-based project developed and supported by volunteers around the world.
Our heartbeat is weekly calls, typically Thursdays 10:00AM NYC Time, and a 24hr live chat channel described further below. See the Agenda/Minutes for a history of past topics or to add to this week's agenda. Please email Adam Holt (holt @ unleashkids.org) to coordinate adding you to the call!
Our technical documentation has made great strides since 2017, please let us know what else is needed!
Several times per year we try to meet face-to-face, for a week or weekend of design/hacking. During these sprints (so far all hosted in the northern hemisphere) we drive for consensus designs, work like crazy to prove the core is deliverable, towards a feature freeze soon after the sprint.
For August 2017 we've organizing the http://OFF.NETWORK Content Hackathon in conjunction with Wikimania 2017 in Montreal. We try hard to welcome all: but of course if you're the sort that stands on a soapbox to preach, we may ask you to take a turn in the kitchen ;)
You can also join our 24x7 IRC live chat directly on the web by entering channel #schoolserver (or, any IRC chat software can be connected to irc.freenode.net to join this same channel). If your Internet connection is intermittent and you need an intermediary computer (AKA irc bouncer) to connect to irc for you, please contact us and consider these instructions.
Our primary mailing lists are firstname.lastname@example.org for software/hardware engineering and email@example.com for educators and implementers. New contributors of all kind are strongly encouraged!
We all try hard not to lose sight of the struggle surrounding the world's poorest schools, which (1) lack broadband (2) are unable to afford pay-per-view ebooks, and (3) are wary of advertising/manipulation of our youngest citizens.
Education is inherently political: how can we each invest our lives nurturing the most meaningful learning opportunities/communities in the face of well-meaning governments/corporations/unions/religions so often adrift?
As such please consider our 85-person "xsce-devel" Google Group, where all contributors are invited to join in non-published discussion: to join please just send a short note about your school/server/experience/ambitions to holt @ laptop.org. (Implementation conversations on civic learning realities are sorely needed at every level, but with a reality check: OLPC's long history makes clear that humanitarian action is rarely served by "e-male" posturing traditions inherent to so many mailing lists. Field educators are far too busy for another self-indulgent flame war.)
As such we seek a more friendly balance, by including more educators' and female voices, in an invigorating & organic interplay between public/posterity spaces and more intimate/offline engagement!
School Servers come in many forms, from tiny offline digital libraries to giant LMS (learning management systems). Here are some of the better known approaches, for developing world communities:
- The original OLPC School Server, where it all began!
- BRCK.com Hotspot by Ushahidi, creators of the Kio Tablet
- http://SMEserver.org since 1999, based on CentOS
- http://eXeLearning.org being enhanced by Mike Dawson, for Nokia phones
- http://LibraryBox.us by Jason Griffey & All (map shows 25 locations)
- http://internet-in-a-box.org by Braddock Gaskill
- http://LocalFi.org by Caryl Bigenho, Sebastian Silva & All
- Sugar Network by Aleksey Lim
- BeLL Ground Server on RPi, by http://OLE.org
- Pathagar Bookserver by Sayamindu Dasgupta, now maintained by Seth Woodworth & All
- Library For All, apparently for Haiti but is there Creole content?
- Library in a Box by Libraries For All.
- LibraryBox by Jason Griffey
- PirateBox by David Darts
- eGranary Digital Library
- Village Telco by Terry Gillett et. al.
- RACHEL-Pi "Remote Areas Community Hotspots for Education and Learning"
- CD3WD DVDs archive for developing world homesteaders, to "help the 3rd world rebuild itself" reminiscent of the Whole Earth Catalog begun in 1968
- Khan Academy is increasingly being translated properly!?
- Wikipedia Zero arranges free mobile phone access in 25+ countries; Kenya experimenting with SMS access to classic phones (carrier dependent, may force bundling of data plan)
- FreeNAS network-attached storage system based on FreeBSD.
- Project BERNIE (Basic Educational Resources Needed for Innovative Education) by Tony Anderson.
- Ideas Box / Ideas Cube by Libraries Without Borders / Bibliothèques Sans Frontières.
- $100 Aptus Solar WiFi Mini-PC / Classroom Without Walls. Open Library by Commonwealth of Learning / COL in India, focusing quality content (customizable offline Khan, Wikipedia, ebooks), running Ubuntu for 20 WiFi devices.
- Lantern "One Device, Free Data From Space Forever"
- A Connected Planet - strong tablet implementer in Haiti / Plateau Central.
- Open Learning Exchange and similar dedicated implementers, like Mennonite Committee in ~6 countries in Central Africa?
- Khan Academy on a Stick by Jonathan Field.
- FreedomBox By JNTU (Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad) and http://freedomboxfoundation.org
- FUNSEPA in Guatemala aims to provide reconditioned computers & training to public schools (as many as 4M kids?)
- mini eLibrary by Smartware Myanmar Co., ltd.
- LivBox built on YNIBOX
- YNIBOX by Fred Moine & All
Our community is made up of people just like you. If you are interested in the project please reach out:
- George Hunt (configuration, GUI, low-power HW)
- Tim Moody (documentation, testing, Puppet/Ansible auto-distribution & config mgmt)
- Anna Schoolfield (testing, content/ebooks curation platforms)
- Anish Mangal (integration, offline cloud, India deployments, content curation)
- Rodrigo Hartmann (security, GUI, maintainability, intl languages)
- David Farning (software engineering tips)
- Alex Kleider (bookserver eg. Pathagar)
- David Rodríguez Álvarez (web design)
- Rubén Rodríguez (Linux/Trisquel advisor)
- Adam Holt (documentation, community coordination & outreach)
- Professor Sameer Verma (free/open advisor & user)
- Sridhar Dhanapalan (video; author of the 2012 XSCE Design Whitepaper)
- Nitika Mangal (QA Manager in India)
- Santiago Collazo (Sysadmin, Ansible)
- Kartik Kumar Perisetla (Sugar developer, Delhi, India)
- Mike Dawson (advisor on SME Server technologies, Mideast, Afghanistan)
- Seth Wolfwood (Pathagar ebooks library)
- Braddock Gaskill (Internet-in-a-Box)
- Bernie Innocenti (free software advisor)
- Mikus Grinbergs (XO-4 & similar hardware testing)
- John Gunkel (IT configuration)
- Ajay Garg (webdav 1-to-many collaboration)
- Miguel González (performance testing)
- Aneesh Dogra (Pathagar digital book library)
- Andi Gros (Pathagar books' metadata: where & why?)
- Terry Gillett (Village Telco, wireless integration)
- Tom Gilliard (CentOS testing)
- T.K. Kang (testing, Asia outreach)
- David Leeming (Oceania/Pacific deployment realities)
- Craig Perue (Jamaica/Caribbean project management)
- Mitch Seaton (deployment realities, Philippines, Australia, Madagascar)
- Bastien Guerry (OLPC France, Lisper, philosopher-in-chief!)
- Xavier Carcelle (OLPC France/Madagascar, backup testing)
- Daniel Drake (deployment scalability, based out of Nicaragua)
- Samuel Jacob Klein (open educational architectures, Wikipedia community relations)
- James Cameron (Quozl, keeping us all honest!)
- Kevin Mark (live tech support, on the #schoolserver channel at http://webchat.freenode.net)
- Jérôme Gagnon-Voyer (OpenStreetMap offline architecture)
- Gerri Light (University of Pennsylvania, learning requirements of deployments)
- Christine Murakami (Columbus School for Girls, WordPress design, service learning in Caribbean & Africa)
Our History & Inspiration
How did IIAB/XSCE's design evolve? Progress only makes sense when we learn from the past...
NEW SINCE 2014: SEE WEEKLY UPDATES!
Jul 2014 Agenda
XSCE 5.1 was released July 27th 2014, with announcement and release notes here!
Jun 2014 Agenda
XSCE 5.1 release imminent. For Intel NUC at minimum, and hopefully many other platforms tested soon too...
Jun 2014 Agenda
George Hunt begins active Fedora 20 development on low-end Intel NUCs like the Celeron 2.4GHz dual-core, evaluating this WiFi-enabled all-inclusive unit's toughness for deployment across many Haiti schools later this summer.
May 2014 Agenda
Apr 2014 Agenda
Mch 2014 Agenda
User acceptance testing accelerates in Haiti & Malaysia, gathering requirements from OLE Nepal for XSCE 5.1, 5.5 or 6.0. Hardware/power planning matures, around Cubox and competitors.
Feb 2014 Agenda
Planning gets serious for XSCE 5.1 and XSCE 6.0 around our late Feb meetup in Los Angeles, alongside a greatly improved version of Internet-in-a-Box. Current and Planned Features nicely detailed in separate tables on the XS_Community_Edition/Features page.
Jan 2014 Agenda
Dec 2013 Agenda
Nov 2013 Agenda
Oct 2013 Agenda
XSCE 0.4 released October 3, 2013. v5.0 "crystallization" hack sprint Oct 21-23 in San Francisco (formerly known as 0.5) following SF's Summit (Oct 18-20), in conjunction with Internet Archive's Books in Browsers Summit Oct 24-25
Sep 2013 Agenda
v0.4 release final testing. Haiti implementation of XSCE 0.4 at two schools, for the new school year.
Aug 2013 Agenda
Jul 2013 Agenda
v0.4 Sprint July 8-12, 1hr north of Winnipeg. v0.4 spec gaining precision, bringing stability & configurability to most XOs, x86, 64-bit Fedora, RPi? Pathagar bookserver & Internet-in-a-Box integration also expected.
Jun 2013 Agenda
May 2013 Agenda
Apr 2013 Agenda
Mch 2013 Agenda
Boston meetup Mch 1-4 with Sameer Verma, Anish Mangal. Early pre-field test connects an orphanage from Haiti.
Feb 2013 Agenda
Jan 2013 Agenda
Dec 2012 Agenda
Jamaica implementation sprint (delayed).
Nov 2012 Agenda
Centred around Toronto area hack sprint Nov 10-18:
Meet with Anish Mangal and Nathan Riddle near Detroit etc to discuss wider community integration.
Oct 2012 Agenda
Sep 2012 Agenda
Toronto area hack sprint Sept 16-23, incl public demo Saturday Sept 22.