Friday, December 27, 2013

The pi-web-agent

Remember the Hackmanchester winning project pi-web-agent? Well, we released the first version of the pi-web-agent in the pistore. Here is the wiki page of the project as generated and exported from our github repository


The pi-web-agent is a web application that aims to provide a more user friendly way of interacting with the Raspberry Pi and performing basic tasks by eliminating the need of using the command line directly.

How to use

After starting the pi-web-agent service by executing or sudo /etc/init.d/pi-web-agent start , you can access the application with your browser via either https://raspberrypi:8003 or https://ip_address_of_your_pi:8003 if your internet router does not resolve hostnames to IPs. To access the application inside your Pi just access the local host without https:

Provided functionalities

The web application currently provides the following functionalities:

  • Firewall management by controlling the iptables.
  • A package management system for installing useful applications easily.
  • Service management for starting or stopping services
  • Update management for updating the underlying Linux distribution with a simple click
  • GPIO management for controlling the pins on the Raspberry Pi (special thanks to the author of wiringPi for his excellent open source program)
  • General purpose information of the system (memory usage, disk capacity, ip, cronjobs, swap usage)
  • Tightvnc is provided, by setting up a vncboot service and enabling users to use tightvnc java applet to access the system by the tightvnc viewer (special thanks to tightvnc for their open source tightvnc client)
  • Power management for rebooting or powering off the system with a simple click

Firewall management

Currently the Firewall management section displays the current state of the iptables. Enabling input for altering the iptables state is under development

Package management

The package management provides a list with useful packages and a short description. You can request an uninstall or install of the application by simply clicking on the switch button.

Service management

Service management allows you to stop or start services. Only services with known state are shown.

Update management

The update management aims to arrange or the hassle about updates for you. It takes care of checking for updates and notifies you on the live information feed. The update section also provides information of weather there is an update or not and if yes, it provides a list of packages with there description that need update. The update can be initiated with a simple click of a button at the end of that list.

GPIO management

The GPIO management provides access to the General Purpose Input Output pins on the Raspberry Pi. You can convert a pin to input or output and activate outputs. Currently only GPIO0-GPIO7 pins are available. The solution is under development to provide more functionality on the second release.


VNC is very important because most users want to access their pi from their laptop and have an image of the desktop in their screen. That's why the application has the tightvnc server as a dependency and provides the tightvnc client java applet. The whole vnc solution is pre-setup and only clicking at the vnc section should work. The tightvnc service on the RPi should be started manually because you need to setup a password.


Currently the web application agent supports the Raspberry Pi with Raspbian installed. Any debian based Linux distribution should also work but is not thoroughly tested yet.


Vasilis Nicolaou, Angelos Georgiadis, Georgios Chairepetis, Kyriacos Georgiou and Maria Charalambous


GPLv2. Imported projects have their own license.

Developer information

Please consult the README file in order to setup an environment for testing purposes of the application. Note that architecture specific code won't work (just the GPIO for the moment). The application is based on the micro-CernVM web appliance agent developed at CERN by Vasilis Nicolaou and documentation section contains documents for that web application but are highly relevant to the forked version (the pi-web-agent)


Report (only relevant information of the web application, ignore update management section)

Presentation (first 9 slides)

Follow usr/share/pi-web-agent/doc for documentation on key python modules.