FreedomBox/UniLeipzigPractical is the documentation of a freedom box related practical course at the AKSW Research Group at the University of Leipzig (in german).

The original course page is available at The practical will be organized in 3-4 hackaktons and a lot of work between these sessions. The idea of the practical is to extend the freedombox with semantic technologies.


Groups WebIDs


This is our practical hardware, the OLinuXino (actually, we use the WIFI version of it)

User's manual


Basic Installation

Basic Configuration

Or with SD device not of exact same size as that image, reinstall its contents onto a freshly partitioned and formatted device:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=512 count=2047
parted -s /dev/sdX -- mktable msdos mkpart primary 1 18 mkpart primary 18 -0
dd if=olinuxino-original.img of=/dev/sdX bs=1024 seek=8 count=1015
mkdosfs /dev/sdX1
mke2fs -T ext3 /dev/sdX2
kpartx -av olinuxino-original.img
mount -o ro /dev/mapper/loop0p1 /mnt
mount /dev/sdX1 /media
rsync -avH /mnt/ /media/
umount /mnt /media
mount -o ro /dev/mapper/loop0p2 /mnt
mount /dev/sdX2 /media
rsync -avH --exclude=/var/cache/apt/archives/ /mnt/ /media/
umount /mnt /media
kpartx -d olinuxino-original.img

(Second dd command above is crude: ideally we would have the SPL and u-boot binaries as files, as documented at



This section describes how to setup the network connection of your device. Out goal is to have a roaming tolerant setup where the box is reachable from outside despite any odd ISP configurations.

Network Manager

  1. Find the name of your wifi device with iwconfig (wlanX)
  2. run "apt-get install network-manager"
  3. Copy all your configured Wifis from your desktop or laptop to your board (e.g. via SD-Card) You may find them in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections and that is the same place, where it has to go in the board.
  4. Make sure all files in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections have owner root:root and only read and write rights for the owner.
  5. Make sure your wifi device (wlanX) does not appear in /etc/network/interfaces

  6. Restart your board (power off - wait - power on)

Further reading:

Network Access for non-root Users

# groupadd -g 3003 aid_inet
# adduser <username> aid_inet

This is cause by the enabled kernel option: CONFIG_ANDROID_PARANOID_NETWORK (another reason for a new kernel)



Know if the System is On or Off

There is no feedback to know, if the system stopped already after telling it shutdown -h now or if the systems is ready with booting if you have it running headless. I wrote a small init script which you have to place in /etc/init.d/statusled. To activate it run update-rc.d statusled defaults. Now you can test the script with service statusled start or service statusled stop.

Note: you have to use a kernel with GPIO enabled to use this script


For the bash users among us I think it would be helpfully to enable the tab auto completion. You can find the instructions here:

The tutor of this practical suggests to use zsh:-) which has much better completion options as well as a lot of other nice features.

qemu Emulation

todo clemens


With the new kernel #Kernel_compilation it is possible to install and run miredo which is an IPv6 tunnel service. With the IPv6 address you can reach your device from everywhere.

How to provide a stable WebID over standard networks?

How to provide a stable WebID over p2p, crypto networks?

Get the Ethernet mod running (MOD-ENC28J60)

To get the MOD-ENC28J60 running with the board you need to compile the kernel with enc28j60 support as described below and read following discussions:

I haven't tested this so far



DSSN implementation for node.js

Basic requirements


  1. Clone re:publish

  2. Clone node_raptor

  3. export RAPTOR_PREFIX=/usr

  4. Enter node_raptor directory

  5. npm install -g (with root)

  6. npm install -g paperboy

  7. Enter republish directory

  8. Copy config.js-dist to config.js and adapt it to your needs. For instance set the namespace under which resources should be served (i.e. your domain).

  9. Get a RDF file (e.g. your FOAF profile)
  10. Start the server by passing it the path to the RDF file:
    • node lib/server.js test/data.ttl


Xodx is running on the system. You can get the current develop branch from the git repository. Additionally you have to install a web server (I recommend nginx) and a triplestore (best choice is virtuoso).

To get nginx running with php fast cgi you should follow this tutorial. You can find the necessary scripts in my gist. To get xodx running you can adopt the server configuration for OntoWiki.

So far I had no success in accessing xodx with my IPv4 address but it works with IPv6 (as you can see it is next generation software :-D )

Kernel compilation

Because the kernel in our current image doesn't support the GPIO (all these pins) and IPv6 I'm trying to build a new kernel for us. Our Debian system is using the unofficial armhf debian port which uses the advantages of the floating point unit on the chip.


First you have to check out the kernel sources from linux-sunxi@github or download the tar-ball and extract it.

Second you have to download the Toolchain and extract it and add the bin/-Folder to your $PATH.

And you need mkimage for uboot

sudo apt-get install uboot-mkimage

Configure and Compile the Kernel

make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabihf- a13_defconfig
make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabihf- menuconfig
  1. load the default configuration for our board
  2. adjust the settings e.g. enable: (you can find the .config on github)

    1. "Device Drivers > Misc devices > An ugly sun4i gpio driver" for GPIO

    2. "Networking support > Networking options > TCP/IP networking > The IPv6 protocol" for IPv6

    3. "Device Drivers > Network device support > Universal TUN/TAP device driver support" for tunnel support (IPv6 with miredo)

    4. "General setup > Prompt for development and/or incomplete code/drivers" and "Device Drivers > Network device support > Ethernet (10 or 100Mbit) > ENC28J60 support" for the Ethernet mod/extension (untested)

make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabihf- -j16 uImage modules
make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabihf- INSTALL_MOD_PATH=output modules_install


If you just want to exchange the kernel of your system which is already on the SD-card you just have to mount both partitions and move the uImage to the boot partition and the module to the root-fs.

cp <kernelsources>/arch/arm/boot/uImage /{mnt|media}/<boot-partition>
cp -r <kernelsources>/output/lib/modules/3.0.42 /{mnt|media}/<root-partition>/lib/modules/

If you want to build a whole new image with a new kernel you have to read the following sources.

Sources and further reading:



Work Space





Live Help

Where To Start








To Do





Use cases





HELP & DISCUSSIONS: Mailing List - #freedombox | CONTACT Foundation | JOIN Alioth Projects, GitHub

Next call: Hack call: Saturday, February 11th at 14:00 UTC

Last news: Plinth v0.13.0 released - 2017-01-18

This page is copyright its contributors and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.