Installing on Mini-Box

From IHRIS Wiki

These are installation notes for getting the mini-box LCD appliance up and running with Ubuntu Server 32-bit 9.04 (Jaunty) wth an processor and making use of the menuing system.

This document covers installation of Ubuntu and the bits of software to control the LCD Panel on the iHRIS Appliance. For information on installing the iHRIS Suite itself (including a full LAMP stack) see Installing the Debian Packages


LCD Keypad


First create a user 'lcdmenu' that can't login:

 sudo adduser --disabled-login --gecos "" lcdmenu 

Download and build the SDK or at least just what it includes usblcd-src. Install 'usbread' into the /home/lcdmenu/bin. To build it you will need to do this:

sudo apt-get install autoconf gcc-4.1-base gcc-4.1 gcc make \
     automake binutils binutils-dev libtool libusb-dev \
     libhid-dev bzr
cd ~lcdmenu
sudo -u lcdmenu bzr branch lp:lcdmenu bin
cd ~/
tar -xzvf usblcd-src-0.1.4.tgz
cd usblcd-0.1.4
rm src/ lib/usblcd.c
ln -s ~lcdmenu/bin/usblcd.c lib/usblcd.c
ln -s ~lcdmenu/bin/ src/
ln -s ~lcdmenu/bin/lcdmenu.c src/lcdmenu.c
sudo make install
sudo ldconfig

Now we want to change the splash the screen at boot-up

sudo usblcd splash ~lcdmenu/bin/splash.txt

LCD Menu

This applies to LCD Menu 1.0 which is not packaged yet. You have already downloaded it via bzr in the step above

Now edit the "sudoers" file by running:

sudo visudo 

and add this line to grant the lcdmenu user limited access to system functions

%lcdmenu ALL=NOPASSWD: /sbin/shutdown, /usr/sbin/service, /usr/bin/mysqldump, /usr/bin/apt-get, /usr/local/bin/usblcd, /usr/local/bin/lcdmenu, /usr/bin/killall

Create a "backup" user in mysql with localhost only access and no password which can lock and select all tables

  mysql -u root -p
  mysql> GRANT SELECT,LOCK TABLES on *.* TO backup@localhost IDENTIFIED BY PASSWORD \'\';
  mysql> quit;

(again no slashes)

Now we want it to setup to run periodically:

echo '* * * * * /home/lcdmenu/bin/ >/dev/null 2>&1'|\
     sudo crontab -u lcdmenu -

We can get it up and running as fast as possible and put it a shutdown mesages by putting it in the local startup:

sudo vi /etc/init.d/local

Add these contents:

case "$1" in
   sudo -u lcdmenu /home/lcdmenu/bin/
   run=`ps a -Ulcdmenu | grep /home/lcdmenu/bin/lcdmenu.php | grep -v grep | cut -c1-5 | paste -s -`
   if [   "$run" ]; then
        kill -15 $run
   run=`ps a -Ulcdmenu | grep /home/lcdmenu/bin/lcdmenu.php | grep -v grep | cut -c1-5 | paste -s -`
   if [   "$run" ]; then
        sleep 0.3
        kill -9 $run
   killall lcdmenu
   /usr/local/bin/usblcd clear backlight 1 text 0 0  "   Shutting Down   " text 1	0 "    Please Wait  "

Now do:

sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/local
sudo update-rc.d local defaults 99


The LCD Menuing system has a "backup MySQL database to a flash drive" feature. Since we will not be using GNOME, we will need a USB automounter:

  sudo apt-get install usbmount

Then edit the file /etc/usbmount/usbmount.conf and add "vfat" to the FILESYSTEMS e.g:

   FILESYSTEMS="ext2 ext3 vfat"

then make sure the FS_MOUNTOPTIONS line has at least:


Power Button

Make sure acpid is installed and running and change /etc/acpi/ to suit your needs. I suggest you just make it the following:

test -f /var/lock/acpisleep && exit 0
/sbin/shutdown -h now "Power button pressed"

Checking Network Status

The MAC Address, to configure your router, can be obtained from the LCD Menu:

>F1:Server Status
>F2:Network Status
>F3:MAC Address

Similarly, if you have plugged the server into a network with DHCP, you can get the IP Address:

>F1:Server Status
>F2:Network Status
>F3:MAC Address

Other Configuration


In case you have GDM installed, let us have it not boot on startup. Note, you can now turn gdm on/off via the LCD Menu.

sudo update-rc.d -f gdm remove


Install nut and follow these directions as well as whatever is available on the home page of the nut package. nut is built for network access to a UPS but seems to be the most up-to-date package available.


See this webmin installation guide or just cut and paste:

sudo aptitude install perl libnet-ssleay-perl openssl \
     libauthen-pam-perl libpam-runtime libio-pty-perl libmd5-perl
sudo dpkg -i webmin_1.530_all.deb

Browse to:


and login as the user you created on Ubuntu installation.

Mail Server

We don't want our box to be the general mail server for the network. There is a mail server, postfix, installed by default on Ubuntu We will want to set the mail server to relay email to some other place.

First we need to do:

sudo apt-get install postfix

Then select

 Satellite System     //the type of system        //the name of your organization   //your smtp server to relay mail to

The above assumes that is an open relay which is probably not the case.

You will probably need to set Postfix up for SMTP Auth

As an alternative here are some instructions for forwarding to a gmail accout.


Although we will intend to run this box without a monitor for the moment we will plug in the monitor to install Ubuntu from a USB-CDROM. Make sure the BIOS is configured to boot from the CD-ROM. Also, under Peripheral Devices you will need to enable all legacy support (or it will hang on installation).

For a flash drive, apparently Josh has had some success following these directions.

We will do a Software Raid. Warning: do not create the filesystem as ext4 as it will hurt mysql very badly. Once it has been setup, we need to monitor it using mdadm:

To do this:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure mdadm

Please enter the following:

 Yes: periodic, monthly checks of the array
 Yes: MD monitoring daemon  Email address for monitoring
 Yes: Start with degraded array