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Best setup for Windows desktop- or rPi-based knowledgebase?
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Best setup for Windows desktop- or rPi-based knowledgebase?

user123user123 Member

I thought of this project in order to improve the learning and experience of some students I will be teaching.

I would like to set up a private knowledge base where users (for whom I create logins) can log in, create new topics, and update information on each topic. However, as the information needs to remain private/confidential, it should be served up over SSL and hosted on an encrypted disk/volume/VM. Physically, it will be hosted locally, at a friend's place. My two options for hosting this are: a desktop running Windows 7, a desktop running Windows 10, or a Raspberry Pi Model B with 512MB RAM that I have sitting around unused with a wifi dongle (I also have a spare no-name-ordered-from-China USB ethernet adapter, but am not sure if there are linux drivers).

There is a 95% chance that this will just be used for a couple weeks with <5 users who update each topic once/day, but it would be nice to have a portable solution, if possible. There should also be a way to "archive" certain topics (i.e. there is a list of "currently active" topics and then "archived" topics - IIRC, this is easily achieved) I will also need an automated encrypted backup strategy for this project. What option(s) would you recommend?

One more question: if someone is able and willing to set up something like this for me (and explaining their steps to me along the way so that I have at least a basic idea of how to fix/modify things should it be necessary), what would be a reasonable price?

Comments

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator

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    You could use Virtualbox to run a VM on either of the Windows machines. Use any flavor of Linux with a basic web server and MediaWiki (same software as Wikipedia). You wouldn't even need MySQL...I think you can run MediaWiki on sqlite but even with MySQL, it's still a small VM. Linux supports disk encryption.

    Put either the Crashplan or Spideroak or something free client on it, because you're unlikely to have more than 100MB of actual data you'd want to backup if it's that small an environment.

    The VM could have a very small disk - a couple GB. Shut it down and copy it to a USB if you want portability.

    I'd do that rather than run on the RPi myself because I think you'll have more headaches with RPi than a generic VM, plus the storage is a hard drive or SSD and not an SD card, but I'm sure some RPinistas will have other opinions...this post is just mine.

    Good luck, Mr Sneaky Sneak.

  • @raindog308 said:

    You could use Virtualbox to run a VM on either of the Windows machines. Use any flavor of Linux with a basic web server and MediaWiki (same software as Wikipedia). You wouldn't even need MySQL...I think you can run MediaWiki on sqlite but even with MySQL, it's still a small VM. Linux supports disk encryption.

    Put either the Crashplan or Spideroak or something free client on it, because you're unlikely to have more than 100MB of actual data you'd want to backup if it's that small an environment.

    The VM could have a very small disk - a couple GB. Shut it down and copy it to a USB if you want portability.

    I'd do that rather than run on the RPi myself because I think you'll have more headaches with RPi than a generic VM, plus the storage is a hard drive or SSD and not an SD card, but I'm sure some RPinistas will have other opinions...this post is just mine.

    Good luck, Mr Sneaky Sneak.

    A VM was one route I was considering, but given my track record with setting up VMs (I had to install from the default Debian iso and apt-get install it because the VM kept crashing when I tried installing Debian with LXDE using that ISO facepalm).

    What is the advantage of using a wiki like MediaWiki over a Knowledge Base?

    One requirement I forgot to mention is that every topic actually has two manual forms that overlay an existing (scanned in from a printed page) template and each must be printable on its own. For example, one form would be for more detailed intake information, while another form would be a (much shorter) daily update note. Though I have no idea what the text says on this (it popped up in a Google search), it is similar to what I mean by the manual form scanned in from a printed page: http://www.smartcampaign.org/storage/documents/Tools_and_Resources/Smart_Campaign-Tamweelcom-Complaints_Form-AR.jpg. We would need to print that template into the page along with the typed in data (which would need to print onto the lines).

    If it is behind a router with only port 80/443 opened, would you still recommend a software firewall for it?

    I realize I didn't explain it in the clearest way possible, but I'm not sure how else to describe it. So, please ask questions if you need clarification!

    Thanks for the help :)

  • cassacassa Member

    rPi + Dokuwiki runs fine :-)

    user123 said: If it is behind a router with only port 80/443 opened, would you still recommend a software firewall for it?

    In that case, your router is acting a bit as a firewall.

    Thanked by 1user123
  • I'm still not clear on how a wiki page could be set up to fit into an existing form template for printing. But, ignoring that, would anyone be willing to set up a Virtualbox VM like this for me for $15-20USD (with screen/window recorder so that I can also learn how it's done)? I don't have a Paypal account and would prefer to pay with an Amazon GC I can purchase for you, but could also pay by Stripe or something like that. Debian 8 x64 with 1GB RAM allocated, encrypted 2GB virtual disk, Dokuwiki (forcing SSL) with two main groups ("active" and "archived") that would contain multiple topic pages within each, and an automated backup script (with the option of uploading the created backup to a network share or SFTP server). I know I'm cutting it close, but it would be amazing if the project could be delivered by Tuesday evening...crosses fingers and toes

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