Running a self hosted, modern and stylish log on your Raspberry Pi
There are quite a few logging applications. Most of them are pretty feature rich, many look like they were designed in 1983. If you don’t need a load of add ons the Cloudlog is a great option. I run mine on my own server that is just a Raspberry Pi and small SSD drive. The secret is in the software….And it is all free!
Where to start?
My experience is based on Diet Pi, a really lightweight Raspberry Pi districution with a load of useful software that can be loaded with a few clicks. I had originally used a RPi Zero W and Jessie Lite (which worked nicely btw) but it needed a bit of faffing about to get it to work. I guess Diet Pi will work with a RPi Zero W but you’ll miss out on the many features. In fact you don’t really need to limit yourself to a RPi. Any SBC that can run DietPi will do, there is a list of sorts here.
Ok, so I’m going to make a couple of assumptions.
1. You’ve got your RPi and know how to ssh into it.
2. You’ve downloaded and burnt the image to your micro SD card
3. It is powered up and ready to go. By that I mean you’re in PuTTY or your fave ssh app
4. You have got yourself a copy of an ftp app, like Filezilla and you have a rough idea how it works
Instruction #1 – launch the software utility
You should end up with this screen….
Here is the magic DietPi software tool. Focus now! Don’t get carried away and install everything. Tempting as it might seem. Now just as a note my installation might be different to yours because I have my own domain that is served by the RPi and that uses No-IP. Also available through Diet-Pi. Classy eh? Perhaps I should do somethingon that as it wasn’t a first hit winner. Anyway back to the job in hand. Select the right install for you. I went for the nginx sqlite and maria db options (not too light but light enough to avoid bogging the RPi down)
Instruction #2 – Make a cup of tea
Just wait for it to finish and sip that nice warm cup of tea. Coffee is ok but lets face it tea is way better.
Instruction #3 – Download the cloudlog files and folders from GitHub, unzip ’em and upload them to the \var\www folder.
Thats the hard work done.
It is now the simpler task of following the instructions on the Cloudlog wiki to get your account(s) set up and you’re off and running.
Some things that you should do before you get stuck in
- Update the country files – This is the first thing you do. Do it now or you will regret it as it won’t work very well. If at all.
- Set up the cron jobs – If you don’t know what cron is then there is as always an excellent primer. Suffice to say cron just does repetitive tasks for you without you needing to do anything. Like uploading to ClubLog or LotW, checking for updates and other stuff that is best left with the machine. Magicbug have a few recommendations but you can always add your own.
- Set up a CAT interface – This can be a little more challenging as it depends on your rig and how and where it is plugged in. I’ll go into the detail of how I did it below. The principal is the same regardless. Connect you right to cloudlog via an API key and use either hamlib or omnirig to do the connection. there are 3rd party tools that make it easier and you might want to make a choice based on what type of OS you use.
- Import your adifs – Easy as well, just be careful that not all adifs are the same. Really? Yup, the standard is not always adhered to. Sometime extra stuff is put in the headings that stops it happening. I had a bit of trouble but got to the bottom of it eventually.