MAZI Monday

Ongoing MAZI research into DIY networks and complimentary solutions has turned up many great options. Our current favorite is a a collaboration suite of open source software which continues to develop and swell with features.

Three new servers in centres of activity, have been introduced where the rising need for safe, secure and stable alternatives to corporate cloud is called for by subscribers and collaborators.

We looked into the MAZI portal and MAZI guest book to be used on boattr.

MAZI Portal

This repository contains the Portal of the MAZI toolkit. It is comprised of the user interface which enables users to interact with the available applications and the admin interface which enables the administrator of the Mazizone to customize the appearance of the Portal, configure important networking parameters (network name, SSID etc.), observe statistics of the Mazizone and much more.

You can find a detailed documentation for the usage of the Portal in the wiki of this repository

Or in the MAZI guides repository


Install the following packages:

$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install build-essential git-core libsqlite3-dev ruby ruby-dev libmysqlclient-dev

Also install the following gems:

$ gem install sinatra sequel sqlite3 rake thin rubyzip mysql --no-ri --no-rdoc

And download the back-end scripts

$ sudo su
$ cd /root
$ git clone


$ sudo su
$ cd /root
$ git clone
$ cd portal
$ rake init
$ rake db:migrate


$ ruby -I lib -I database mazi_portal_server.rb


Since version 1.6.4 there is an update function to the admin menu. In order to update using the command line, you need to execute the following commands:

$ sudo su
$ cd /root/portal
$ git pull origin master
$ rake db:migrate
$ cp /etc/mazi/config.yml /etc/mazi/config.yml.bu
$ cp etc/config.yml /etc/mazi/config.yml
$ cd /root/back-end
$ git pull origin master
$ service mazi-portal restart

MAZI Guestbook

Mazi-board or MAZI Guestbook is an application part of the MAZI toolkit for sharing ideas, photos and more, related to the specific place where a MAZI Zone is deployed, a form of digital Guestbook.

See here for more details and documentation:

And try it out here:

Server Requirements

  • mongodb installed
  • npm installed
  • node installed


  • go to src/node directory
  • run npm install
  • install pm2 globally : npm install pm2 -g
  • cp config.default.js config.js and change database credentials and username and password in auth section


  • start your mongodb server with mongod --dbpath <path_to_your_db>
    • create two alias within your .bash_profile:
    alias stop-mongodb='mongo admin --eval "db.shutdownServer()"'
    alias start-mongodb='mongod --fork --logpath <your_db_dir>/mongodb.log  --dbpath <your_db_dir>'
  • run npm test


  • create startup service for mongodb
  • create startup service for pm2
    • if you are using systemd, type: pm2 startup systemd then follow the instructions
  • pm2 start main.js and pm2 save
  • standard port for server is 8081, configure nginx or apache to forward http requests on port 80 to node server


Mazi-board is an application developed initially by, to complement the Hybrid LetterBox:, with a local offline application to view, comment, and add new cards through a device.

As part of the MAZI toolkit is being further developed to be used as a generic application.

Friends at Brookmill Park and Deptford Creek currently share access to their Sandstorm tools installed onto an Atom powered mini PC which is well suited to the task. Demands on the server is still very modest at this point but with new friends gaining skills and interest this will change. They have started making use of the Etherpad (whiteboard), Davros (file store) and Weekan board (list manager) tools. Both groups are still practicing with their respective wordpress based websites at commercial webhosts though these too could be hosted within Sandstorm.

Mazi is well on track to present combinations of network and collective development tools in 2018, a pick and mix of hardware, software and scenario conditioning, though we are not there yet! Adoption of ultra low power ARM based pc’s like Raspberry Pi for a multitude of tasks is on a rocket. On the flipside, a mountain of small format, legacy laptop and powerful low cost / free desktop i386 hardware is in great abundance, a glut even, these are perfect hosts for Sandstorm.

SPC are working with OU and Creeknet friends to establish a network of interactive installations along the tidal creek, that forms a DIY networking trail from Brookmill Park to the Swing Bridge. Using a combination of low power computing and mesh wireless technology, this initiative aims to support existing neighbourhood activity and inform Mazi toolkit development. Follow it along the length of the tidal creek from beacon to beacon, each point presenting locally sourced and augmented information.

Each Mazizone consists of a reconfigured Rasbian operating on a Raspberry Pi that hosts, webserver and database tools that are arranged and refined to suit local conditions. They are connected to existing broadband internet or as standalone ‘offline’ systems. Each offers ‘Creeknet’ wireless access, which responds to your web request by presenting a captive ‘portal’ page loaded with guides for use, selected collaboration tools,  and a view on each neighborhood.

The current MAZI toolkit release is V1.6 with the project sources bug tracking and development notes at Github. We invite all those interested to get in touch, download and install the development images and contribute feedback and follow our progress. The details of how best to configure and deploy a mazizone are being accumulated as we experiment.

Project partners at Univesity of Thessaly in Greece have the job of building and managing the development of the toolkit software, adding and adapting to the evolving requirements. You can preview the default Mazi toolkit, but for better insight into how progress is being made in London please visit one of the Creeknet Mazizones and try out the options. We now also have berryboot versions of the toolkit hosted by Alex Goldcheidt alongide the hundreds of alternative OS for the Raspberry Pi at Berryserver.

Our UK partners at Open University have set up a mazizone installation of their own to demonstrate to their colleagues and experiment with new features whilst in their work space in Milton Keynes.