Ares Pi

Using Raspberry Pi as a Dedicated Ares 2 Enyo Nodejs Server

I’ve had a couple of small projects on my mind and finally decided to knock two of them out with one shot.

The obligatory picture of my Raspberry Pi

I ordered a Raspberry Pi from the first supplier in England back in February 2012. It was on back order for months and in April I was finally informed they were arriving *soon*. In June I received an email stating 8 weeks shipping, my order was FINALLY being processed. Apparently my order got misplaced, because in September I contacted the company and they admitted nothing, simply stated it was being processed. By the time the RPi (Raspberry Pi) arrrived, I kind of forgot why I ordered it in the first place. So I threw it in a drawer for later, thinking I might set up a media server or something.

I’ve also  been meaning to set up a Nodejs server to run Ares, a browser based UI design tool, which also integrates with the Phonegap Build tool to create packages for multiple mobile OSes.

Running Ares locally isn’t a big deal, but I wanted a dedicated machine that would keep the code base updated automatically.

So I dusted off the RPi board and set it up. The project is here. And is a useful tutorial (I hope) for anyone who wants to set up a Debian Linux based computer as a dedicated server. The setup does some generically useful things, and some specific things that someone can adapt to their use.

  • Headless server for running without a monitor or keyboard
  • VNC server to access the device remotely
  • Node server with a script to pull/build/install a specific version
  • Watchdog enabled: forces a reboot if the RPi hangs
  • Ares server starts at boot
  • Forever, a Node plugin which restarts Node if it crashes
  • Cron script to keep Ares code nightly
  • Cron script to update the RPi firmware and reboot weekly
To get an idea as to why Ares is a big deal, watch this walk through (via webOSNation and George Mari). And to see why Enyo is a big deal, watch this presentation from the Enyo blog (via webOSNation).

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