Installing modules on Rachel_pi_kolibri_10_30_18

Installed 10_30_18 on a sandisk 64gb usb. All downloads working fine except for the following:

Wikipedia for schools will not run (seems to be something to do with kiwix)
KA-lite ESS failed to complete download after 3.5 hours and c98% of the download

I am trying to build a Rachel update to a 2013 version and need KA-Lite essentials and wikipedia for schools.

Suggestions on what to try next?

Hi Trevor,

The Kolibri image is running Kolibri only and not KA-Lite. Kolibri is an updated replacement for KA-Lite which has all of the same content available. To save on system resources KA-Lite was not included and is in a separate ka-lite only image. The readme for the image is at this link. which has instructions on how to install Kolibri channels inside of Kolibri a installing kolibri channels through the RACHEL install page will not work. The static KAOS modules like en-KAOS will work if you want those as well as Kolibri.

If you decide to try KA-Lite ESS on the KA-Lite supported image, as of right now the download will still fail and you will need to run an extra script that I can link to fix it. This should be fixed soon.

There are also instructions on what to do if you have issues running Wikipedia modules. If you want Wikipedia for schools, there is a static version which will not have those issues and won’t require those steps.

I hope that helps. If you have any other issues/questions let me know.


1 Like

Thanks James. I am basically building what I want to be an updated Rachel system for deployment in primary school in Bolgatanga, Ghana. They are currently using a 32gb Rachel distro from 2013 running on an original RPi. I have a new B+ model for them and it is great that it boots directly from my 64gb usb. Although the large format SD card from 2013 has been super reliable I am assuming that the 64gb usb will be a better solution for the B+. My requirements for the the Rachel build are:

download modules that are primary school relevant (eg BinoFino, Cat and dog books etc)
stick with Ka-lite ESS as this is what the children (and teacher) are used to ( and it is small enough to fit on the 64gb usb
update Wkipedia - sort of frustrated that the schools version of Wikipedia is too old e.g. still refers to the president of Ghana as John Ata Mills (from 2011). It would be nice if the curated schools Wkipedia was kept up to date as this is sort of a ‘go to’ app on Rachel.

Anything you can do to help with Ka-lite would be much appreciated. I have successfully loaded the static Schools Wikipedia (but still very outdated in some respects).

My thinking in sticking with the RPi rather than going down the Plus route is:
Device is cheap with easily replaceable parts (usb, SD card etc)
not convinced on reliability/support for the Plus in a challenging remote location
Pi is working great a as server on a wired network of secure desktops

I will probably take out a Kolibri version on an ssd once I have had a chance to familiarise with it.

Work you are doing and communicating about for Rachel on the RPi is super. Thanks.

Kind regards

1 Like

You’re welcome Trevor. I’m happy to help.

I’ve just looked into Wikipedia for Schools issue. It looks like their website is down and it isn’t being maintained. I agree that it’s an important module and that it should be maintained with the latest content possible. I have found a recent Wikipedia for Schools zim file from September 2018 that I’m hoping will work. I’m downloading it now and will try to build an updated module around it. I’ll let you know how that goes.

The 64GB USB will definitely give more space to work with I think USB is much more stable and fast, I prefer it over MicroSD. I am looking at supporting all storage devices connected for future images so you can load modules from all of them and use one as the OS device. With some work the OS device could be made read-only which would hopefully avoid corruption entirely. I think the pi is perfect for smaller user counts and more remote locations for all of the reasons you stated.

The files that you downloaded for KA-Lite-ESS are okay. The error at 98% occurs because a script that runs after completion to install the content to KA-Lite fails as it’s outdated and meant for the RACHEL-Plus as well as the old RACHEL-Pi. I would change this but I don’t seem to have access on the server that the Install page uses. Are you still running the Kolibri image or have you switched over to the KA-Lite image? If you’re on the KA-Lite image now, I can give you the fixed script to run and give you instructions on how to do it. If you’re still on the Kolibri image I can modify a script to remove kolibri and install ka-lite and fix the issue.


Update: I’ve just tested the latest Wikipedia_for_schools zim from 2018 and it has outdated information as well.

1 Like

Thanks for getting back so uickly James. I still have the Kolibri distro on my 64gb usb but with no Kolibri modules - just the other primary school relevant downloads plus the static old Wikipedia for Schools. I can easy start again and flash the Ka-lite version if that is the easiest thing to do. I would however the great if there was one version where you could choose whether you wanted to download Kolibri or Ka-lite ESS etc.

Would be really super if a more up to date Wikipedia for Schools could be made available. I think this could be of value to so many in the community as it is such a ‘go to’ app both when demonstrating Rachel and in use.

Whilst it is really great that Learning Equality are further developing their offerings (Kolibri etc) there is also a demand particularly at the primary and early junior school end to persist the simplicity of the earlier rachel versions with Ka-lite.

Thanks again

1 Like

Hi Trevor,

Unfortunately Wikipedia for Schools does not seem to be maintained at all. I hoped that the 2018 image was up to date but it is the same as the 2013 one. It seems like they spent a lot of time on building it by hand which is a time consuming process. This is something I will look into in the future if I can find a way to automate it. There is another project called Vikidia found at I can look into making a module of that if you’re interested and the content is suitable.

I’ve written a script for you that will install ka-lite to your Kolibri image and do some other things if you want. You can either ssh into the pi to do this or you can hook it up to a monitor and keyboard to run it. Let me know if you have any issues with this or need help with SSH. To enable SSH place the included “ssh” file onto your boot partition.

I’m going to tag @giakonda because this will fix the ip address issue he asked about. Hope this works!

Install KA-Lite

  1. Download this zip file this zip file and unzip it.
  2. Plug your RACHEL’s USB key or SD card into your PC and copy the “fixes” folder to the root of the “boot” partition of your device.
  3. Boot up your Pi with the device in it.
  4. Run the command “cd /boot/fixes”
  5. Run the command “./ --ka-lite” to install ka lite

Install KA-Lite Content

Once you’ve downloaded en-kalite-ess or en-ka-lite and it says “failed” at 98% run these commands.

  1. “cd /boot/fixes”
  2. “./ --ka-content”

This should install any ka-lite content you’ve downloaded

Remove Kolibri

To remove Kolibri after you’ve installed KA-Lite do these commands

  1. “cd /boot/fixes”
  2. “./ --remove-kolibri”

Add the IP Address to the banner

To add the lan and wifi ip addresses to the banner run these commands

  1. “cd /boot/fixes”
  2. “./ --fix-ip”

Fix Fileshare Modules

If you’ve installed en-file_share or es-files_share and it failed, uses these commands to fix it

  1. “cd /boot/fixes”
  2. “./ --fix-fileshare”
1 Like

Thanks again James for your hard work

1 Like

You’re welcome Howard. Hopefully this is something that helps with existing deployments as well.

1 Like

Thanks James. Ka-lite ESS now up and running. I still have c.8 gb n my usb. Have not used en-fileshare before. Do you know if there is any documentation on this feature in terms of what you can and can’t do with it?

On the topic of Wikipedia for Schools not being maintained, does anyone have any ideas on what might be done about this? Offline internet as an information source can only really work well if the content is reasonably up to date.

James, apologies if I am asking you too many questions but having successfully created my c.64 Gb Rachel usb I now want to clone it to produce a second one that I where I can keep some of the downloads but remove primary material and replace with more secondary relevant info. What do you think would be the best way to do this? I have a mac as a desktop, but guess I could also use the RPi?

Hi Trevor, I bought a “Carry flash Mini Duplicator” I have used it to clone SD cards up to 128GB. It is capable of cloning 2 SD cards at a time.
I would recommend one of these if you do a lot of copying.
Kind Regards

Glad It’s working Trevor.

I’m not sure about documentation but en-file_share lets you upload files to the RACHEL device to be shared with other users.

Wikipedia for Schools is a project that was maintained by an organization called SOS Children’s Villages. I don’t think there’s much that can be done to update it unless they decide to. The alternatives are or the others I’ve mentioned which are still updated by WIkipedia.

To clone an SD card you’ll need to make an image of it and then flash that image to the new device. The easiest tool on windows to do it is called win32diskimager. To make an image of it you’ll have to use your mac or a device like Howard mentioned. I’m not a mac user but I think the program to make an image on them is called “Apple-Pi Baker”. Etcher is available for mac and that’s what I suggest for flashing images.

One of the options for showing/hiding content is to use the sort page in the admin interface. You can click the hide button on modules you don’t want to show to certain classes and save that.

When will you be taking this to the primary school in Bolgatanga?


Thanks Giakonda and James.

James I want to clone the version of Rachel with the Ka-lite fixes etc that you have assosted me with. I am familiar with Etcher and win32diskmanager and have clone full raspbian copies before. Should I flash from the Rachel USB and then copy th Rachel files or flash from the 2018_10_30 release apply fixes again and then copy data? Need to do this tonight because I am delivering the usb and RPi tomorrow to go to Bolga

I think creating an image from the RACHEL USB drive and flashing it to the other one will be the fastest as you won’t have to download the modules again or set anything up. The problem you might encounter is sometimes you will get an “image too big to flash” error if you made an image of a 64gb card and are flashing that to another 64gb card because even though they both say 64gb, they will slightly differ in size.You may have to shrink that image with another script inside of linux first in order for it to be flashed. If that doesn’t work you will have to do a fresh install, apply the fixes, and then copy the modules over to it.