I have a Raspberry Zero (without wireless) equipped with sensors to capture environmental data. It's build to be deployed somewhere, data collection is started with a button. Same for shutting down the device. To get the data I connect it with OTG USB to another computer. I thought it would be nice if the Raspberry would automatically start a file server to let me pick the data ... and shutdown the device when I'm done.
What otg-disk does is
Effectively you get a simple administrative interface to the computer. The USB restriction can be bypassed (to run a local hotspot for file exchange) and the script can be installed as a systemd service unit.
This is ia quick check for impatient readers who want to check first what the script is doing and if it's worth reading more.
In case you don't have your Raspi ready or not configured as OTG gadget: this should also work on any other Linux computer. (But there it doesn't make the fun to have that service.)
The otg-disk script is self-contained: It contains all scripts and configuration that is needed to run it. Of course you have to provide the required binaries, see the next section.
The script configuration is stored in environment variables at the top of the script.
# DIR is our temporary directory. DIR=/run/$NAME
This defines a temporary directory for the script's own use like storing pidfiles. This is a changeable option but you shouldn't touch that. /run/$NAME evaluates to /run/otg-disk which will not conflict with other applications and the directory lives on a temporary mount and is empty on every boot.
# We run as this user. USER=pi
This is another don't-touch option, the script's username. To interact read-write with the samba server this must match the user under which you are normally working.
The following options are more interesting.
# What is the directory of the public samba share? PUBLIC_DISK="/home/$USER/tmp"
This defines a directory that the samba server exports read-write to all users that can reach the Raspberry. And even better: the samba server will not ask for a password. So this is really a public location. When you are using otg-disk in a purely OTG context this doesn't matter because then access is limited to the USB host. When you activate otg-disk with wireless on the share is still protected by the W-LAN password. But you don't want to connect such a thing to the Internet.
# This is the location of the control directory. SYS="$PUBLIC_DISK/sys"
This will be the location where otg-disk creates and monitors file changes to start and stop services or shutdown the system.
# Set these permission on the share directories to make smbd # allow writing files. DIR_PERM=775
rwxrwxr-x) smbd will not allow write
access on the directories $PUBLIC_DISK or $SYS. I'm pretty sure that
it was working with
755 when I started with the script and it
changed after an
apt upgrade. So it might be simply a minor smbd
configuration change and therefore I made the permissions a variable.
# The SYS directory gives control to these services. SVC_LIST="vnc httpd"
otg-disk can start and stop services based on changes in the samba share. This variable defines the service list. But of course, you need to add support for every service you put on the list on your own. At least for now there is no generic addition of services (like a directory containing scripts or unit files). Also the http server used by otg-disk is mini_httpd, which needs to be installed if you want to use that.
The following two parameters configure mini_httpd.
# Parameters for mini_httpd. HTTP_PORT=2080 HTTP_DIR=$PUBLIC_DISK
They set the server's TCP/IP port and document root.
These variable are for the Raspi's hotspot - if it comes with a W-LAN chip.
# Hotspot configuration. WLAN_COUNTRY_CODE=XX WLAN_SSID=MyHotspot WLAN_PASSWD=MySecretPassword
Make sure to set the correct country code for your location (e.g. DE for Germany) otherwise your hotspot may be illegal (and not properly working). Set SSID and password as you like.
The access point is one thing and the client IP-configuration is another.
# Access point network. AP_IFC=wlan0 AP_IP_ADDR=192.168.1.1 AP_NETMASK=255.255.255.0 AP_DHCP_DEF=192.168.1.11,192.168.1.55,255.255.255.0,24h
These four parameters configure the Raspi's hotspot network (192.168.1.1/24) and the DHCP server in dnsmasq (DHCP range is from 192.168.1.11 to 192.168.1.55). AP_IFC needs to be changed if you have multiple W-LAN adapters and the hotspot is not running on wlan0.
The following variables are for smbd and shouldn't be changed. The logfile goes to the temporary directory we defined at the beginning. Its maximum size is 100 kBytes (samba configuration) and it's only meant to debug current but not past problems.
# Location of dynamic smb.conf and smbd's logfile. SMB_CONF="$DIR/smb.conf" SMB_LOG="$DIR/smb.log"
smbd's configuration files lives also in the temporary directory. It is created every time otg-disk starts. If you want to work with a permanent file and individual configuration notice that otg-disk deletes an existing $SMB_CONF and you have to disable that.
# Debugging issues with the script? Setting this to `yes` disables # the systemd service on startup. OTG_FAILSAFE=no
otg-disk will reboot or shutdown the Raspberry whenever it sees
changes on some particular files. And since the script is started at
boot time it may send the computer into an infinite reboot loop if
really all things fail really hard. If that happens and you want to
debug it or if you want to try the script as service first then set
this variable to
yes. otg-disk will then disable its service when
it starts. (It will also provide the file reenable-service in its
$SYS directory to simplify starting script as service during the next
# sys-monitor writes some log messages. export LOG=yes
makes the $SYS monitor script write some log messages. If otg-disk is started from systemd the messages will go to the system logs.
The file server smbd uses it's own configuration file and this is included as so called shell "here document". (Search for the string global and there it is.) If the file server is running you will find the file as /run/otg-disk/smb.conf. Here is its contents:
[global] workgroup = WORKGROUP # 100 kBytes of log in temporary space log file = /run/otg-disk/smb.log max log size = 100 logging = file log level = 0 panic action = /usr/share/samba/panic-action %d pid directory = /run/otg-disk server role = standalone server map to guest = bad password guest account = pi # This make a public writeable share. [disk] browseable = yes path = /home/pi/tmp guest ok = yes read only = no create mask = 777
You can edit it there for debugging puposes (this smb.conf is not
permanent) and reload the configuration with
pkill -HUP smbd.
otg-disk brings all scripts and configuration to run a public ad-hoc file server. However, the samba server needs to be installed.
sudo apt update && sudo apt install samba inotify-tools sudo systemctl stop smbd sudo systemctl stop nmbd sudo systemctl disable nmbd snmd
download the service and disable their system services. In case you are already using smbd on the Raspi notice that otg-disk does not stop (and restart) an already running smbd. (This may be added in a later version.)
The inotify-tools are required to monitor the $SYS directory for changes.
otg-disk supports mini_httpd as web server. But this is just for demonstration purposes. If it is not installed (because you don't need it or use something else) otg-disk will work without it. In case you want mini_httpd you can install it with
sudo apt update && sudo apt install mini-httpd sudo systemctl stop mini-httpd sudo systemctl disable mini-httpd
(Notice that the package's name uses a
- instead of
I think (but I'm not sure) that the programs hostapd and dnsmasq, which are required for the hotspot come already with the OS installation.
You may add your own services to otg-disk but you have to add the start-stop logic to the script. Services are started and stopped from within a long case statement:
case "$cmd" in vnc) # First, terminate a running instanace, then start a # server, if required. vncserver-virtual -kill :1 [ "$op" = "start" ] && vncserver-virtual :1 ;;
The variable $cmd is the service's name (the service's filename must match the case selector) and $op is either start or stop which means that the service should be started or stopped. The code snippet shows the basic logic:
With this simple approach a service is never run twice which could create issues.
In the example above vncserver does two things:
Not all services work like that.
httpd) # The httpd does not come with a kill operation as vnc. # Therefore we keep its process id and terminate it by # that. kill_process "$DIR" httpd mini_httpd if [ "$op" = "start" ]; then mini_httpd -D -p $HTTP_PORT -dd $HTTP_DIR -l /dev/null & echo $! >$DIR/httpd.pid fi ;;
I'm a little bit cheating here. mini_httpd can go into the
background on its own (not requiring the & at the end of the
command line) and write a pidfile with the -i option, see
Here again the service is terminated first. mini_httpd doesn't do that on its own, so the shell function kill_process (included in otg-disk) is called: it stops the service with the process id that is stored in /run/otg-disk/httpd.pid if the process' name is mini_httpd.
If the operation is start mini_httpd is started and put into
the background by the shell (to demonstrate how this works;
mini_httpd is artificially kept from doing this with the -D
option) and the following
echo $! >$DIR/httpd.pid writes
mini_httpd's process id into the pidfile.
Add your own code to the script to support services you need depending on their type.
You can run otg-disk simply on demand from the command line (or from within a shell script):
Added the parameter
_force_ if you want to bypass the text for USB
If you want otg-disk as a permanent service you can install it with
sudo ./otg-disk _install_
otg-disk will create a systemd unit file in /etc/systemd/system and register it. That's all. As you may have guessed it, the unit file is created on the fly as a here document inserting the required parameters.
Of course you can start, stop or restart the service with systemctl too.
If you want to run the service without the usb0 condition on your W-LAN connection you would use
sudo ./otg-disk _install-wlan_
which skips the test.
Uninstalling is as easy as installing:
sudo ./otg-disk _uninstall_
otg-disk implements only a few system functions out of the box: Rebooting and shutting down are important to handle the computer properly even if ssh is not available. Other services (e.g. more network servers) must be added manually to the script. That's ok because it keeps otg-disk self contained but make it difficult to port functions from one computer or user to another.
Then otg-disk's process handling with pid files is somewhat old
fashioned. systemd is something that comes immediately into mind
but has the disadvantage that you have to modify your system
configuration in some way for that (beyond installing otg-disk as
service). And I definitely wanted to avoid that. (You can get rid of
the installed programs with
sudo apt purge nmbd smbd inotify-tools.)
uinit is another option that would fit
better to otg-disk than systemd but I wanted to keep otg-disk as
simple as possible for the user: Not touching the system configuration
for systemd or downloading something and running dpkg for uinit.