Line up for Linux: How to Install Your RAK2247 LPWAN Concentrator Module with a Linux Machine

If before, Linux was only commonly used for programming projects, Linux is now dominating the scene of the Internet of Things (IoT). In a 2018 survey sponsored by the Eclipse IoT Working Group, AGILE IoT, IEEE, and the Open Mobile Alliance, Linux was hailed as the top operating system (OS) for the IoT community. Among 502 respondents, 71.8% responded with “Linux” as the most-trusted OS for their IoT devices.

And the numbers do not lie. Linux and its components are being widely developed, used and regulated by developers and engineers worldwide because of its open source and low-cost features. Linux can also run on products as small as server chips and boards to PCs and even larger networking systems, while maintaining its robust support for easy customization.

As a result, numerous IoT devices, from LoRaWAN® gateways to LoRAWAN modules, are now capable of being configured with a Linux machine – an example of which is the RAK2247 LPWAN Gateway Concentrator Module from RAKwireless. This 8-channel LPWAN module supports the LoRaWAN 1.0.2 protocol and is equipped with a mini-PCIe form factor based on the SX1301 chip from Semtech. If you’re curious as to how you can unlock the Linux capability for your IoT device, then continue on reading our tutorial with the RAK2247 concentrator module.

RAK2247 LPWAN Gateway Concentrator Module
RAK2247 LPWAN Gateway Concentrator Module

The RAK2247 is the evolution of RAK833. It retains the same small form factor (mPCIE) and is just as easy to integrate as the previous model.

Installing Ubuntu, a Linux distribution

Get the installation file

Download the ISO file from https://ubuntu.com/download/desktop. Please make sure you have the latest version of Ubuntu.

Create a bootable DVD/USB

When you have the version that best suits you, you can now burn the ISO image into USB/DVD to boot the computer from that drive. Please note that in performing this step, you will completely format the USB drive. All the data that is stored in it will be lost. Also, make sure you’ve changed the boot sequence so that your system boots using the CD/DVD or flash drive. You can do that from the BIOS setup.

Boot the system from the USB/DVD

Restart your machine and make it boot from the bootable device that we created before. You will see the following screen and then choose “Install Ubuntu” option:

Figure 1 | Installation options
Figure 1 | Installation options

Choose your keyboard layout

Choose the keyboard layout that best fits you. No worries, your choice can still be changed after the installation.

Figure 2 | Keyboard option
Figure 2 | Keyboard option

Choose the updates and the software

We recommend you choose the following option:

Figure 3 | Updates option
Figure 3 | Updates option

Choose the installation type

Please choose the first option:

Figure 4 | Installation types
Figure 4 | Installation types

Answer the next pop-up window that will ask you if you are sure of your choices. It will also show you the default partitions that will be formatted and the parts that will be affected at all.

Figure 5 | Information on partitions
Figure 5 | Information on partitions

Choose your regional setup

We recommend you choose your real location or the closest one to you.

Figure 5 | Location details
Figure 5 | Location details

Provide your information

Set up your name and some other details of your computer. Choose a password that you think you will remember best.

Figure 6 | Personal and PC information
Figure 6 | Personal and PC information

Run the installation

Wait until the installation is done. It may take some minutes.

Figure 7 | Completed installation
Figure 7 | Completed installation

Log in

Provide your account details and sign in.

Figure 8 | Log-in page
Figure 8 | Log-in page
Figure 9 | Log-in credentials page
Figure 9 | Log-in credentials page

Enabling LoRa Packet Forwarder on your RAK2247

Install git on your Ubuntu

Get your copy of git and clone the script:

sudo apt install git
sudo git clone https://github.com/RAKWireless/rak_common_for_gateway.git

Run command

Run the following command to get the name of the interface that you are using to connect to the network.

ifconfig

If correct, you will get this info:

Figure 10 | Resulting command prompt
Figure 10 | Resulting command prompt

Copy the interface’s name (“enp0s3” in this case), you will need it later. Go to RAK2247’s folder by typing:

cd rak_common_for_gateway/lora/rak2247

Read the install.sh file by nano:

sudo nano install.sh

Find “GATEWAY_EUI_NIC=”<something>”” and put your interface’s name “GATEWAY_EUI_NIC=”<here>”

Go to the end of the file and put these lines there:

cp ../set_eui.sh packet_forwarder/lora_pkt_fwd/

cp ../update_gwid.sh packet_forwarder/lora_pkt_fwd/

cp ../start.sh packet_forwarder/lora_pkt_fwd/

mkdir -p /opt/ttn-gateway

cp -rf packet_forwarder /opt/ttn-gateway/

If you want the packet forwarder to start on boot put these too:

cp ../ttn-gateway.service/lib/systemd/system/

systemctl enable ttn-gateway.service

)

Close and save the file by pressing (Ctrl+Z) then press (Y) and (Enter).

Now type:

cd ..

sudo nano set_eui.sh

Again, find “GATEWAY_EUI_NIC=””” and put your interface’s name “GATEWAY_EUI_NIC=”””

Close and save the file by pressing (Ctrl+Z) then press (Y) and (Enter).

And for last time, type:

sudo nano update_gwid.sh

Find “GATEWAY_EUI_NIC=”<something>”” and put your interface’s name “GATEWAY_EUI_NIC=”<here>”

Close and save the file by pressing (Ctrl+Z) then press (Y) and (Enter).

Run the installation script

Use this command:

sudo ./install.sh

Go in lora_pkt_fwd by typing:

cd ~

cd /opt/ttn_gateway/packet_forwarder/lora_pkt_fwd

sudo nano global_conf.json

Scroll down to the end of the file and change

"serv_port_up": 1680

to

"serv_port_up": 1700

and

"serv_port_down": 1680

to

"serv_port_down" : 1700"

Change

"server_address": "localhost"

to

"server_address": "router.eu.thethings.network"

Type

sudo ./lora_pkt_fwd

Should you add the additional lines in this step, it will execute every time on boot.

That completes our tutorial! You can now ride on the rising trend of global Linux use and awakened the potential of your RAK2247 LPWAN Gateway Concentrator Module. Start finding out why most IoT enthusiasts trust Linux. Along the way, do not be afraid to learn processes and start new projects that can lead to unthinkable breakthroughs. With developers and engineers improving this excellent operating system all around the world, you can be sure of the stability and security of your deployment. If you will need support, however, you can always find Linux experts in the IoT community. Like with RAK, you can always reach out in our forum: https://forum.rakwireless.com/

Sam Domingo

Sam is the technical and marketing content writer for RAKwireless. Her passion for writing that manifested in her playwriting and poetry now flows into her in-depth coverage of the IoT community.

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