The Subnodes project is an open source initiative focused on streamlining the process of setting up a Raspberry Pi as a wireless access point for distributing content, media, and shared digital experiences. The device behaves as a web server, creating its own local area network, and does not connect with the internet. This is key for the sake of offering a space where people can communicate anonymously and freely, as well as maximizing the portability of the network (no dependibility on an internet connection means the device can be taken and remain active anywhere). The devices are also mesh enabled, implementing the BATMAN Advanced routing protocol.

Support for Subnodes has been provided by Eyebeam. Source code can be found over on github, and a tutorial is right here. Coming very soon is an installation script that will only have to be run once to set up your Raspberry Pi, saving you from having to manually configure everything.

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Hardware

Subnodes runs off a Raspberry Pi Model B, 8GB class 10 SD card, wireless adapater running the rt5370 chipset, and optional battery, if you need to get mobile with your device. An additional wireless adapter is added for running the mesh point.

Software

Subnodes networking is set up using linux software packages hostapd and dnsmasq.

Applications are developed using node.js and a suite of software packages for streamlining the development process. Socket.io is used to manage real-time communication. Express, jade, and stylus are used as the web application framework, HTML templating and CSS engines, respectively.

The latest version of Raspbian comes with the latest BATMAN advanced module installed, so mesh-enabling your device is as simple as turning the module on and running a few commands.

Check out the tutorial page to learn how to configure everything properly.