En:Raspberry Pi

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Set up Raspberry Pi with YaCy

The Raspberry Pi ('RPi') is a credit-card-sized single-board computer which can run Linux kernel-based operating systems. We consider the usage of a 'Model B' with 512 MB SDRAM. Since this computer consumes only 3.5 W it is an ideal plattform for private 'cloud' applications and also to run a YaCy peer 24x7.

There is a wide range of available operating systems for the RPi. There is also a 'default' system recommended by the makers of the RPi, called "Raspbian" which is based on debian wheezy.

There are several options for an OS on the Raspberry PI ('RPi'). We consider to run YaCy on Raspbian but you might want to insert more sections here for other OS'

Running YaCy on Raspbian

We take the default Raspbian image but modify it to fit it for our needs:

Preparation of Raspbian

  • Download the soft-float ABI version of Raspian called "wheezy-armel" from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads
  • Write the image to a SD card, a manual for Windows, Mac and Linux is at http://elinux.org/RPi_Easy_SD_Card_Setup
  • When the RPi starts up the first time, enable the ssh server in the Raspi-config menu and run expand-rootfs to use the full sd card capacity.
  • Log in to your RPi using ssh with the user 'pi' and the password 'raspberry'.
  • Assign a Static IP to your RPi. This will cause that you have a unique link to your YaCy peer on the RPi in your intranet. If there is no conflict in the set-up of your network, use the default IP
  • Englarge swap space. It is not recommended to use a swap space on SD cards but java crashes if for any reason more memory is needed than we thought that is necessary. We will configure YaCy to take up only as much space so that swapping does not happen. But to protect YaCy from crashing, we enlarge the swap space:
  • open the file /etc/dphys-swapfile and replace the '100' by i.e. '1024'. This will give you 1GB of swap space. This is available after a 'sudo dphys-swapfile setup' or a re-start.
  • to protect Raspbian from swapping (while still having the option) we need a low swappiness value. View the file /proc/sys/vm/swappiness and check that this is low. By default, there is a 1, you can replace it with a 0 with "sysctl -w vm.swappiness=0"
  • Optional/recommended: update the RPi firmware, follow instructions in readme from https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update
  • Optional/recommended: shrink Raspian with the Headless Debian tutorial by removing X11 and all dependencies. After this, you can also remove python and the Python Games on the RPi
rm -Rf ~/python_games
sudo apt-get remove --purge python

.. followed by the same deborphan-process as described in Headless Debian

  • Optional/recommended: remove all programming languages that you don't need when running YaCy:
sudo apt-get remove --purge python python2.6 python2.7 python3 python3.2 perl
You may want to remove orphan and not required packages after this using the Headless Debian tutorial again.
  • Optional/recommended: get latest system updates
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
followed by a restart
sudo shutdown -r now
Repeat this until no updates appear. Then do a cleanup
sudo apt-get clean
then you should have at most 627M used on your SD card:
df -h .

Java Installation

  • primary option (recommended): install Oracle Headless JVM. This is probably the fastest JVM.
scp ejre-1_6_0_38-fcs-b05-linux-arm-vfp-eabi-headless-13_nov_2012.tar.gz pi@
  • untar the ejre*.tar.gz file on your RPi, i.e.
sudo tar xfz ejre-1_6_0_38-fcs-b05-linux-arm-vfp-eabi-headless-13_nov_2012.tar.gz -C /usr/lib/
which creates a directory ejre1.6.0_38 in /usr/lib. To add the java command to the execution path, do
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/ejre1.6.0_38/bin/java /usr/bin/java
  • alternative option: install OpenJDK. This works fine but is a much larger package and probably not as fast as the Oracle JVM. We need only the headless JRE. Simply do:
sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre-headless
  • To test if java is now available, run
  • Note as of 09/11/2014 : an install on an ARM board (Olinuxino A13) proved that openjdk-7-jre-headless would not provide what is necessary to run the Java server as needed by Yacy, but would provide only a 'Zero VM' instead of a 'Server VM'. Hence at the moment installing the package from Java seems to be the only solution.

YaCy Installation

There is the option to install YaCy like any other debian package (see: Debian Installation), but then you cannot use the Oracle JVM as described above. We will just use the YaCy tarball release.

wget http://latest.yacy.net/yacy_v1.4_20130315_9000.tar.gz
tar xfz yacy_v1.4_20130315_9000.tar.gz
We should change some default settings in the yacy.init file (lower RAM usage and lower disk space limit)
sed "s/disk.free = 3000/disk.free = 1000/" -i ~/yacy/defaults/yacy.init
sed "s/javastart_Xmx=Xmx600m/javastart_Xmx=Xmx120m/" -i ~/yacy/defaults/yacy.init

Now you can start YaCy:

  • If you set the default IP, then your YaCy peer will be available (wait a bit) at
  • YaCy will replace the default administration password, which is empty, after some minutes by a random password. You should set your own password by calling
~/yacy/bin/passwd.sh {yournewpassword}
If you click on a protected page in YaCy, you must put in that password.

YaCy Auto-Start and Watchdog

We want that our RPi starts YaCy at boot time and shuts it down properly. Create a file in /etc/init.d/yacy with the following content:

#! /bin/sh
# Provides:          YaCy
# Required-Start:    $local_fs $remote_fs $network $time
# Required-Stop:     $local_fs $remote_fs $network $time
# Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: YaCy Search Engine
case "$1" in
  su - pi -c "/home/pi/yacy/startYACY.sh"
  su - pi -c "/home/pi/yacy/stopYACY.sh"
  exit 3

and make it executable and linked with

sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/yacy
sudo update-rc.d yacy defaults

This will start and stop YaCy automatically. We also want that YaCy is supervised with a watchdog and automatically restarted if it failed, crashed or behaves dead. Add the following line to /etc/crontab

0 * * * * pi cd /home/pi/yacy/bin && ./checkalive.sh

This will check and if necessary restart YaCy once an hour.

YaCy Search on (default http) Port 80

You need an iptables entry for that, just write the following line into /etc/rc.local

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-port 8090

Then your YaCy peer on the RPi is available at