PiNet is a free and open source project for helping schools set up and manage a Raspberry Pi classroom.
It has been developed alongside teachers with feedback from over 15 countries across the world.
Its key features include
The server software is installed on a computer running Ubuntu Linux 14.04 (legacy) or 16.04 (recommended). Ubuntu is completely free. You must then connect the server and Raspberry Pis together by using a wired network.
Note Wifi is not supported - More information on WiFi here.
First you need to grab the required equipment. Full details of this can be found on the hardware page.
It is not recommended to use this method in a production environment and it is not officially supported.
You can also install a virtual copy of Ubuntu onto another computer to try it out first. This comes with the advantage it is all self contained. If you don’t like PiNet, you can just delete the entire virtual machine (is contained in a single file).
Although there are a number of pieces of software for virtualization (and if you have your own you prefer to use, please use it), a few examples include Hyper-V, VMWare, Parallels.
I will be using Virtualbox, a free cross-platform virtualization platform.
For more info on Virtualbox setup with PiNet, check the Virtualbox install guide
Once you have the needed equipment, you will need to install Ubuntu 16.04 onto your server computer and then install PiNet.
Overall this takes roughly 2-3 hours. Of that 2-3 hours, you are required at the computer for 20-30 minutes.
Finally when the installation is complete you must copy the generated SD card boot files to a blank SD card.
If your school or organisation uses any form of web filtering or a proxy to access the internet, make sure to first read the web filtering information page.
Once completed, you may want to play with some of the other options in PiNet, the full documentation list can be found back on the guides page.
If you were previously running a Raspi-LTSP server and wish to migrate to a new PiNet server, check out the user migration guide.