ChiPirate-BOX: the chipest and cheapest Pirate-BOX ever

Based on this HowTo.

How to build a Piratebox using ONLYa C.H.I.P computer.

After everything is correctly setup, the following parameters are valid:

  • IP Address via wifi: (use ssh)
  • SSID: PirateBox - Share Freely
  • IP Range: -
  • Hostname: piratebox.lan


Get a Chip, a.k.a. Chip 9$, the 9$ computer, Next Thing co. Chip, NTChip. (The one I used was flashed with ChipOS, i.e. the full-fledged Debian with GUI).

Install some extra debian packets:

 sudo apt-get update
 sudo apt-get install perl lighttpd dnsmasq hostapd python php5-cgi zip avahi-daemon

(perl and hostadp should be already installed).

Prevent the daemons from automatic loading.

sudo systemctl stop lighttpd
sudo systemctl disable lighttpd
sudo systemctl stop dnsmasq
sudo systemctl disable dnsmasq
sudo systemctl stop hostapd
sudo systemctl disable hostapd

Get the piratebox code:

tar xf piratebox-ws_current.tar.gz
cd piratebox
sudo cp -rv piratebox /opt
sudo ln -s /opt/piratebox/init.d/piratebox /etc/init.d/

On CHIP, it is needed to delay the startup by 30 seconds:

sudo sh -c 'echo "sleep 30" >> /opt/piratebox/bin/hooks/'
sudo sed -i -e 's|^# echo|echo|'  /opt/piratebox/bin/hooks/

All the files shared by this piratebox will be stored in /opt/piratebox/share.

It is a good idea to have a look and edit some configuration parameters (if you like) in the following files: /opt/piratebox/conf/piratebox.conf and /opt/piratebox/conf/hostapd.conf. (It is not strictly needed it works out-of-the-box).

Finalize the installation:

sudo /opt/piratebox/bin/ /opt/piratebox/conf/piratebox.conf part2
sudo /opt/piratebox/bin/ /opt/piratebox/conf/piratebox.conf imageboard

To activate the board, run the following command:

sudo /opt/piratebox/bin/

Everything is now ready. It is possible to start your ChiPirate-Box:

sudo /etc/init.d/piratebox start

Obviously the ChiPirate-Box can be turned off in this way:

sudo /etc/init.d/piratebox stop

Systemd can be instructed to start your ChiPirateBox at boot time:

sudo systemctl enable piratebox

Use disable instead of enable to undo this operation.

USB Stick

It is recommended to use an USB stick to store your files.

You can follow the instructions listed Raspberry Pi(rate)Box Mods - USB FAT Storage.


As this is more like an unsupported build, please ask in this thread for assistance.

Disable management of wifi card in NetworkManager

The NetworkManager is a comfort feature, which tend to disturb a smoothness running PirateBox. You can disable the management of wlan0 of the NetworkManagement daemon, run:

 if ! grep -q wlan0 /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf ; then
    sudo sed -i -e 's|unmanaged-devices=interface-name|unmanaged-devices=;interface-name|' \
    sudo sed -i -e 's|unmanaged-devices=|unmanaged-devices=interface-name:wlan0|' \

Want to modify your CHIPiratebox?

Have a look at the Raspberry Pi(rate)Box Mods, which will mostly apply to the CHIP as well!