10 Usages of Raspberry Pi in the Office
I know what you are thinking: The Raspberry Pi can only be used in tinkering, prototyping and personal hobbies. It can’t actually be used in business.
There is no doubt that this computer has a relatively low processing capacity, a vulnerable SD card, a lack of battery backup, and a supported DIY nature, which means it won’t be a professional that can perform the most critical operations at any time. A viable alternative to a well-installed, configured commercial server.
But it’s cheap, low-power, small enough to fit anywhere, and infinitely flexible—it’s really a good way to handle some of the basic tasks of the office.
And, better yet, some people have already completed these projects and are happy to share how they did it.
Each time you enter a website address or click a link in your browser, you need to convert the domain name to a numeric IP address before you can display the content.
Usually this means making a request to a DNS server somewhere on the Internet — but you can speed up browsing through local processing.
You can also assign your own subdomains to access computers in your office locally.
Restroom Occupancy Sign
Are you lining up for the restroom in the office?
This is annoying for those waiting, and spending time on it will cost you productivity in the office.
I think you also want the sign of someone in the restroom on the airplane in your office.
Occu-pi is a very simple solution, using magnetic switches and Raspberry Pi to determine when the bolts are closed and updating the “toilet in use” on the Slack channel – this means that people in the entire office can take a look the computer or mobile device knows if the restroom is available.
Honeypot trap for hackers
The first clue that hackers have broken the network is that some things get worse, which should scare most business owners.
This is where honeypots can be used: a computer without any services is on your network, opening a specific port and pretending to be a target that hackers like.
Security researchers often deploy honeypots outside the network to collect data about what the attacker is doing.
But for ordinary small businesses, these are more useful as a stumbling block to deploy internally. Since the average user has no real reason to want to connect to the honeypot, any login attempts that occur are very good indications that the mess is going on.
This can provide an early warning of intrusions from outsiders and can also provide early warning to trusted insiders.
In a larger client/server network, it might be more practical to run it as a virtual machine. But in a point-to-point small office/home office network running on a wireless router, something like the HoneyPi is a small burglar alarm.
Networked printers are more convenient.
But replacing all printers can be expensive — especially if you are satisfied with an existing printer.
It might make more sense to set the Raspberry Pi as a print server.
Click Here to learn how to setup Raspberry Pi as print server.
Network attached storage (NAS)
Turning the hard drive into NAS is one of the earliest practical applications of the Raspberry Pi, and it is still one of the best.
If you have a USB external hard drive, you can plug it to your Raspberry Pi to make your own file server.
There are many opinions to make this, you can use
Want to setup a budget ticket server?
There is a fully open source work order program called osTicket that can be installed on your Raspberry Pi, and it even has a ready-to-use SD card image.
Whether it’s for events, advertising, menus, or anything else, many businesses need a way to display digital signage—and the cheap and power-saving Raspberry Pi makes it a very attractive option.
There are many options to choose.
Directory and kiosk
FullPageOS is a Raspbian-based Linux distribution that directs to the full-screen version of Chromium — perfect for shopping guides, library catalogs, and more.
A Raspberry Pi distribution to display one webpage in full screen. It includes Chromium out of the box and the scripts necessary to load it at boot. This repository contains the source script to generate the distribution out of an existing Raspbiandistro image.
FullPageOS is a fork of OctoPi
The basic intranet Web server
For hosting a public-facing website, you’d better have a hosting server. Raspberry Pi is not suitable for real network traffic.
But for small offices, it can host internal business wikis or basic corporate intranets. It can also be used as a sandbox environment for experimentation code and server configuration.
Here’s how to run Apache, MySQL, and PHP on the Raspberry Pi.
When you go out, relying on the public wireless Internet, you can’t control who else is on the network, who is spying on all your traffic. That’s why it’s reassuring to encrypt everything through a VPN connection.
You can subscribe to any number of commercial VPN services, and you can install your own services in the cloud, but run a VPN in the office so you can access the local network from anywhere.
For light use – such as occasional business trips – the Raspberry Pi is a powerful, energy-efficient way to set up a VPN server. (First check to see if your router does not support this feature. Many routers are supported.)
This is how to install OpenVPN on the Raspberry Pi.