How to install PiggyDB on a Raspberry PI

Using Jetty for rocket performances

The Raspberry PI is a neat small computer. It can do a lot without consuming large amount of energy but it does require to use really efficient applications as its CPU is a really small one.

If you don’t know PiggyDB yet, go have a look. To make it short, it’s your personal wikipedia. You can tag fragments (= an article), upload pictures or files, use its search engine to find what you stored in here. The smaller your fragments are, the better I think. Main features I forgot to speak about : Zero setup and it’s web application (Nothing to install anywhere else!).

Step 1 : Installing Java + Jetty

Note: I’m assuming the PI is running Raspbian.

Fire your average SSH session and run the following : sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-jdk && sudo apt-get install jetty

  • It will update its source list
  • Install Oracle Java 7 JDK (If not already there)
  • Install Jetty (To run our web application)
Still some work to do.

Step 2: Editing Jetty Configuration

ls -al /usr/lib/jvm/

Let’s do a quick ls -al /usr/lib/jvm/ and take note of the jdk folder name.

Now, we’ll edit jetty configuration : sudo nano /etc/default/jetty

  • Allow jetty to start: NO_START=0
  • Un-comment (remove the # at the start of the line) JETTY_HOST=
  • Allow Jetty to listen also to IP Adresses (Useful when you don’t have a proper DNS Server like your ISP Set-Top Box: JETTY_HOST=
  • Un-comment JDK_DIRS=
  • Define where java is with: JDK_DIRS=”/usr/lib/jvm/jdk-7-oracle-armhf”

Press ctrl + x, then press Y and finally enter to save your changes.

Step 3: Start and test Jetty

Type this command to start jetty: sudo /etc/init.d/jetty start

Started and reachable. If it’s not started, have a look into /var/log/jetty folder.

Using your browser or lynx, try to open the default webpage on port 8080.

Jetty default page, proving that it’s working !

Now we know it’s working, let’s stop jetty: sudo /etc/init.d/jetty stop

Step 4: Creating a folder and downloading PiggyDB

PiggyDB is storing its database in a folder at the same level than webapps folder. As it may not be able to create it by itself, let’s help it:

sudo mkdir -m 755 /usr/share/jetty/piggydb && sudo chown jetty:jetty /usr/share/jetty/piggydb

All PiggyDB flavours on sourceforge.

PiggyDB is available in multiple versions : Local for Windows/OS X and direct .war files for our scenario. We’ll use the “anonymous” version that doesn’t require to have an account to read fragments from a PiggyDB database. (Creating or editing a fragment does require it)

Find the latest version of piggydb-x.xx-anonymous.war package and copy the link.

Now, let’s download PiggyDB to webapps directory : sudo wget -O /usr/share/jetty/webapps/piggydb.war

Everything is now in place !

Step 5: Last jetty launch and PiggyDB test

Type this command to start jetty (again): sudo /etc/init.d/jetty start

Open your favorite browser with http://<ip-address-or-name>:8080/piggydb/ and you should see something.

Ready to accept new fragments, after login with owner/owner.

If you’re not seeing that, have a look to /var/log/jetty directory, especially the stderrout.log. It will help you find why it didn’t work.