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Private chat and messaging server with Raspberry Pi and Rocket.chat

Raspberry PI Rocket Chat featured image
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Chats were born immediately after internet birth. Today these chat services are quite all free, but many people have concerns about their data security and privacy respect. Using Rocket chat with Raspberry PI creates a self hosted chat service, able to assure that your data remain your.

In this tutorial I’m goingo to show you how to create a self hosted chat service within Raspberry PI, the famous and cheap single board computer.

Internet world is plenty of free messaging services. Apps like Whatsapp and Viber are part of our daily life and are the most common communication way with relatives and friends. But security awareness is increasing the wish to chat in a really private way. Furthermore, messaging apps increase space used in our devices, so an alternative chat channel could be useful to share media, info and contacts with your friends.

In next paragraphs we are going what steps are required to install a private chat and messaging server with a RPi and Rocket.chat

What Is Rocket.Chat

Rocket.chat is an Open Source solution able to provide an enhanced chat service. It includes collaboration tools like media sharing, screen sharing and video/audio calls support.

It can be used both via browser or from apps available in all the main app stores (Google Play, App Store, etc).

Beside the community version, it offers also an Enterprise and a Professional versions (including support and additional features).

What We Need

As usual, I suggest adding from now to your favorite e-commerce shopping cart all needed hardware, so that at the end you will be able to evaluate overall costs and decide if continuing with the project or removing them from the shopping cart. So, hardware will be only:

RPI 3 model A+

For this project, I’m going to use a cheaper Raspberry Pi 3 model A+. Also newer Raspberry PI boards will work.

I also suggest a performing SD card, because Rocket.Chat can give a lot of work to our Raspberry Pi. As discussed in other articles, performing SD card strongly improves Raspberry PI OS performances.

We’ll use a lite version of Raspberry PI OS with preconfigured WiFi access and SSH service, so there will no need of keyboards / HDMI cables.

Check hardware prices with following links:

Amazon raspberry pi boards box
Amazon Micro SD box
Amazon Raspberry PI Power Supply box

Step-By-Step Procedure

Start installing Raspberry PI OS Lite.

We’ll simplify Rocket.Chat installation by using Snap. Login via SSH and type from terminaly:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Install Snap:

sudo apt install snapd

Install Rocket.Chat server with the simple command:

sudo snap install rocketchat-server

After installation end from terminal, please wait a while for Rocket.Chat to inizialize database and services. Take a cup of tea and after a few minutes you should be able to reach with your browser the address http://<<YOUR_RPI_IP_ADDRESS>>:3000 and you should see the following:

Rocket chat setup wizard

Compile required forms and everything should go fine. After 4 simple setup windows you should reach Rocket.Chat home page:

Rocket chat home

Enjoy

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