Troubleshooting


Over the past year, we’ve noticed a few errors (or noticed ourselves making user errors) when using POSM. Here’s a quick list of these issues and how to solve them.



First-time POSM install fails

Did you prepare the USB stick, plug it into POSM, and try to boot… only to get an error message? This can be an issue if your USB stick has an overall folder that contains everything that you extracted from the POSM .iso file. It can also be an issue if you extracted the files and then moved them manually onto the USB stick. There are hidden files in the package which will not follow if you try to manually move the contents. You can fix this by using an extraction tool (like The Unarchiver for Mac or 7-Zip for Windows) to extract the contents directly onto the USB stick.

Re-installing the core POSM software

Let’s say there’s a new version of the POSM stack and you want to upgrade. You can do this by following the normal first-time install process: download software, prep USB stick, install onto POSM. The software will overwrite and previous versions.

I’m connected to POSM. When I try to reach any website, it should redirect me to posm.io but it sometimes doesn’t

Secure websites (ie websites whose URL starts with https:// instead of http://) will not redirect to the posm.io homepage. So, if you click any link in your bookmarks, it may not redirect to posm.io.

Can I be connected to the internet and POSM at the same time?

Yes. Plug POSM into Ethernet and, in the admin interface, turn on Bridge Mode.

Can I use encrypted ODK forms to protect sensitive data?

Yes. You will need to download and set up ODK Briefcase to do this. Instructions are on the ODK site. You will need to set up a public and private key and include the public key in your ODK form. To access submissions, open ODK Briefcase and Pull the submissions, then Export them. You will get a .csv file with your decrypted data.

Multiple deployments are buggy

POSM sometimes has a hard time dealing with multiple deployments - it may struggle when making MBTiles archives, or when first loading a deployment onto phones. We’ve solved this by just trying those processes again. It is also a good idea to keep the POSM “clean” by deleting old deployments that are no longer needed.

How do I delete an old deployment?

To do this, you will need to use an FTP client like Cyberduck (or command line) to connect (or “SSH”) into POSM.

Power up the POSM and connect to it from your computer. Launch Cyberduck and start a new connection with the following parameters:

  • Type: SSH
  • Server: posm.io
  • Username: root
  • Password: posm

You will see files under /opt/data. Always be extremely careful if deleting submitting field data.

How do I access the file structure behind POSM?

To do this, you will need to use an FTP client like Cyberduck (or command line) to connect (or “SSH”) into POSM.

Power up the POSM and connect to it from your computer. Launch Cyberduck and start a new connection with the following parameters:

  • Type: SSH
  • Server: posm.io
  • Username: root
  • Password: posm

The file structure looks like this: (needs completion + screenshot)

I have more than one POSM and I can’t connect to the second

Read on for the answer to the next question.

I reinstalled the POSM software and now I can’t connect

If you’ve got more than one POSM, you will not be able to connect your computer using SSH. You will get errors accessing posm.io, Cyberduck and Terminal won’t not connect, etc.

To fix this, open your known_hosts file (~/.ssh/known_hosts) in a text editor and delete each row that begins with posm.local, posm.io, or 172.16.1.1. Save the changes and try again.

OMK was working… but stopped. I’m getting error messages from phones and computers.

This has happened when using a public fileshare with a lot of devices. In Terminal, connect to POSM over SSH (ssh root@posm.io, password posm) and then run this command to restart OMK Server: service omk-server restart.

Can I push OMK/ODK data to the server through a cell connection or actual internet?

Yes… but it’s a little tricky. This would involve creating a parallel server in the cloud and then integrating this data back into the POSM server. If doing this is worth it (or just interesting) to you, then here are the instructions.

Questions / statements without responses