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Setting Up Wallabag on the Raspberry Pi

In my recent flurry of indieweb-style activity I decided to go cold turkey with my dependency on certain major service silos. In addition to the general motivation to dump the monolithic, monopolistic mega-corp silos, there was a more practical motivation. Before our big move back to Mexico we are upgrading the laptops. Three years old and upgraded to Windows 10 had me a bit nervous. Also, spinning hard drives. So our new laptops are straight-from-China cheap with eMMC drives of only 64gb.

MS Office and even LibreOffice take up a *lot* of room. So I cancelled my Office365 subscription (got a full refund, surprisingly) but this had the side effect of reducing my OneDrive space allocation down to about 5GB. In cleaning up the space a bit I managed to accidentally trash the folder which held some of my OneNote folders.

Oops.

And yes, I also emptied the trash. Gone. Forever.

But wait! I found a backup copy, except you can’t export or import it without an Office365 subscription! Huh? Well fuck.

So obviously, I needed a new solution for web clipping, one of the things I used OneNote for extensively. Enter Wallabag.

When it comes to self-hosted read-it-later services this seems to be the only thing that comes up on Google searches. And frankly it was a bit of a pain to get set up. But I did, somehow, manage to get it up and running. Here are some of my fuzzy memories of problems I ran into along the way, and the solutions.

First, make sure you have the requirements in place. Most of the instructions mention Composer as a default install procedure, but it does seem to have some higher memory requirements. I had to reboot the Pi at one point which seems to have cleared the path and allowed for the install to complete successfully. Basic instructions are here.

At the end of the install it will ask for user name and password, etc.

DOCUMENT ROOT: This one is important, otherwise you’ll just get a blank page:

`/var/www/wallabag/web`

(in my case, it was /var/www/html/wallabag/web)

The important part is that you have to point your virtual host or other setup to the `/web` subdirectory.

Once you have that working and can log in via the web interface then you need to add some content! The two main ways I’m doing that are:

  • Firefox add-on extension

  • Android app

For the Firefox (or Chrome) extensions to work you have to set up a client in Wallabag. In the main menu, click on *API Clients Management*, click *Create a New Client*. Give it a name (this is just for your own internal reference) and click the *Create a New Client* button. This will give you the two main pieces of information you will need for the extension.

Next, download the extension. Most Google searches point to the old one, which links you to the new one, although it goes to the French version. The English version is here.

Go to the browser extension options and enter the URL for your wallabag installation and click *Check URL*. Once that verifies, enter the *Client ID*, *Client secret*, *user login* and *password*.

**THIS IS IMPORTANT** - you have to click on *Get token*. After that you can just exit the page. You don’t have to save anything to a file, that’s optional.

Detailed instructions on Chrome (and Firefox) add-on setup.

And it auto-saves. Once you set a tag, just walk away!

The Android app is simpler to configure - just provide the URL, user name and password. Once it successfully connects, it will automatically create a client on the s

erver!