Linux Raspberry Pi

UCTRONICS PiRack Pro Ansible Playbook

Automating the Trivial and Mundane for Fun

For my birthday, I received a UCTRONICS PiRack Pro, which is a super cool rack that sandwiches a controller board between a Raspberry Pi, PoE hat, and SSD. It connects the SSD to the Pi with a slick U-shaped USB connector. The controller has a power button to turn the Pi on and off, and my favorite part is that it displays information about the Pi on a tiny 0.8-inch OLED display on the front of each tray.

Assembling the hardware was not too difficult. However, installing the manufacturer’s software on the four Raspberry Pis in the rack was going to be tedious to get up and running. So, I automated the installation process using Ansible.

The playbook skirts around a few issues others had reported and makes installing, and reinstalling the software super easy.

Here is what the program does, in a nutshell:

  • Installs git on each Pi
  • Configures some finicky settings for the OLED software
  • Reboots the Pis
  • Installs the OLED software
  • Ensures the software runs each time the Pi boots up.

This came in extra handy when one of the SSDs I had installed borked out, and I needed to reinstall everything to fix it.

Here is the script, maybe somebody else will find it useful: