Raspberry Pi Cluster for Home Cloud Services

Be part of a team to create home clouds on Raspberry Pis.

This project is a mini project and may require additional activities to qualify for a long-term project. Nevertheless, it can be made suitable due to comparison and integration with enough activities. We explain why it is a mini-project and how you can make it a full project. This project only requires the use of a single Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB of storage.

At http://piplanet.org we discuss setting up a Raspberry Pi cluster. Instead of burning a cluster, you will use the burn command to burn a single PI 4. Now that the basic cluster is set up, we like you to explore any available “home cloud” setup on your PI and document it. In addition, you will implement a simple one-line deployment command line tool supported by an API that deploys whatever you develop on the hosts specified by the ip adress. This includes

  1. Create a proper method to deploy the frameworks on the cluster given the IP’s or the name of the machines.
  2. Provide a mechanism to verify if the deployment was successful
  3. Provide a set of unit tests using pytest to execute some basic use cases.
  4. Develop a python API that supports the deployment while exposing it through a command line
  5. Explore the development of a REST API that facilitates the deployment reusing the developed Python API.
  6. Develop a manual
  7. Develop a high-quality report with benchmarks.


In order for you to participate in this project, you will need:

  1. You need to have financial resources to buy yourself the material for creating a single PI. You will need at least 3 Pis with 8GB memory. Each of them costs $75, but you also need a power supply costing $35, power cables, network cables, and at least one HDMI cable suitable to connect an HDMI monitor to a PI. More details about parts can be found at https://cloudmesh.github.io/pi/docs/hardware/parts/

  2. In addition, we will explore the integration of at least one additional PI (e.g. one will be stationary, your manager Pi) . This could be another PI or a PI Zero with WiFi. You have two options here. A use the Pi Zero and hook it up to a battery so you can move the PI to record an attached sensor such as temperature, humidity, pressure and record the values for it when moving around. Another thing would be to measure the strength of the WiFi network and other networks you may discover. Populate the information to your manager PI and create a secure Web page that reports the results that you then observe from another computer. Furthermore, identify at least one home automation hardware that you can connect to the PI, such as Alexa or Google switches, Garage door openers (commercial), and so on.

  3. Significant Python knowledge

  4. Be highly motivated

  5. Be willing to have meetings on this project once or twice a week

  6. SHowcase significant progress over the lifetime of the project.

  7. be knowledgeable with GitHub (a repository will be provided to which Dr. von Laszewski will contribute)

  8. Conduct task management in GitHub (Gregor will explain)

  9. Be honest and not hiding problems or implementation bugs.

  10. You must be able to do a videoconference and be able to share your screen (I typically use google meet or zoom).


There is a great deal of flexibility in this project, and we like that you explore your ideas but work with Gregor to identify if they are feasible and complex enough. Gregor has a “secret” PI notebook that can be used to interface with the sensors and is easy to use. However, we do not have yet anything about interfacing to commercial products.

Services that may be considered for this project (likely multiple, expand the list):

  • owncloud
  • nfs (only if you have multiple PIs)
  • nextcloud
  • Alexa (switches, garage doors, other sensors)
  • Google (has similar things you can control via google)
  • seafile (?)
  • syncthing (?)

Hardware possibilities

Getting started

  1. In the first week, collect a list of all Google like services and other home products that could be integrated into this project.
  2. Study the GitHub repositories from cloudmesh-pi-burn and cloudmesh-pi-cluster and cloudmesh-common intensely. Find out how to burn a single PI.
  3. Try out and document the various cloud services. Evaluate if they work and how to use elementary features of them
  4. Identify commercial hardware that can be accessed from the PI and showcase how to use it.
  5. Develop a FastAPI based secure REST service that uses such hardware (such as Alexa switches). Showcase and document how to access them from Python and how to access them from your secure REST service. Develop a command line interface for it (Gregor will help to set this command line interface up)
  6. Communicate regularly with Gregor on ideas that you have
  7. An absolute must is the development of the documentation. This project may have more documentation needs than others
  8. Optional: Discuss the integration of MQTT. Showcase
  9. Discuss the difference between accessing from prebuild cell phone/web access vs accessing from python/web API that you create.

In case of questions, please contact Gregor at


Gregor von Laszewski
Gregor von Laszewski
Assit. Director Digital Science Center

My research interests include distributed robotics, mobile computing and programmable matter.