What is the Eduphone

Eduphone is a software environment allowing you to run three servers on your Android smartphone: the LMS Moodle server, the Nextcloud server content manager, the Kiwix server free content player. It is based on the Termux application. It thus transforms your smartphone into a mini off-line server similar to the EDboxes distributed by ED4free.

In countries where internet connection is rare and expensive, the EduPhone allows a teacher or trainer to always have their educational server on them, in their smartphone, and to share it with their students every time. The opportunity will present itself. To do this, he sets his smartphone up as a wifi access point, his students connect to it with their own smartphones, then connect to the services with their smartphone’s browser.

How the Eduphone works – overview

Andoid is a somewhat unusual Linux system, but on which it is possible to run tasks, or even applications or processes, in a completely standard Linux environment.

This is what the Termux application does. It allows:
– To install a standard Linux system on Android, like Debian which is the one we use.
– To launch the processes we need in this environment (Nginx, Mysql, php-fpm).

This made it possible to install a functional environment on a smartphone containing our three application servers, Moodle, Nextcloud and Kiwix in a Debian system.

This Termux + Debian reference environment was then archived in the eduphone.tar.gz file in order to reinstall it at will on other smartphones.

In addition, we wrote two applications that communicate with Termux :
– Install EduPhone, to manage the installation of this environment on a smartphone.
– EduPhone, to manage the EduPhone environment after installation (startup, shutdown, backup, etc.)

Install Eduphone

NB : App installation does not work on recent versions of Android. While waiting for this bug to be corrected, install the apps by clicking on the apk files from the file manager.

1 – Download the necessary files and copy them to smartphone storage in a directory named “eduphone”. This can be directly in the internal storage (for example in Download), or on an SD card which is then inserted into the smartphone, or on a USB C key which is then plugged into the smartphone.

The files to copy are:
eduphone.install.apk, the application that manages the installation.
eduphone.apk, the application that manages the Eduphone environment.
termux-app.apk, the Termux application
termux-api.apk which allows the two eduphone applications to communicate with the Termux application.
eduphone.tar.gz  (1.2 GB) , which is a backup of the Termux environment containing Debian and the Moodle, Nextcloud and Kixix applications.

Optionally, the wifi-hotspot.apk file allows you to install the Portable wifi hotspot application, which allows you to put a smartphone into a wifi access point even if there is no SIM card, which is used in older versions of Android.

2 – On the smartphone, use a file manager to go to the directory where you copied the files, then click on install.eduphone.apk to install this application. You must validate its opening by the Android installer, Allow installation of unknown applications. To do this, click on “Settings” then authorize the installation of the application. Then click the back key to return to the installation. Click install.

3 – Open the eduphone.install application, immediately at the end of installation, otherwise by clicking on its icon. Click on Read me to see the installation process. Click “Start” to start the installation. Then click “Next” to move on to the next step. Then again on “Next”, etc. until the installation is complete. At each step you can click on ‘?’ to see the operations that will be carried out. After the “Launch Termux app” and “Installing the Eduphone environment” steps, return to the installation app. After the last step, “Launch Eduphone app”, validate the requested permissions.