Setting It Up

There are a few steps to perform before ISOBlue 2.0 can collect and send data to the Cloud. The following sections assume that you have already flashed an ISOBlue 2.0 image to the assembled hardware. They also serve as a basic debugging steps for a malfunctioning ISOBlue 2.0.

Notes on systemd

ISOBlue 2.0 manages the scripts and programs using systemd. You can view all the services running by using this command:

root@localhost:~# systemctl status

You can replace status with enable, disable, start, stop, restart, etc., plus a service name to trigger different actions on a service.

You can check the status and view the log of a service by running:

root@localhost:~# journalctl -u name-of-service

Now, let's dive into configuring your ISOBlue 2.0.

1. Check Internet Connectivity

ISOBlue 2.0 uses qmicli to setup the Internet connections. The network device is specified as wwan0. There are two ways to check for Internet connectivity:

  • ping

Check if you could get any responses after running ping

  • ifconfig

After you run ifconfig, you should be able to see that wwan0 is already associated with an IP address.

In our testing, sometimes an ISOBlue 2.0 could try multiple IPs and then settle down to one. This process sometimes takes up to several minutes.

Once you are certain that your ISOBlue 2.0 has Internet, move on to the next section.

In case it doesn't connect ...

A few things to check:

  • Are the antennas installed?
  • If the antennas are installed, are all connections (uFl to SMA, SMA to SMA) tightened?
  • Is the SIM card properly inserted?
  • If the SIM card is installed, are you certain you have a valid data plan?
  • Are you inside or outside? If you are inside, make sure your antennas are closer to the windows.

If your answers are yes to the first four of these questions, then there are a few things to try:

  • Run
root@localhost:~# udevadm trigger

This triggers the udev rule that setup the cellular module to connect to the Internet. Check using ifconfig to see if this helps.

  • If the above doesn't help, run
root@localhost:~# qmicli -p -d /dev/cdc-wdm0 --wds-start-network=Broadband \

This should return message like Network has started. This means you have already registered onto your network provider. Then run the following command to obtain a valid IP:

root@localhost:~# dhclient wwan0

2. Setup SSH Connections

SSH plays a critical role for debugging and data streaming to Cloud in ISOBlue 2.0. We have provided two default SSH related systemd services:

  • ssh-forward.service

This service performs SSH port forwarding from your ISOBlue 2.0's local SSH port to a port on a remote machine for debugging purposes. By default, the remote machine username and domain is

  • tunnel.service

This service provides SSH tunneling for mirroring Kafka clusters between ISOBlue 2.0 and the remote cluster. By default, the remote cluster username and domain is

Both services are located in /lib/systemd/system. You can change the remote machine and cluster domains to your custom domains. You can use one remote machine for both debugging as well as receiving Kafka messages. The following steps assume that you have one debugging machine and one cluster machine that has Kafka running.

Generate SSH Keys

Run the following command to generate a set of SSH keys (use default location and use no password):

root@localhost:~# ssh-keygen

Once the keys are generated, they will be located in ~/.ssh.

Setup SSH Forward

Add the content of ~/.ssh/ from ISOBlue 2.0 to your remote debugging machine's ~/.ssh/authorized_keys.

Then you will run this on ISOBlue:

root@localhost:~# ssh -NR *:SSHPORT:localhost:22 username@domain1

You will be prompted to type yes or no. Type yes to add the remote host to your known_hosts. You only need to do it manually once.

Note: SSHPORT is specified when you are building your image.

Setup SSH Tunnel

Add the content of ~/.ssh/ on ISOBlue 2.0 to your remote machine's ~/.ssh/authorized_keys.

Then you will run this on ISOBlue:

root@localhost:~/# ssh -NL localhost:BROKERPORT:domain2:9092 -L \
localhost:ZKPORT:domain2:2181 \

You will be prompted to type yes or no. Type yes to add the remote host to your known_hosts. You only need to do it manually once.

Note: BROKERPORT, ZKPORT are also specified when you build your image.

3. Verify Running Services

There are a few key systemd services that will be running after flashing process is completed as well as after each boot.

  • gpsd.service

This service connects to the USB GPS module and enables clients to fetch GPS related data. When you use journalctl -u gpsd to check its logs, you usually see useful on whether this service is working or not. Typically, if it is working, log message time to report a fix ... will occur once per second.

  • broker.service and zookeeper.service

The combination of these two services is the heart of ISOBlue 2.0. No broker/zookeeper, no logging. The broker and zookeeper bring up and handle the overall logging of CAN messages, GPS data and other debugging data. We uses the prepackaged broker and zookeeper binaries provided by the Apache Kafka project. You can also use journalctl to check the statuses of these two services. The settings for broker and zookeeper are located in /opt/kafka/config. The details for the settings can be found here.

A quick way to verify that the two services are running is to check the folders in kafka-logs in /media/sda1. Within this directory, you will see a structure that is familiar to this:

โ””โ”€โ”€ remote-0
โ””โ”€โ”€ tra-0
โ””โ”€โ”€ imp-0
โ””โ”€โ”€ gps-0
โ””โ”€โ”€ ...

The folder name xxxx-0 represents the Kafka topic name and within each of these folders, you should be able see things like this after you run ls -alh:

-rw-rw-r-- 1 root root 84K Nov 30 00:13 00000000000011544725.index
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 43M Nov 30 00:14 00000000000011544725.log
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root root 74K Nov 30 00:14 00000000000011544725.timeindex

The file ends with .log is the Kafka log that stores all the collected data. You can keep checking whether the size of the file changes or not. This will quickly tell you statuses of the broker, zookeeper and other logging services.

  • mirror.service

This service uses the SSH tunnel setup to forward debug and remote topic Kafka message to a remote Kafka cluster residing in an OATS cluster. It requires network connectivity for this service to work.

Important: make sure that the Kafka broker you'd like to mirror to is setup correctly.

Uncomment and set advertised.listeners to PLAINTEXT://<broker_host_IP:9092> in your Kafkaโ€™s config file. By default the ISOBlue will try to resolve the server's hostname on which the Kafka broker resides. This will fail in most cases and prevent the mirror service from functioning correctly. See Kafka Listeners - Explained for an in-depth discussion about this topic.

  • get-pgns.service

This service runs script located in /opt/bin. The script fetches a file that contains the list of PGNs and replaces the /opt/pgns every 5 seconds. This file will be later parsed into a fitler by a program that logs CAN data based on this filter.

You can change the remote file location in as you wish. It also requires a network connectivity to work.

  • can-watchdog.service

This service watches the presence of CAN activities. It is not enabled by default. You can keep it disabled when you are configuring an ISOBlue 2.0 for the first time. Remember to enable it once you are done setting up the ISOBlue. Otherwise, the device will keep running until you cut the power (or the power runs out).

You can also check the statuses and perform actions on all the other ISOBlue 2.0 specified services. The name and all systemd service file can be found here.

Ok, What Now?

At this point, you should have a fully functional ISOBlue 2.0. Can you see your ISOBlue 2.0 showing up on ISOBlueApp?