The heart of your community intranet is the software that runs on your hardware. Many of the things you’re used to on the Internet can be hosted on your local intranet, albeit on a much smaller scale. With the right software you can host a web page, maintain a forum or wiki, share files and host voice or text chats. The key to successfully using these applications is making use of the rich ecosystem of lightweight server software available for the Linux operating system.
Base Software – This is software that supports many of the other functions you want on your network. It configures your wireless network, assigns IP adresses and hosts your web pages.
Forum and Wiki Software – Forums and Wikis are perfect ways for people to communicate on a community network. Their asynchronous nature allows your network resources to serve hundreds of patrons without having to have them connected all at once.
Mesh Networking Software – A mesh network allows many inexpensive wireless nodes to coordinate and spread a wireless network over a area larger than that of each individual wireless transmitter.
Pirate Box – PirateBox is a ready assembled suite of software and web pages designed to makeup a simple dropbox like server. It can share files, has a text chat room and a simple forum.
Voice and Text Chat Software – A voice chat or text chat server can allow users of your community network to communicate in real time.