First step: The Server

At the core of the system is computer acting as webserver.

Almost any computer can be put to use as a webserver, as long as its base operating system is Linux, NOT Windows!

We used Ubuntu 16 LTS as the operating system, and shall assume you are doing the same. We opted for the desktop version, as it meant that the webserver computer could also be put into use as one of the workstations used for reporting and recording lost and found property.

You can of course use any computer, and an old desktop computer would do the job quite cheaply, but you’d have to set up the whole system; screen, workstation, keyboard, power supply, etc. onsite. We wanted to make the whole system as simple and uncomplicated and compact as possible so we opted to use an Ubuntu laptop.

We tried installing Ubuntu on one or two second hand laptops without much success. – The main issue is finding drivers for the laptop screen, When we did get it going, the laptop was under resourced for its potential task, so  we purchased a new Ubuntu laptop from Entroware.

There are other Linux laptop suppliers. Beware purchasing a new laptop with windows installed. In the first place you will have to remove the windows operating system which you have paid extra for, and in the second place, you may have the same problems we had getting Ubuntu to install on it.

Once you have your computer set up and running as an Ubuntu 16 Desktop system, you are ready to go onto the next step: adding SMS text capabilities.

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