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Setting up remote access

Introduction to remote access

The Pioreactor connects to your local network, and the UI is hosted locally on the Raspberry Pi. A priori, there's no access to view the UI from outside your local network (this is a good thing for security reasons). Let's change that.

With some extra free services, we can safely connect to our Pioreactor cluster remotely. We've documented 2 ways to do this. Both require command-line access to the leader Pioreactor and some external services.

  • Option 1: Ngrok. Remotely access your UI behind a simple username / password.
  • Option 2: Tailscale. Spin up a simple VPN, and expose your UI to users of your VPN. Also allows for Pioreactors in different locations to be used together over the VPN.


By allowing remote access to your Pioreactor, you are providing a possible vector for malicious folks to access the UI, and possibly your network. We've built the Pioreactor to minimize these holes, but there are two more additional changes you should make:

  1. To disallow users to upload files onto your server, enter the following into your leader:
touch /home/pioreactor/.pioreactor/DISALLOW_UI_UPLOADS
  1. To disallow users to add plugins to your cluster, enter the following into your leader:
touch /home/pioreactor/.pioreactor/DISALLOW_UI_INSTALLS

We highly recommend doing both these actions.

To remove these blocks, simply delete the files.