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This is the technical documentation for older versions of Odoo (formerly OpenERP).

See the new Odoo user documentation.

See the new Odoo technical documentation.

PosBox Documentation

Posbox Setup Guide

Prerequisites

Before you start setting up your PosPox make sure you have everything. You will need :

  • The PosBox

  • A 2A Power adapter

  • A computer or tablet with an up to date Firefox, Chrome or Safari web browser (we recommend Chrome)

  • A running SaaS or V8.0 OpenERP Instance with the Point of Sale Installed.

  • A local network set up with DHCP ( this is the default setting )

  • A RJ45 Ethrnet Cable

  • An Epson USB TM-T20 Printer or another compatible printer.

  • A Honeywell Eclipse USB Barcode Scanner or another compatible scanner.

  • An Epson compatible cash drawer.

Step By Step Setup Guide

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Power the PosBox

Plug the PosBox to the 2A Power Adapter, a bright red status led should light up.

Connect it to the Local Network

Connect the PosBox to the Local Network with the RJ45 Cable. Make sure You connect the PosBox to the same Network as your POS device. Once connected a bright yellow status led should light up, and a green status led should flash.

Connect the USB Printer

Put a paper roll in the printer, power it up, then connect it to one of the PosBox's USB port

Connect the cash drawer

The cash drawer should be connected to the printer with the RJ25 cable

Connect the USB Barcode Scanner

Connect the usb barcode scanner to one of the PosBox's USB port. The Barcode Scanner should immediately light up and emit a loud beep.

Configure the USB Barcode Scanner

The barcode scanner should be configured in QWERTY and emit a new line / return symbol after each scan. This is most likely the default configuration of your barcode scanner.

Make sure the PosBox is ready

Once powered, The PosBox needs less than a minute to boot. Once the PosBox is ready, it should print a status receipt with its IP Adress. Also, the last status led, just after the red power status led, should be permanently lit green.

Setup the Point of Sale

Make sure to activate the 'Print via Proxy', 'Remote Scanning' or 'Cashdrawer' options in the Point of Sale configuration. If you are using firefox, you must manually specify the PosBox's IP address which was printed on the status receipt.

If you are running multiple Point of Sales on the same PosBox, make sure that only one of them has Remote Scanning activated.

If you manually specify the PosBox's IP address, you must configure your network to make sure the PosBox's IP address doesn't change. Please refer to your Router documentation.

Launch the Point of Sale.

If you didn't spcecify the PosBox's IP address in the config, the POS will need some time to perform a network scan to find the PosBox. This is only done once.

The Point of Sale is now connected to the PosBox and your Hardware should be ready to use.

Multi-Pos Configuration

The advised way to setup a multi Point-of-Sale shop is to have one PosBox per Point-of-Sale. In this case it is mandatory to manually specify the IP address of each PosBox in each Point of Sale. You must also configure your network to make sure the PosBox's IP address doesn't change. Please refer to your Router documentation.

PosBoxless Setup Guide

If you are running your Point of Sale on a debian-based linux distribution, you do not need the PosBox as you can run its software locally. However the installation process is not foolproof. You'll need at least to know how to install and run openerp. You may also run into issues specific to your distribution or to your particular setup and hardware configuration.

Prerequisites

  • A debian based linux distribution (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, etc.)

  • A running OpenERP server (version trunk or saas-3 or 8.0 or later)

  • You must uninstall any esc-pos printer driver as it will conflict with OpenERP's built-in driver.

Step By Step Setup Guide

Extra dependencies

Because Odoo is running on Python 2, you need to check which version of pip you need to use.

$ sudo pip --version

If it returns something like :

pip 1.5.6 from /usr/local/lib/python3.3/dist-packages/pip-1.5.6-py3.3.egg (python 3.3)

You need to try pip2 instead

If it returns something like :

pip 1.4.1 from /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages (python 2.7)

You can use pip

The driver modules requires the installation of new python modules:

$ sudo pip install pyserial
$ sudo pip install --pre pyusb
$ sudo pip install qrcode

Database Setup

You must create a database called posbox with the modules hw_proxy, hw_escpos, and hw_scanner installed.

Access Rights

The drivers need raw access to the printer and barcode scanner devices. Doing so requires a bit system administration. First we are going to create a group that has haccess to usb devices:

$ sudo groupadd usbusers

Then we add the user who will run the OpenERP server to usbusers:

$ sudo useradd -G usbusers USERNAME

Then we need to create a udev rule that will automatically allow members of usbusers to access raw usb devices. To do so create a file called 99-usbusers.rule in the /etc/udev/rules.d/ directory with the following content:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", GROUP="usbusers", MODE="0660"
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", GROUP="usbusers", MODE="0660"

Then you need to reboot your machine.

Start the local OpenERP Installl

We must launch the OpenERP server on the port 8069 with the correct database settings:

$ ./server/openerp-server --addons-path=addons,web/addons --db-filter='^posbox$' \
        --xmlrpc-port=8069 -d posbox

Check that everything works

Plug all your hardware to your machine's USB ports, and go to http://localhost:8069/hw_proxy/status refresh the page a few times and see if all your devices are indicated as Connected. Possible source of errors are: The paths on the distribution differ from the paths expected by the drivers, another process has grabbed exclusive access to the devices, the udev rules do not apply or a superceeded by others.

Automatically Start OpenERP

You must now make sure that this OpenERP install is automatically started after boot. There are various ways to do so, and how to do it depends on your particular setup. We use systemd on the PosBox, but upstart or sysvinit are other options.

Setup the Point of Sale

The IP Adress field in the POS Config must be either 127.0.0.1 or localhost. You can also leave it empty.

PosBox Technical Documentation

Technical Overview

The PosBox Hardware

The PosBox's Hardware is based on a model B Raspberry Pi, a popular open-source micro-computer. The Raspberry Pi is powered with a 2A micro-usb power adapter. 2A is needed to give enough power to the barcode scanners. And we recommend Samsung power adapters for their availability and reliability ( but beware of counterfeits ). The Raspberry is protected by a ModMyPi Raspberry Pi Case. The Software is installed on a 8Gb Class 10 or Higher SD Card. The SD Card's class is important to ensure good performances. All this hardware is easily available worldwide from independant vendors.

Compatible Peripherals

  • Printers:

    • Epson TM-T20

    • Support for Other Esc-Pos compatible printers can be easily added on a case-by-case basis, please see the Unsupported Printers chapter of this manual.

  • Barcode Scannners:

    • Metapace S61

    • Honeywell Eclipse or Voyager 95x0 Series.

    • Most other barcode scanners should work out of the box. Some barcode scanners need more power than the PosBox can provide and must be plugged in a self-powered USB HUB. This is the case for Datalogic Barcode Scanners.

  • Cash Drawers:

    • As the cash drawers are connected to the printer, All Epson compatible cash drawers should work out of the Box.

The PosBox Software

The PosBox runs a Raspbian Linux distribution, a Debian derivative optimized for the Raspberry Pi. It also runs a barebones install of OpenERP which provides the webserver and the drivers. The printer & scanner drivers are implemented as openerp modules. Those modules are named hw_proxy, hw_escpos, hw_scanner and are the only modules installed and running. OpenERP is only used for the framework it provides. No business data is processed or stored on the PosBox. The OpenERP install is a full bazaar clone of the trunk branch, and can thus be updated trough the usual means.

We use systemd to manage the Openerp server. Systemd makes sure OpenERP starts up at boot and is always up and running. Its systemd unit file is called openerp.service, and can be found in /etc/systemd/system/openerp.service. The systemd version used is quite old and thus journalctl is not available. All logs can be found in instead /var/logs/syslog

We removed all graphical software from the default install to reduce to image size but nothing prevents you from reinstalling them.

Accessing the PosBox

Local Access

If you plug a QWERTY USB keyboard into one of the PosBox's USB ports, and if you connect a computer monitor to the HDMI port of the PosBox, you can use it as a small UNIX computer and perform various administration tasks.

Once the PosBox is ready press ALT-F2 to access the login prompt. The login is pi and the password admin. The OpenERP install is in the ~/openerp directory along with a few scripts to help with debugging and administration.

Remote Access

If you have the PosBox's IP address and a SSH client you can access the PosBox's system remotely. The login / password are pi/admin

Getting Unsupported Printers to Work

The PosBox should be able to print to any ESC-POS printer, not just the Epson TM-T20. If You have such a printer, you can activate it with the following steps:

  • Get local or remote access to the PosBox.

  • Plug in your printer

  • type lsusb in a prompt

  • Find your printer in the list of connected USB devices

  • Find your printer's vendor id: It consists of two hexadecimal numbers separated by a colon.

  • Edit ~/openerp/addons/hw_escpos/escpos/supported_devices.py and add an entry for your printer.

  • Restart the PosBox.

  • If everything works properly you can send your printer's name and vendor ID to support@openerp.com and we'll add it to the list of supported devices.

Updating The PosBox Software

The best way to update the PosBox software is to download a new version of the image and flash the SD-Card with it. This operation is described in details on the following tutorial http://elinux.org/RPi_Easy_SD_Card_Setup, just replace the standard raspberry pi image to the latest one found at http://nightly.openerp.com/trunk/posbox/

Troubleshoot

The POS cannot connect to the PosBox.

  • The easiest way to make sure the PosBox is properly set-up is to turn it on with the printer plugged in as it will print a receipt indicating any error if encountered or the PosBox's IP adress in case of success. If no receipt is printed, check the following steps:

  • Make sure the PosBox is powered on, indicated by a brightly lid red status LED.

  • Make sure the PosBox is ready, this is indicated by a brightly lid green status LED just above the red power status LED. The PosBox should be ready one minute after it is powered on.

  • Make sure the PosBox is connected to the Network. This is indicated by a brightly lid yellow status LED.

  • Make sure the PosBox is connected to the same network as your POS device. Both the device and the posbox should be visible in the list of connected devices on your network router.

  • Make sure that your LAN is set up with DHCP, and gives ip Address in the range 192.168.0.X, 192.168.1.X, 10.0.0.X. If you cannot setup your LAN that way, you must manually set up your PosBox's ip-address. See the relevant paragraph in the Setup chapter of this documentation

  • If you have specified the PosBox's IP address in the config, make sure it correspond to the printed on the PosBox's status receipt.

  • Make sure that the POS is not loaded over HTTPS.

  • A bug in Firefox's HTTP implementation prevents the autodiscovery from working reliably. When using Firefox you should manually set up the PosBox's ip address in the POS config.

The Barcode Scanner is not working

  • The PosBox needs a 2A power supply to work with some barcode scanners. If you are not using the provided power supply, make sure the one you use has enough power.

  • Some barcode scanners will need more than 2A and will not work, or will work unreliably, even with the provided power supply. In those case you can plug the barcode scanner in a self-powered USB Hub.

  • Some poorly built barcode scanners do not advertise themselves as barcode scanners but as a usb keyboard instead, and will not be recognized by the PosBox.

  • The barcode scanner must be configured in US QWERTY and emit a linefeed after each codebar.

The Barcode Scanner is not working reliably

  • Make sure that no more than one device with 'Scan via Proxy' enabled are connected to the PosBox at the same time.

Printing the receipt takes too much time.

  • A small delay before the first print is expected, as the PosBox will do some preprocessing to speed up the next printings. If you suffer delays afterwards it is most likely due to poor network connection between the POS and the PosBox.

Some characters are not correctly printed on the receipt.

  • The PosBox does not support all languages and characters. It currently supports latin and cyrillic based scripts, with basic japanese support.

The Printer is Offline

  • The PosBox only supports EPSON TM-T20 printers. Make sure the printer is connected, powered, has enough paper and has its lid closed, and does is not in an error status. If the error persists, please contact support.

The Cashdrawer does not open.

  • The cashdrawer should be connected to the printer and should be activated in the POS Configuration

Credits

The PosBox project was developped by Frédéric van der Essen with the kind help of Gary Malherbe, Fabien Meghazi, Nicolas Wisniewsky, Dimitri Del Marmol and Antony Lesuisse.

This development would not have been possible without the Indiegogo campaign and those who contributed to it. Special thanks goes to the partners who backed the campaign with founding partner bundles:

  • Camptocamp

  • BHC

  • openBig

  • Eeezee-IT

  • Solarsis LDA

  • ACSONE

  • Vauxoo

  • Ekomurz

  • Datalp

  • Dao Systems

  • Eggs Solutions

  • OpusVL

And also the partners who've backed the development with the Founding PosBox Bundle:

  • Willow IT

  • E. Akhalwaya & Sons

  • Multibase

  • Mindesa

  • bpso.biz

  • Shine IT.