This projected it listed here for archivable purposes as it is no longer in development.

I have always been looking for a Network discovery tool like the following NetPi that would fit my needs while walking around sites tracing data cables, and was about to go and make one myself, when I found out someone has already done half the work for me!
Do you know the feeling of standing in a room at an unlabeled data socket and thinking to yourself ‘I have no idea where this goes, or even the best way to trace it?’
You know which rack it is in, but have no idea which port?
You know that 1 room might be spread across 3 patch panels,
No one has ever bothered to document it…
How on earth can I tell what VLAN is serves?

I introduce to you, the NetPi!

Let me tell you what its all about….

-CDP and LLDP Port Discovery
-Internet Speed test
-PING test
-Speed tester (Internet)
-Port Scan
-Net Draw

So the original design is listed over at Blame the Network and i have modified the interface to improve functionality (download link below) Blame The Network has used a Rpi and a 4″ screen.
Unfortunately i was unable to get a 4″ screen, but a 3.5 fits the profile of the pi perfectly!

The main feature we use is the CDP and LLDP discovery. Once a minute the Cisco switches will send out a CDP packet with the following information:
-The switching device name
-The software version
-The Model
-The IP Address
-The Port you are connected to

My design also incorporates a PoE power supply, as the majority of our switches are PoE capable.
The downfall however is that it HAS it be a PoE socket to work. Luckily I have a 240v Adaptor that I carry around for the moment.
BUT! Have a look at the PiJuice Project. I have purchased one of these little guys to power the whole unit while not on PoE, and when returning to a PoE capable socket, it will charge the battery and run the pi
The current downfall is that every time I need to move to a different socket, I have to shut the pi down. Not a huge hassle as its fairly quick to boot.

Here’s how I built my device:

So the pins on the bottom of the USB sockets were a little tall, I was carefully able to bend them flat against the board.
The Ethernet pins then also presented a challenge, nothing a set of careful side cutters couldn’t fix.

Here are both boards side by side, ready to be mated, remember to put those little heat sinks on now, as the circuits require extra cooling

Looking good hey!

Time get the PoE Injector glued on

The supplied cable was not the correct cable needed for the pi,
Here is the cable I made to length


The case above kept falling apart and looked a little tacky, so I designed a case using layered acrylic.
Using 3mm and 4.5mm sheets I was able to sandwich the whole device together!

I used an upside down jigsaw with a plate screwed to its base to act as a sort of band saw to get accurate cuts.
Now time to put it all together!


Raspberry Pi & PoE Splitter connected to the middle segment that hold all the electronics.
It was a little tight with the jacket on the cat5 cable, so i removed it to allow the board to sit lower.
The power cable needed shortening and also routes through the acrylic.



Coming together now…





Threads have been left long to cater for the battery module when it arrives.

Parts Used:
-Raspberry Pi B+ 2
-8GB SD card
-Wave Share Spot Pear 3.5″ (A)
-TP Link TL-POE10R
-Custom Acrylic clear case
-Custom power cable
-Custom ethernet cable

The T-17 Interface modification can be downloaded from here:


Simply replace the www folder located in /var, the share folder located in / and the netpi folder located in /
Please leave a comment!

Regarding the Raspberry pi B+2 and touchscreen issue,

I have successfully got my B+2 working with a WaveShare SpotPear 3.5″

I downloaded the latest driver for the screen from the following link:
And then ran the following commands:
#sudo raspi-config –> Enable Boot to Desktop/Scratch –> Desktop Log in as user ‘pi’ at the graphical desktop
#tar xvf LCD-show.tar.gz
#cd LCD-show/
#sudo ./LCD35-show
#sudo apt-mark hold raspberrypi-bootloader
#sudo apt-get update
#sudo apt-get upgrade

Information was gathered from this link:

Good Luck!

The NetPi
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23 thoughts on “The NetPi

  • June 20, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I realize this is an old post, but I came across it recently while digging deeper into the original project by BlameTheNetwork. I’d like to take what you’ve done, along with my own modifications, and put it on GitHub where it might be easier to maintain and distribute. I wanted to ask your permission before doing so. I would have emailed you directly, but was unable to find an address, so am posting here in hopes you will find this message.

    • November 1, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Hello Seth,
      First off, I must apologies in the 4 month delay in replying to you. (I have updated my email address on this site)
      The email came in when I was on extended holidays, and I have only just noticed it now.
      I would be more than happy for you to put it on GitHub, I am more interested to know if you have done anything further in the last few months?
      Thanks for taking the time to contact me 🙂

  • July 11, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Sounds fine to me. I think you have worked with it for a while now. Is it still working fine?
    I think the whole project is closed. Are you missing things that should be there? Do you still recomment this?

    Sorry for all these questions. I am looking for a cheap testing tool like this.

    • November 1, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Hey Marty, absolutely mate!
      Still in the toolbox and use it frequently.
      Waiting on that battery module however! They are very late in shipping their actual product.
      Should be here soon!

  • November 1, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Do you think using a RPi 3B would offer any advantages? Would there be any compatability issues with netpi?

    • June 16, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      The main advantages would be faster boot times and more responsive UI.
      I can see no reason not to use this on a Pi3!

  • November 20, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Just wanted to give you a HUGE THANK YOU!!! The original author of that NetPi “distro” managed to publish the relevant scripts… but not the web server components. :/

    Your post and .zip helped me get my bare Raspbian install up and running on RPi3 with a 3.5″ touch screen! Much appreciated!

    • November 1, 2018 at 4:12 am

      @jamesb2147, I’m trying to do that too, can you help ?
      Here is where I am :

      Raspi 3 model B v1.2
      sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get install apache2
      sudo apt-get install php
      sudo apt-get install wireshark
      sudo chmod 777 /var/www/html
      copy all the files from the www folder to /var/www/html
      rename the default file

      (not even trying with touch screen yet, just plain hdmi for now)
      when I browse localhost I get the menus, some stuff such as ping works, but not much else.

      Could use a little help with the other folders, thanks !

    • June 16, 2018 at 7:37 pm

      Hey Michael,
      I have indeed used the POE adaptors you linked in another project of mine.
      That reminds me, i should put that up….
      Anyway, i am keen to try it with the 7″ display, by any chance were you successful in getting it running?

  • June 15, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Is there any plans for a PI 3 version?

    • June 16, 2018 at 7:37 pm

      The version listed above should work for the Pi3

  • September 6, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    This is perfect! However unfortunatly the site is down, and by the looks of it has been for some time. Any ideas of where else I could source a version of the full image?

    • September 9, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      Hi George,
      I just had a look at their site and yes it is a bit broken at the moment, If you need to look at the pages, jump in the wayback machine on the Internet Archives website and go from there.
      What I did notice, that was on the creators GitHub, they have forked the project and are redoing it.
      It would be worth seeing where the project goes from here! Looks exciting with the PoE capabilities.
      I will reach out to the creator and see what direction they are taking.
      Good Luck!

  • September 18, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Can you get this project to work through the hdmi output or do you have to have a screen? i have a small 5 or 7 inch hdmi raspberry pi monitor would this work and how do i make it work.

    • September 22, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Hi George,
      You certainly can!
      Not sure how you will click on things, perhaps a bluetooth mouse?

  • September 26, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    Heya, anyone got a working NetPi Plus Image or know if there is a mirror where i could get it from?


  • September 30, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Thanks for advice given to George about the wayback machine. I managed to download the image and after performing an update / upgrade was able to get NetPi running. It’s an interesting project and one I’m keen to pursue.

    Did you have any success at reaching out to the original author(s) to confirm what direction the improved Netpi + will take ?

    • September 30, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      Hey Martyn,
      I emailed the creator at the start of September but are yet to recieve a response.
      We all get bogged down with things in life, so hopefully we will see something come through soon.
      I should add, it would be great to reboot this project, and I have offered to assist.

      • November 1, 2018 at 4:30 am

        Thanks much for the T17 interface modification, I could use a little bit more help on that, trying to build from scratch.

        Installed the latest raspbian on Pi 3 model B, copied the files from the www folder into /var/www/html, unsure about the other folders.

        Installed apache2, php, wireshark.

        • November 15, 2018 at 9:34 pm

          Might be worth holding off just for the moment I think,
          Lets see where the blame the network gentleman publish’s and go from there.

  • November 10, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I would love to see this get revived. Also if anyone has the directions to get it up and running I would be very appreciative. I have installed it on a rpi3b with raspbian and moved some things around but is very clunky. This will be a very helpful tool at work. Thanks in advance.

    • November 15, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      I would really like to see this redone with a pi3 + 7″ touchscreen, POE and inbuilt battery.
      I am really hoping that Blame the network brings something out soon so that we can have a look.
      Lets give it until Jan 2019, and then I might start a remake of this awesome tool!

      For the moment I have been using a windows utility called LDWin, it’s not super stable, but it does the job!


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