First... I am not sure of what I am asking and what I am talking about. I have a clear idea of what to obtain but I lack the experience in this domain to even put together the right sentences and words.

Goal: Run a Dockerized NodeJS server on a Raspberry that one or more mobile devices can access with a static IP.
Ideally the only hardware will be Raspberry PI (v3, v4, any other ?) powered by a MacBook Pro laptop (USB-C) and the mobile device.

The question is, how the mobile device can be on the same network of the Raspberry PI to be able to reach the Node server through a local static IP with the minimum number of hardware "actors" ? Can the Raspberry PI be also a DHCP router at the same time exposing a Wifi network interface compatible with latest iOS and Android devices to play both roles as server and network provider ?

If not, can I use a plug and play mini USB router (powered by the MacBook or the PI ) that can "publish" a WiFi channel so that both Raspberry and Mobile device can both connect to ? This router should just expose a local network.

What I also wish is to avoid that the person presenting the demo has to depend on a wall power plug (reason why a MacBook can be used as power station) and bulky modem/router with sticking antennas and power source needs.

Thanks in advance.

  • Your question is too broad and opinion based. Such questions are flagged and may be closed. This site isn't made for brainstorming and discuss general issues. It is made to do one specific question that can be answered detailed. I understand your concern but I think the raspberrypi.org/forums may be a better place to ask this sort of questions. – Ingo Sep 18 '19 at 7:58
  • I agree. MFAL, it sounds like you already know what you want to do. Just go about working out each individual step and you should get there, e.g. how to run a Raspberry Pi hotspot, how to configure a static ip, how to setup NodeJS on a Pi, etc. – Fred Sep 20 '19 at 9:08
  • I partially understand that there might be opinions involved, mainly on the second part "If not, can I use a plug and play mini USB router...", but the main core question: "Can the Raspberry PI be also a DHCP router at the same time exposing a Wifi network interface", sounds to me a question that is less susceptible to opinions and abolotnov answer does not sound opinionated to me... but direct clear, in fact it help me to go ahead with my project. – MFAL Sep 20 '19 at 13:20
  • this link provided all the clear steps to follow ! raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/wireless/… – MFAL Sep 27 '19 at 15:07

So, RPI is a computer and yes, you can configure your RPI to be an access point (and basically serve it's own wifi network devices can connect to). This may be a good start. It would not let your RPI wifi users access internet (unless you have another adapter that connects to network to bridge it) but it would work if you wanted them to connect to this wifi to access one specific website hosted on the RPI.

On the other hand, if the person is using a MBP to power the RPI, why not just deploy/run the container on the macbook and perform the demo?

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  • thanks for the reply. I would like to avoid the MacBook since it is a personal staff laptop. I would have to install docker on it and then the server image. Also the RPI could be used and shared by several people doing demos regardless of their laptop system... they would just need to power up the RPI and a script could boot up the server. Also, even if I run the container on the MBP I still need both devices to be on the same network to access the server static IP... I would probably still need a mini router. – MFAL Sep 17 '19 at 21:04

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