A Linux Wireless Access Point HOWTO

Simon Anderson

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v0.1 2003-06-06

A Linux Wireless Access Point is a Linux system capable of integrating with other Access Points in a wireless network to provide connectivity between fixed nodes and roaming wireless clients. This HOWTO describes one method for configuring a suitable system.

This document is by no means definitive; it makes assumptions, it leaves out some details and some of what is presented here is specific to NZ-Wireless. That said, aspects of this document may prove useful as a general guide to building a Linux wireless Access Point for participants in other wireless community groups or individuals wishing to build one as a stand-alone.

In addition to my own research and experience I have drawn upon a number of different sources in creating this HOWTO, all of which should be attributed in the sections that they arise, as should links to more in-depth guides.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
         1.1. Example diagrams
         1.2. Chapter descriptions
2. Prerequisites
         2.1. Minimum hardware requirements
         2.2. Optional hardware extras
         2.3. Obtaining DNS & IP allocations
                    2.3.1 Create an account with NodeDB.com
                    2.3.2 Contact your wireless network administrator
         2.4. Necessary information about your existing network
3. Installing Redhat
         3.1. Overview of the Redhat installation process
         3.2. Step by Step guide to installing Redhat
         3.3. Turning off unnecessary services
         3.4. Reboot and test
4. Configuring HOSTAP
         4.1. Overview of HOSTAP
         4.2 Installing the kernel
                    4.2.1 Building a kernel with HOSTAP
                    4.2.2 Installing a pre-packaged kernel
         4.3. Configuring the kernel and the wireless interface
                    4.3.1 Loading the HOSTAP modules         
                    4.3.2 Configuring TCP/IP for the wireless interface
                    4.3.3 Configuring the 802.11b settings for the wireless interface
                    4.3.4 Configuring WDS settings
         4.4. Testing the wireless interface
                    4.4.1 Checking that an interrupt has been assigned
                    4.4.2 Checking that the wireless modules have loaded
                    4.4.3 Checking the 802.11b settings with iwconfig
                    4.4.4 Checking the TCP/IP settings with ifconfig
5. Configuring DHCPD
         5.1. Overview of DHCPD
         5.2. Example DHCPD configuration file
         5.3. Testing DHCPD
         5.4. Enabling DHCPD from startup
6. Configuring DNS
         6.1. Overview of NAMED
         6.2. Generating an RNDC key
         6.3. Example NAMED configuration file
         6.4. Example Zone files
         6.5. Configuring the Access Point to use local DNS
         6.6. Testing DNS
         6.7. Enabling DNS from startup
7. Configuring routing
         7.1. Overview of routing
         7.2. Configuring ZEBRA
         7.3. Configuring OSPFD
         7.4. Accessing the ZEBRA and OSPFD configuration interfaces
         7.5. Testing ZEBRA and OSPFD
         7.6. Enabling ZEBRA and OSPFD from startup
8. Configuring Firewalling
         8.1. Overview of firewalling
         8.2. Example IPTABLES configuration file
         8.3. Testing IPTABLES
                    8.3.1 Starting IPTABLES manually
                    8.3.2 Checking that the IPTABLES modules have loaded
                    8.3.3 Using the IPTABLES userspace command
                    8.3.4 Other methods of testing
         8.4. Enabling IPTABLES from startup
9. Setting up NoCatAuth Gateway for HOTSPOTing
         9.1. Overview of NoCatAuth Gateway
         9.2. Required software
         9.3. Installing NoCatAuth Gateway
                    9.3.1 Unpacking NoCatAuth
                    9.3.2 Making NoCatAuth Gateway
         9.4. Configuring NoCatAuth Gateway
         9.5. Bandwidth Throtting (Traffic Shaping)
                    9.5.1 Configuring throttling
                    9.5.2 Enabling throttling
         9.6. Testing NoCatAuth Gateway
         9.7. Enabling NoCatAuth from startup
10. Setting up NoCatAuth Authentication service with Apache
11. Tidying up
         11.1. Overview of the cleanup process
         11.2. Modifying SSHD
         11.3. Enabling serial console access
         11.4. Auditing system security
         11.5. Removing unnecessary kernel modules
         11.6. Turning off unnecessary services
         11.7. Installing and configuring Aladin for WDS
A. About this HOWTO
         A.1. Copyright
         A.2. Disclaimer
         A.3. Acknowledgements
B. GNU Free Documentation License