Linux Wireless Access Point HOWTO


Chapter 2. Prerequisites

2.1 Minimum Hardware Requirements

Pentium 100Mhz
Motherboard that supports PCI v2.2
1.5GB Hard Disk
Ethernet card
Wireless card with Intersil Prism2 chipset

2.2 Optional Hardware Extras

While not strictly essential, the following will make the install process easier. They can safely removed once the install is finished;

CD-Rom drive
VGA (or better) graphics card.
Keyboard & Mouse

2.3 Obtaining DNS & IP allocations

In order to deploy your Access Point as part of the wireless network it is a good idea to create a node entry with (required for NZ-Wireless nodes) and necessary to obtain a network and possibly a domain from your wireless group. Here's how;

2.3.1 Create an account with

Once you have an account, login to nodedb (the world-wide resource for Access Point information) and click "create a new entry" to create a listing for your node. While you are there take note of any nodes that are close by.

2.3.2 Contact your wireless network administrator

Your wireless group will have a network administrator responsible for assigning IP addresses and DNS subdomains. You will need to contact your group and acquire these. In the case of NZ-Wireless, new operators need to mail NZ Wireless the following details;

-Your name
-Your phone number
-A link to your listing
-The number of subnets you require

NZ-Wireless will reply with a reserved network allocation and a DNS domain. They will look like this;

10.x.x.x/24 e.g. netmask
10.x.x.x/28 e.g. netmask (FOR WDS links if required) e.g.

Other wireless groups may do this differently, they may use a different network, assign different subnets or use a different structure for formulating domain names. Regardless, you will need this information before continuing with the install in order to integrate with the wireless network you belong to.

2.4 Necessary information about your existing network

In order to integrate your Access Point with your current wired network you will need to know the following details concerning your current LAN;

- The IP address and subnet mask that you will allocate to the wired interface of your access point. If this address is in the range you may encounter routing problems, as NZ-Wireless uses this network as do many other community groups. This issue can be resolved by re-networking your wired network with a different range (e.g. 172.16.x.x or 192.168.x.x), obtaining a second network allocation for your wired network or perhaps by using NAT/PAT on your Access Point.
- The IP address of your LANs (wired network's) gateway.
- The IP address(es) of your ISPs DNS Server(s)

Once you have created your nodedb entry, obtained your network and DNS allocation and recorded the information about your wired network, you're ready to move on to the install.

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