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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Network
Puppy as a wifi access point - OLD !!
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Atle

Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 283
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Tue 02 Aug 2011, 11:18    Post subject: A possibility to create a standalone AP for local net?  

Dear Puppy users.

This idea is not about sharing the internet. Its about sharing content, music, video and even broadcast your little very local "TV Station", using your webcam and whatever you can make on your own.

This requires a preset "AP Puppy" that covers as much Wlan hardware as possible by default. Most people can not configure this HostAPD, so its a dead end to try to explain and all this. I am on their mailinglist and have given it up, as its to complicated.

So the idea is to give as much Puppy possible stuff, like gameserver, websserver that can have chat, videochat and whatever you can build around the LAMP and lets say Joomla? I can say for the joomla part its so many possibilities here.

Waht i do not know is if one can build a Puppy, based on the lastest, like the one around the corner, that does this out of the box? So when I go out, I can put on this and people around can for free download, upload or do whatever?

Thanks for any answer.

Is that possible
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5218
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue 02 Aug 2011, 23:34    Post subject:  

Atle, you're asking two separate questions;

Q1) whether a Puppy (or dotpet package) can be provided with various filesharing, media streaming-server & chat utilities pre-configured.
The answer is almost certainly yes, but this is a distinctly different subject to this forum thread. Please make your own new forum thread (with a relevant thread title) which is correct forum practice and forum etiquette.

Q2) whether a Puppy (or dotpet package) can be provided with wifi access point configuration pre-configured.
The answer is definitely NO !!
You need to understand that Puppy is an operating system, and is subject to the vagaries of different hardware that individual users might choose to run it on. There's absolutely no way that a particular hardware function can be guaranteed to work, and certainly not with a complex application such as a wifi access point daemon.
As I explained in the first post, hostapd was originally designed to work with only a limited range of wifi drivers (and the corresponding devices): hostap_pci, hostap_cs, and ath_pci (MADWiFi). And this limited range of support remains the case in Puppy 5.1/5.2 at this stage, until the kernel is ugraded and the wifi subsystem moves up to the new "nl80211" architecture.

What you're asking for could be achieved if it was within the confines of a hardware-specific device ... that's why Netgear and Linksys, for example sell you a wifi router device - they don't sell you the embedded Linux operating system to set up, yourself.

Of course, if you really wanted to set up a hardware-specific device (running Puppy) in the manner that you describe, sure, you can do it - just make sure that you use a wifi adapter which uses one of the 3 drivers I listed as compatible.


Atle wrote:
Most people can not configure this HostAPD

Well ... yes ... maybe. Like many things in Linux, it requires effort, and the question then becomes is the user prepared to step up to the challenge?
But to be clear, hostapd does definitely work in Puppy 5.1/5.2, it's been confirmed via private message to me ...
but naturally, it will only work with one of the 3 compatible wifi drivers ... and it seems that newbies have great trouble understanding this critical point.
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Atle

Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 283
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug 2011, 06:38    Post subject: A mulitiple ISO?  

Ok. Could it be possible to create 3 different preset configurations, covering those 3 drivers?

As an example. Let say I make a remaster of 5.2.6, and it has a web server running and all is fine. I make sure the ISO is no larger than 225MB(3x225=675MB). The idea is to make a multiple ISO CD, whereas, the 3 different HostAPD, drivers are working out of the box. The CD serves no other purpose than that.

Is it possible?

Thanks for your reply that was fast and informative.

Atle
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5218
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat 06 Aug 2011, 02:48    Post subject:  

Atle wrote:
Could it be possible to create 3 different preset configurations, covering those 3 drivers?

Sure, but the difference in configuration between hostap_cs/hostap_pci setup versus ath_pci setup is quite trivial. I hardly think it's worth the effort to make 3 separate packages.

I'm reading between the lines, but I think what you're really wanting is some form of simplified initialisation to launch the computer into wifi Access-Point mode?

Experienced Linux/Puppy-Linux users should realise that the manual commands I explained are intended to be used in the initial "testing" stage with their particular hardware. But once these commands are tested and confirmed to work, it's quite straightforward to create a script which will run all of the necessary commands from a single mouse-click.

I could go ahead and create this script, myself, and include it in the hostapd package ... but there are two reasons why I didn't do this in the first place:

i) I don't have the relevant wifi hardware, myself, and it's somewhat "bold" to provide a setup script which I only know to be correct in theory.
But now you have raised this point, my curiosity is piqued, and I think I will buy an Atheros-based wifi card on eBay so I can test hostapd, myself. You will need to wait for about a week for my results.

ii) anyone who doesn't know how to run the manual commands, then create a suitable script, themselves, is quite inexperienced in the Linux world, and the somewhat advanced technical setup that you outlined is going to be difficult to achieve for such a person, regardless of whether I provide automated wifi AP setup.
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aarf

Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 3620
Location: around the bend

PostPosted: Sun 07 Aug 2011, 14:54    Post subject: Re: A possibility to create a standalone AP for local net?  

Atle wrote:
Dear Puppy users.

This idea is not about sharing the internet. Its about sharing content, music, video and even broadcast your little very local "TV Station", using your webcam and whatever you can make on your own.


this was also my idea in addition to supplying a wifi access point. was hoping that the in-built haiwatha server or an installed Xampp would be able to get the stuff out onto the wifi hotspot. wasnt thinking tv station but website and in distant future possibly robotic application..
havent progressed or tried further since last visit to this thread.

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aarf

Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 3620
Location: around the bend

PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 07:53    Post subject:  

android and mac are leaving us in the shade. i dont like it.

Quote:
The flier connects to your iPhone and iPod touch through Wi-Fi and is controlled by either tilting the remote or using on-screen buttons

reference http://www.bangkokpost.com/tech/gadget/250703/is-it-a-bird-is-it-a-plane
wonder about the wifi card and drivers too.

Quote:
The range is claimed to be about 50m
they havent got N wifi then Surprised
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Atle

Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 283
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug 2011, 11:30    Post subject:  

Thanks for the good answers.

This could be done in a few steps and I believe we are not alone on this wish as there is a large group of mailing list users for HostAP.

So to put it into steps.

1) Unite on some goals(multiboot cd, webserver, joomla, webcam support etc)

2) Create one version that supports some of the ideas implemented from 1, and I will upload the file and create a little "community" dedicated for this purpose

3) Promote the project towards the HostAP mailingslist and see if we can attract some people with common interest and also knowhow specific to HostAP

4) Enjoy whatever comes out of this Smile

What I can offer is to work on the Joomla and Hiawatha/ SQL/PHP thing. Thats as far as I go. I have done that one before with 5.2.5, and I believe I shall be able to do that also with 5.2.6, that i believe is around the corner.

I can also offer hosting for the files and make some sort of common workspace for kicking off the project.

Yet I believe that the AP-Puppy or whatever it could be named, will depend on a variety of ideas, like as in social.

As for social its like chatting with your neighbors, offer multiplayer gaming for friends, sharing files, getting files, videochat if that is possible. SEnd your own local news at 2100 every day if that is possible. Only fantasy and the existing possibilities trough the existing repo decides that?

I guess the keyword there is servers? Gameservers, webserver etc?
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5218
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug 2011, 09:54    Post subject:  

After 2 months and 100 downloads, forum users' reports on this subject have been vague. So I decided to test this application, myself.
I bought a MADWiFi-compatible wifi PCI card on eBay; Netgear WG311T, and then tried the setup commands, with one difference: my client wifi device is not WPA compatible, so I set the hostapd configuration for no encryption ("wpa=0").
The hostapd commands all appeared to work, except that the final message looked a little worrying:
"l2_packet_receive - recvfrom: Network is down"

But pressing on, I plugged my old B-mode wifi dongle (D-Link DWL-122) into my Windows computer, and bam! It connected to the Puppy access point.
Attached is the screen grab of the D-Link wifi connection utility in Windows, showing my successful connection.

Of course this is only with WPA encryption disabled. I will need to beg/borrow/steal a WPA compatible client device before I can confirm that hostapd works with WPA/WPA2 encryption.
But the access point functionality is definitely working, and so is the network bridging.

I discovered a few things along the way, particularly regarding DHCP and network configuration, and I have updated the instructions in the first post.
Also I have now repackaged the hostapd dotpet to include a launch-script to make it easier for users who are daunted by all the manual commands involved.
D-Link-utility.jpg
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5218
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug 2011, 09:59    Post subject:  

Router/server/network considerations

Once configured as explained in the first post, your Puppy computer is now a wifi access point, but it's not a router.

You need to be aware that the network configuration is reliant upon the external modem or router that's connected to the ethernet port of the Puppy computer.
The modem/router will, for example, typically assign Puppy's "br0" interface an IP address of 192.168.0.2.
Then when a wifi client connects to Puppy, it's effectively looking through Puppy to the modem/router, which will most likely assign it an IP address of 192.168.0.3.

Now if you want Puppy to act as a server, that's OK, the client can access Puppy at 192.168.0.2, but Puppy is a network peer, not a network server. Puppy is dependent upon the external router for its IP address, and the various services that you run on Puppy will need to be configured for this IP address ... and the IP address can obviously change.

If you want to run server applications on your Puppy wifi access point, it would be optimal if Puppy was configured as a full network server, and the good news is that this is certainly possible. In this scenario, Puppy takes an external IP address from the modem on its ethernet interface as before, but Puppy also has its own LAN, with a different range of IP addresses, starting, for example, from 10.0.0.1.
Now Puppy's internal IP address is fixed, and the wifi clients can always access Puppy at the same address.

The bad news is that I don't know how to set this up.
I know that some of our forum regulars are experts in networking, and they would need to weigh in with the right information.
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Atle

Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 283
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug 2011, 10:03    Post subject:  

Cool...

In the suggested little project by me, the encryption is not really wanted as all are welcome to use it.

Let give it a little time, until the new 5.2.6 or is it 5.2.7 comes and I shall try to get a Joomla up and running there with some cool things like chat and files up and down etc. I will try to make a Joomla Puppy as the very first thing as its released and it seems to be pretty soon

This is great news.

atle Very Happy
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aarf

Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 3620
Location: around the bend

PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug 2011, 10:27    Post subject:  

pleased that you have this running tempestuous and also pleased that you finally named a compatible device: Netgear WG311T to plug into non- compatible computers..
now there should be no roadblocks.
erm.. where is the gui or new pets?

<edited to reflect further correct info.>

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Last edited by aarf on Tue 09 Aug 2011, 11:09; edited 3 times in total
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Atle

Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 283
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug 2011, 10:38    Post subject:  

Quote:
But pressing on, I plugged my old B-mode wifi dongle (D-Link DWL-122) into my Windows computer, and bam! It connected to the Puppy access point.
Attached is the screen grab of the D-Link wifi connection utility in Windows, showing my successful connection.


You got to be kidding Shocked Its the same dongle that I have Very Happy

So that means I am SUPPORTED...

That is so cool. Laughing
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5218
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug 2011, 10:48    Post subject:  

aarf wrote:
also pleased that you finally named a compatible dongle.

Atle wrote:
Its the same dongle that I have
So that means I am SUPPORTED...

Careful guys, you seem to be getting confused - the USB dongle I mentioned was on my client computer. The client computer can be any operating system, with any wifi device which is capable of operating in B-mode or G-mode.

Regarding compatible wifi devices for the Puppy access point - I explained this in the very first paragraph of the first post in this thread. Generally, MADWiFi-compatible devices (Atheros AR521x wifi chip) are the main option.
Yes, I did name the compatible wifi device that I used on the Puppy access point computer - Netgear WG311T - that's a PCI card, not a USB dongle.

For a comprehensive listing of MADWiFi-compatible devices, see here -
http://linux-wless.passys.nl/query_chipset.php?chipset=Atheros
What's not mentioned on that list are the internal miniPCI MADWiFi devices found in the older range of netbooks, especially the older ASUS Eee's.
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aarf

Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 3620
Location: around the bend

PostPosted: Tue 09 Aug 2011, 11:00    Post subject:  

hmm i see same name for new pets as original hostapd-0.7.3.pet so have to redowload the same named pet,
testing not me for now, concentration is exhausted so am taking a little time off from testing .

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Atle

Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 283
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Thu 15 Sep 2011, 04:51    Post subject:  

I talked about making a Puppy that has Joomla preinstalled. Once this goes on "air", I think a lot of funny things can become reality. Then I might be wrong;-)

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=71614
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