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Author Topic: Need help with Unix system acting as a wireless access point  (Read 738 times)
Moshi
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January 25, 2013, 08:00:18 PM
 #1

I'm working with a small cluster running off of BCCD, and need to set up the wireless adapter to act as a wireless access point (master mode, but ad-hoc may work) to allow other systems near it to SSH to it and execute commands. A "wireless hotspot" is being used for simplicity's sake, as the users probably won't be too proficient with Unix.

About a week ago, I had some success using the follow code I found after extensive Google searches:

Code:
ifconfig wlan0 (IP) netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast (IP) up
iwconfig wlan0 essid cluster mode master

(Where (IP) is the system's IP)

This worked the first time I've used it, in both master and ad-hoc modes. Every wi-fi enabled device I tried managed to connect, and I called it a day.

Now, using the same system as before, using the above code in master mode gives the error:

Code:
Error for wireless request "Set Mode" (8B06) :
      SET failed on device wlan0 ; Invalid argument.

Of course, no devices can connect. Ad-hoc mode doesn't return an error, but the only device out of a few notebooks and smartphones that can connect is an iPod Touch (which does me no good).

My question is: Does anyone know of anything I may be blatantly doing wrong here? Also, are there any other methods that may accomplish what I need?

1Moshi7BMtBtBefWSnhUXcWoc8WEhpgNxs for the times I do something useful
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Moshi
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January 25, 2013, 09:00:00 PM
 #2

I had actually tried messing around with hostapd on my last attempt, but it apparently doesn't support the iwlwifi driver then BCCD uses, and I gave up out of frustration. I don't think it would be an issue to try a different driver, and I've almost a full weekend to get that working. Thanks for the pointer, despite the fact that I probably shouldn't have ruled hostapd out so quickly.

The only issue is that I couldn't incorporate this as a one-time fix; we reinstall BCCD so often it'd practically be a weekly thing. I'll fiddle about on my notebook and throw together a guide while I'm at it for some practice.

1Moshi7BMtBtBefWSnhUXcWoc8WEhpgNxs for the times I do something useful
Richy_T
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January 26, 2013, 07:30:47 AM
 #3

I'll just chime in that rather than messing with all the hostapd stuff and making sure you have the correct chipsets and all that guff, you might just want to get hold of a small Tomato capable wireless router* and throw that on there. I think I paid $20 for mine. Of course, you might have good reasons for going the hostapd route in which case, good luck to you.




*Stock firmware may do what you want.

1RichyTrEwPYjZSeAYxeiFBNnKC9UjC5k
Richy_T
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January 26, 2013, 07:51:37 PM
 #4

A wireless router would be the best route for me to, I needed a connection in a hurry so used a spare PC for now but I'm looking for a router, need a decent range though as this is going between houses. Nothing suitable on Bitmit atm and there's nothing like the cheap ebay listings on Bitcoin Store :/

You might be best put to focusing on the antenna. Have you considered a cantenna?

1RichyTrEwPYjZSeAYxeiFBNnKC9UjC5k
01BTC10
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January 26, 2013, 07:55:04 PM
 #5

What distribution are you using? I'm asking because this option is built-in with Ubuntu wireless manager.
Richy_T
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January 27, 2013, 12:55:15 AM
 #6

...
You might be best put to focusing on the antenna. Have you considered a cantenna?
Lol, tried gutting the core out of a cheap generic one and punching a screwdriver through a bean tin with the help of an online calculator and got a 30% boost in signal strength Smiley Might make a one properly sometime but decent non-directional outdoor high gain ones are cheap should make a big difference on the AP.

Building to building is a PITA, particularly if there's any metal siding or metal structural members involved. I spent ages getting it just right at the in-laws place then someone parked their SUV in between and killed the connection so I gave up.

If you're on the same phase, it might be worth considering one of those ethernet-over-power-line things or maybe go fiber optic. Wifi is definitely the easiest and cheapest if you can get it to work easily though.

1RichyTrEwPYjZSeAYxeiFBNnKC9UjC5k
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