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#1 2006-03-09 23:13:36

bhrich902
Member
Registered: 2003-09-21
Posts: 75

setting up a box, time to kill.

hello all, well with spring break heading this and no plans i was thinking of killing some time by taking on a project. i have a spare box at home and i want to basically take as much functionality as possible from my wireless router (it's an off the shelves dlink four port wireless router) into that spare box. basically i want to replace that router with the box so it has to have all those or at least the default functions of the router. I guess i'd like to do this for personal knowledge and again to kill time. So if someone has done this or could offer some tips or good tutorials i'd appreciated. im planning on using arch for this, but im not sure what else i need for hardware. It has to able to network 3 desktop by wire, provide wilreless acces for a laptop and give them all access to the internet. thx for any tips.

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#2 2006-03-10 12:35:09

FUBAR
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-12-08
Posts: 1,029
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Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

I'm going to do something similar when I have the time. I started a Wiki-page on which I've collected a few guides.
Once I get around to it, I'm going to document my steps on the Wiki so everyone can use it to install a router. I don't have any wireless networking experience, so your input would be very valuable.

I was also thinking about creating a special "router repo", with specific versions (with special compilation options, less dependencies) of packages for the router.


A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
On my desk I have a workstation.

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#3 2006-03-12 09:58:48

bhrich902
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Registered: 2003-09-21
Posts: 75

Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

that'd be great, a repo for that sort of thing with a less dependecies as possible would be cool.

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#4 2006-03-13 08:48:21

FUBAR
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-12-08
Posts: 1,029
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Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

First things first tho. I've tried to set up a router before and I could never get the two NIC's to work together. Very strange. I even tried a whole set of distributions and even OpenBSD. So if you succeed, feel free to add to the WiKi. I used a lot of manuals and couldn't figure it out.


A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
On my desk I have a workstation.

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#5 2006-03-13 10:14:49

tomk
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From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,837

Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

That's puzzling, FUBAR - there's no reason why it wouldn't work. After all, there are numerous 'router-in-a-box'-type distros out there that work with two or more NICs - my IPCop has three NICs and a DSL card, for instance.

Whenever you get the time, give it another try - with Arch, of course - and post your errors.

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#6 2006-03-13 13:13:26

FUBAR
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-12-08
Posts: 1,029
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Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

tomk wrote:

That's puzzling, FUBAR - there's no reason why it wouldn't work. After all, there are numerous 'router-in-a-box'-type distros out there that work with two or more NICs - my IPCop has three NICs and a DSL card, for instance.

Whenever you get the time, give it another try - with Arch, of course - and post your errors.

I know, it was puzzling for me aswell. After a few days of struggling I just went back to IPCop which is a great Linux router distro.

I just want to do it myself, to gain some experience and to seem l33t. wink First I'll need a working internetconnection @ my room and a lot of time tho.


A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
On my desk I have a workstation.

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#7 2006-03-29 08:37:34

FUBAR
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-12-08
Posts: 1,029
Website

Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

I prepared my target system (Celeron 466, 256MB RAM, 13GB IDE) yesterday: I installed Arch's base system from the 0.7.1 .iso on it.

It seems that base is already has a lot of packages for a router. I've been using IPCop for years now, and I like their minimalistic philosophy: I'd like to keep the needed packages as low as possible. I don't really see the use of gcc and other packages needed to compile stuff on a router. Especially since we're talking about Arch: I'd be compiling the packages I want on my regular Arch box and copy them over to the router.

This probably requires a review of the base packages' PKGBUILDs to cut away the "bloat".

Does that seem like a feasible idea or would it just create needless overhead for the "devs" (me, if I stay interested wink)?


A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
On my desk I have a workstation.

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#8 2006-03-29 09:31:18

tomk
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From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,837

Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

It seems reasonable to me - what you're aiming for is a single-purpose pared-down install that handles a particular set of functions very well, so you can eliminate anything not required by those functions. You could even end up with ArchCop! tongue

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#9 2006-03-29 12:25:35

FUBAR
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From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-12-08
Posts: 1,029
Website

Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

That's the aim. What I like about IPCop is its ease of installation: you have a fully functional router in 20 minutes.
The bad part is that you can't install other programs to it without some l33t moves.

With Arch, it should be possible to combine the best of both worlds! smile

I'd just like some input from a more experienced Linux user than me on how to start this little project.


A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
On my desk I have a workstation.

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#10 2006-03-29 19:37:26

FUBAR
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-12-08
Posts: 1,029
Website

Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

Is it possible to set a variable and then refer to that variable in a .conf file?

Where should I set these variables to make sure they exist when the .conf's are parsed?

[edit]
I figure it would be a lot easier and nicer to set vars like

$eth0 = 10.0.0.1
$eth1 = dhcp
dhcprange = 10.0.0.0/29

and then use $eth0 and so on in .conf's.
[/edit]


A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
On my desk I have a workstation.

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#11 2006-03-30 02:19:40

syamajala
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From: here, there, everywhere
Registered: 2005-01-25
Posts: 604
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Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

the last time i tried to do something like this was with gentoo. i was trying to build a wireless bridge, but then i found out that 802.11 bridging doesn't work with wireless cards because the cards have to be in promisc (i think thats what it was) mode.... the drivers for the wireless cards couldn't do this at the time. i don't know if the situation has changed though.

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#12 2006-03-30 08:42:19

tomk
Forum Fellow
From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,837

Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

FUBAR's talking about routing, which does not require promiscuous mode. Anyway, things have moved on in that area - my wireless AP is actually a wired-to-wireless bridge running Debian, and it has an Atheros card in promiscuous mode with the madwifi driver.

Re your variables idea, FUBAR - /etc/rc.conf is sourced by /etc/rc.d/network, which creates variables in the network script - every line in rc.conf that has "foo=something" creates the variable $foo with the value something. So your $eth0, $eth1, etc are already there. If you're looking to put variables in to rc.conf, you're talking about a conf file for a conf file, unless I've misunderstood you.

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#13 2006-03-30 08:57:58

FUBAR
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-12-08
Posts: 1,029
Website

Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

Hehe, doh. I forgot about rc.conf. That would be an ideal place to put all the variables useful for the router/NAT box.

Although, when I come to think of it, those variables aren't "system variables". You can't get their value running "echo $eth0" in a shell, for instance.


A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
On my desk I have a workstation.

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#14 2006-03-30 22:18:32

syamajala
Member
From: here, there, everywhere
Registered: 2005-01-25
Posts: 604
Website

Re: setting up a box, time to kill.

tomk: thanks for telling me. i can replace my wireless bridge now!

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