Software access point

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Revision as of 09:07, 29 December 2010 by Chancho (Talk | contribs)

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A software access point is used when you want your computer to act as an access point for the local wireless network. It saves you the trouble of getting a separate wireless router.

Things you need

You will need:
  • prism2/2.5/3 pure pci wireless card or nl80211 compatible cards (e.g. ath9k)
  • wireless-tools, hostapd and bridge-utils from pacman

Steps to implement

the config file of hostapd /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf will help you to put your wireless device into master mode and willing to accept connection from other computers with encrypted password.

here is an example from http://www.su-root.eu/computing/turn-your-linux-computer-in-a-wireless-access-point-using-hostapd


interface=wlan0
bridge=br0
driver=nl80211
logger_stdout=-1
logger_stdout_level=2
ssid=test
hw_mode=g
channel=6
auth_algs=3
max_num_sta=5
wpa=2
wpa_passphrase=tryyourbest
wpa_key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
wpa_pairwise=TKIP CCMP
rsn_pairwise=CCMP


before hostapd does its job, eth0, wlan0 and br0 must be up and do not have any address. we can put the following lines in /etc/rc.conf


eth0="eth0 up"
wlan0="wlan0 up"
br0="br0 192.168.0.2 netmask 255.255.255.0 up"
INTERFACES=(lo eth0 wlan0 br0)


in the /etc/conf.d/bridge file, uncomment the lines (change eth1 to wlan0)


bridge_br0="eth0 wlan0"
BRIDGE_INTERFACES=(br0)


we are ready to go, just reboot the machine and use another computer to see if you can find the "test" wireless connection.

  • untested* if your computer stops at the sign of "waiting for IP address" etc, that may be it can not find a dhcp server. so you need to set up one.


  • UPDATE* The hostap-driver in pacman works, too. Thanks Xentac!
  • ANOTHER UPDATE* Hostap-driver is in the 2.6.15 kernel. Also, DCHP requests are passed to the wired connection through wireless, so dhcpd is not needed for this.
  • Update (2010-12-17) : updated packages requirement
  • Update (2010-12-22) : updated config files for rc.conf, hostapd.conf and bridge.
  • Update (2010-12-29) : added channel=6 in hostapd.conf