Software access point

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Revision as of 15:54, 10 July 2011 by Anden (talk | contribs) (Added bridge setup with kernel >= 2.6.33 and new rc.conf syntax regarding networking.)
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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

wpa_pairwise=TKIP CCMP

Set up bridge with kernel >= 2.6.33

Due to changes in the kernel since version 2.6.33 bridges cannot contain an uninitialized interface. Because of this we need hostapd to add the wlan interface to the bridge instead.


  • kernel >= 2.6.33
  • hostapd >= 0.7.1.

One way to set this up since the changes in rc.conf because of the deprecation of net-tools is to use Netcfg:

Setup a profile in /etc/network.d/ (for example called "bridge").


In rc.conf make sure you do the following:

  • Add the bridge profile to the NETWORKS list.
  • Make sure you are starting the profiles by adding net-profiles to the DAEMONS list.
  • Start hostapd after net-profiles by adding it to the DAEMONS list.


Reboot the machine and use another computer to see if you can find the "test" wireless connection.

If you do not want to reboot these commands should work:

 netcfg up bridge
 rc.d start hostapd

Old way to set up bridge

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 netmask up"
INTERFACES=(lo eth0 wlan0 br0)

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

bridge_br0="eth0 wlan0"

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

Note: *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.

See also