New servers, some (useful) fun with Linux and a free wireless access-point

Right. I've setup my new server. Almost everything worked out, but I managed to lose the private key for my SSL-certificate in the process, so no more https://. Oh well.

In the process I freed my old Pentium 3 which was used as my old main windows server. Now that I finally had a dedicated box to fool around with I did just that. My project? Manage to setup something to use my wireless PCI-card and act as a wireless access-point. In the process migrate my old virtual Linux-setup to a dedicated machine, so I don't have to reboot my Linux-machines whenever Windows update hits my main server.

This is the kind of stuff Linux usually does really well, so I had my hopes up. Having good experiences with Debian, I decided to try to hack Debian to cover my needs. Only problem with Debian compared to any other Linux-distro is that the packages are more or less ancient, but they are stable. Also this HOWTO covered my Linux distro, my wifi-adapter and purpose. Sounds like good times.

Debian and old packages was my first problem. Trying to get Debian to just recognize my wireless adapter was hell. I tried installing more recent kernels using backports, but nothing seemed to work smoothly at all. After a given amount of hacking and slashing, I got 2.6.18 booting up, but still no wifi adapter.

Looking into the madwifi-project it seemed my adapter was supported, and it covered just what I needed. Now to get modules compiled and debianized the setup... Lots of errors, lots of cumbersome shit that needs to be done, fixed and then redone proper. Oh fuck... Lets try Ubuntu instead.

Ubuntu is a linux-distro forked from Debian, but with more recent packages and a seemingly faster progression. Booting up the installer CD (which also happens to be a Live-CD) I can see that my wifi-adapter is already recognized and ready to do it's work. This is promising.

After setting up the wifi-adapter according to the original Debian HOWTO, I can see a wireless network available! Yay! Unfortunately, connecting to it doesn't do much good. Ofcourse I somehow needed to bridge the WLAN with the actual LAN. That was when someone suggested I should check out ebtables and also directed my attention towards this bridging HOWTO.

This was just perfect. After modifying the default network-setup and adding some rather simple custom boot-scripts it all just-worked(tm). I'm actually typing this on my new wireless network, all traffic going trough my new wireless access-point with only 1,25GBs of RAM. That has to be pretty good for a AP, not to mention a free one!



t3h w1n!

Told you Ubuntu would crack it, otsukare~


you do know that I'm quite debianized myself, though it shows again that Ubuntu is doing just great work on desktops and (didn't think I would ever say that) even on servers. So far I prefered Debian on servers and Ubuntu as my desktop OS, but I'm sure next time I'm going to setup a server it's going to run Ubuntu!


Thanks to

Various reasons

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