Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Setting up a Linux AP: Bridge vs. router

Now that I have DHCP and DNS set up, the last thing I need to do is set up the WORKIT box to act as a complete AP by bridging the wireless (LAN) and wired (WAN) connections.

I naively followed linux.com's instructions on setting up a wireless AP by bridging the connections.

I was surprised to see that it completely broke the DHCP/DNS/gateway system I had set up - my wireless client instead picked up the IP address (DNS and DHCP) from the department's regular network. And my "gateway" (the WORKIT AP) had "disappeared", since I was not being assigned an IP address from it and was not on its internal network (10.0.0.x) that I had set up.

What had happened? I finally realized I had set up Linux on the WORKIT AP as a glorified wireless bridge (think switch/hub), not a router!

What I now need to do is set up Linux to act as a gateway, so the WORKIT AP acts completely as a full AP.

A little more search leads to YoLinux's article on setting up a Linux gateway and on Linux Journal as well. Basically, this involves a little fiddling around with iptables...

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