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How do I set up a wi-fi bridge?
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Da_Nuke
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Joined: 09 Jun 2011
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:09 am    Post subject: How do I set up a wi-fi bridge? Reply with quote

While this is not exactly a Gentoo problem, I feel like it's Linux-general enough to be discussed here. I have a netbook with Arch Linux and Windows XP Home Edition, and a desktop computer with Arch Linux and Windows 7 Professional.

Some time ago I used to connect to the internet on my desktop computer with a wi-fi PCI card, a Realtek RTL8185, associated to my 2Wire ADSL modem (the one issued to Telmex's Prodigy Infinitum subscribers). However, I later found out that this card doesn't works under any Linux on my computer (I tried Ubuntu, Debian, Parted Magic, openSUSE and Fedora, none of them worked) because the drivers make my system hang, so I removed it altogether and started using my laptop as a wireless-to-Ethernet bridge via Windows's own network bridging, so far with p. good results.

Now, because Windows XP is a pretty heavy OS compared to Arch Linux, I'd really like to do the same thing under Linux. Problem is, I found out that bridge-utils won't let me do that, all the guides I find are for creating an access point (which is literally the opposite of what I need, which is bridging an existing SSID with an Ethernet port), and the only similar post I've seen in this forum is from 10 years ago. This leaves me with no clue as to what should I do.

NATing my desktop computer is the last choice because I once did this with Vyatta on VirtualBox and it worked fine for 10 minutes, then Telmex's god-awful internet gateway decided to stop routing towards my virtualized NAT, and I really don't want to tinker with my gateway's configuration because I live with my family and I know that doing so will uncork at least a week of "Da_Nuke, fix the internet!", "Da_Nuke, Facebook won't load!", "Da_Nuke, there's no internet!" and things of that nature.

I already posted this question to Linuxquestions.org, so far 171 people have read it and don't know what to do.
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Ant P.
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Joined: 18 Apr 2009
Posts: 5724

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

emerge hostapd and add it and net.wlan0 to the default runlevel, ensure the kernel has the bridge module, set bridge= in /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf, and add modules_wlan0="!wireless" to /etc/conf.d/net.
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PaulBredbury
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Joined: 14 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should have made your waffle clearer. You want to put Linux on the *desktop*, right?

Staying away from distro-specific stuff, I suppose you would want to set up the route, e.g.:

Code:
ip route replace default via 192.168.1.1

Where 192.168.1.1 is your laptop.
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Da_Nuke
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Joined: 09 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulBredbury wrote:
You should have made your waffle clearer. You want to put Linux on the *desktop*, right?

Staying away from distro-specific stuff, I suppose you would want to set up the route, e.g.:

Code:
ip route replace default via 192.168.1.1

Where 192.168.1.1 is your laptop.

The problem with normal routing is that my piddly little modem literally can't route anywhere that's not the directly connected network. It doesn't lets you modify its routing table. Pretty much the only way to use plain vanilla routing is by putting it on bridge mode, which is something that requires extra infrastructure I don't have. This is why I tried to use NAT, to make the modem believe my Vyatta router was just another node on the network. It didn't work though, and the only alternative I can think of is bridging my laptop's wlan0 and eth0.

Ant P. wrote:
emerge hostapd and add it and net.wlan0 to the default runlevel, ensure the kernel has the bridge module, set bridge= in /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf, and add modules_wlan0="!wireless" to /etc/conf.d/net.

Fortunately, hostapd is on Arch's Pacman, so I guess that's what I'll do. I'll keep you posted.
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John R. Graham
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Joined: 08 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arch? Moved from Networking & Security to Unsupported Software.

- John
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