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Use Fedora 13 as my router?

Right now, my linux box has both a Wireless b/g NIC (disabled) and a wired NIC connected to my Linksys wireless b/g router. All other machines in the house connect via the wireless router. Most are 802.11n capable, but because the router isn't, they're all limited to g speed. I can get a wireless b/g/n NIC for a lot less than a new wireless router, so that's got me wondering, how tough would it be to use the linux box in place of a wireless router?


I've figured out how to set up an ad-hoc wireless network, but haven't yet figured out how to route the internet connection to it. I'd imagine that would involve routing all but 192.168.X.X IP addresses to the wired NIC in one way or another. Also, I found and installed dnsmasq, "A lightweight DHCP/caching DNS server" in F13's package installer, but I haven't yet figured out how to configure it. Am I better off just manually configuring IP addresses?


I've heard it's possible to set up a domain controller (LDAP?) that Windows machines would authenticate against too... I'll have to start with sharing the internet connection first though :P



I'm not certain that dropping a wireless NIC into a PC will turn it into a wireless access point...

Hmm... I'm not sure where I got the idea I could do that then. Is that a hardware limitation, or something that could be worked around with the OS/software?


...well, after messing with things for a bit, I was able to create an ad-hoc wireless network, and in the OS firewall, masquerade all connections on the wireless NIC. Under network connections, I edited the wireless connection and changed the IPv4 settings to Automatic (DHCP).


On the Windows machine, I can connect to the internet through this ad-hoc network. Its default gateway, DHCP, and DNS servers are all pulled to, and it has an IP of Back on the linux box, I verified that its IP on the wireless side is, but I have no idea where that came from (default setting on that dnsmasq package I installed?)... And, if I try to set any type of wireless security at all, the Windows machine will tell me the key/passphrase is wrong, after I double and triple checked it.


Is what I'm trying to do here (at this point, get control of the DHCP assignments, and add some level of wireless security, and possibly MAC filtering) not possible/feasible? Or would I be better off buying a second wired NIC and connecting that to a dedicated wireless AP?


I get the impression that all wireless NICs are "cellular phones" and the wireless router is the "phone station" with a phone mast; all NICNIC communication must go via that mast somehow. I wasn't aware that you could turn a NIC into a mast, but that doesn't mean you can't - just that I've not heard of it being done. If it *is* possible, then good luck - I'd be interested in knowing how it turns out.


In my home, I have a wireless router that acts as a access point but not as a DHCP server - I've set my server to handle all routing etc. The router also functions as the ADSL modem but is intended to be the gateway to everything; I've forced it to take two separate roles and have my server control routing, although I originally was going to use the router purely as an ADSL gateway its switch part means it also acts as a concentrator, making some unnecessary round-trip connections but at least providing a level of security I'm comfortable with.


(the annoyance I have here is that the ADSL speed off newer kit is much lower than this older kit, and the wireless range of newer kit is wider, meaning I'd need to run two bits of kit)


Just food for thought. Sometimes it helps to draw up a network diagram to clarify how your network is intended to look.


Well, based on what I read at:


It looks like it can be done, but it's dependant on having a NIC and/or drivers that support the function.


Interesting - looks like it *can* be done, and I'd be interested in seeing how it is done!


Good luck with the project; post back any news!


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