Chapter 5. Configuring Access Points with Linux

So you’ve purchased an access point. You brought it home from the store, broke open the packaging, discarded all of the extraneous bits of fluff, and you’re likely left with an access point, a power supply, an Ethernet cable and a CD that says “Windows Software Installation.”

This chapter explains how to avoid this scenario. While there are vendors of wireless equipment that still expect you to configure their gear from a Windows PC, there are many alternatives for the Linux user.

Many of the early access points from vendors, such as WaveLAN/Lucent/Orinoco, Linksys, and others, required an external setup program. With few exceptions, these setup and configuration programs ran only under Windows. However, as the price of wireless equipment continued to drop and access points began to be marketed to home users, a number of vendors chose to make their equipment configurable with a web browser.

There are also several manufacturers that allow Telnet access for configuration of their access points. One thing you’re unlikely to find, however, is SSH-enabled access. As of this writing, there are no commercial access points capable of SSH. However, at least one company is producing wireless routers that operate using a Linux kernel. Several organizations have built custom firmware for these boxes that include SSH daemons. See Chapter 6 for details.

Linux-Friendly Wireless Vendors

While it is impossible to provide a complete and up-to-date list ...

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