Build a Linux based router out of laptop

Update on work to setup alarm to run off this computer too!!
This help is to setup your laptop with Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala ( updated in 20,7,11 to Onieric Ocelot 11.4 ) and turn it into a home based router ( First see here for setting up the USB wireless broadband connection then boot off the Ubuntu server disk note you need server version for this to work as i haven't tested this with desktop version also in the options where server asks you what extra software to install I selected Linux Virtual Machine and DNS options.  I did this under a text based install too another reason to use the server version as these options aren't available in the desktop version  )

First to setup the Laptop you must remove any hazardous items like battery pack ( Lithium Ion type ) that
the laptop may have and you wont need.  This prepares the hardware also a laptop fan if you are in a hot area note all responsibility for this remains your own if you install it on your bookcase like i have here and it burns up your library or any place else because of overheating, improper electrical installation or other reason.
Then we setup Bastille Linux and harden it with Zenoprobe under XP to fortify the whole setup in the end )

Here is the Ubuntu 9.10 server map of the network ( Once again you must have server not desktop if you got it from a general magazine disk it and its about 600 meg its the desktop version I got mine from Linux User Magazine or some other pro publication )

Topography here of this heterogeneous ( many operating system based ) network circles denote windows systems and the square in the center denotes the Ubuntu Linux 9.10 server system
running on a IBM/Lenovo model R60 Laptop with 60 gig hard drive and battery pack removed.

 install screen below............
select the text mode install sorry about the quality of the next 2 screenshots
I got them with my digital camera :)

Or go to the clearer stage by stage how to suck eggs with more complete
 Virtual box screen dumps of doing user, password, and proxy settings
 install etc here

Go through all the keyboard selection screens and language and partition
the whole disk ( my laptop is only 60 gig so may as well ) and any other screens.

Until you come to the network just click on do not configure as we
will do network install later as DHCP network detection isn't needed here.

That is the only hard part of the install you should be able to boot into a lovely new Linux and do the USB modem  stuff mentioned above.

On the top right of the screen shot below you will see a network button and right click to get Edit Connections
 At this stage you should already have a network connected to the internet via your USB stick if not go back here. Ok so we add a new connection and call it UbuntuNet or whatever you want it to be named.

Once you have created a new connection then we can edit the Internet protocol 4 settings.

Setup up your network manager with a new connection under the wireless section to have these settings under IP4 Settings tab
 ( drop down to Shared with other computers menu item for method of IP4 )

Now these set to WEP 128 and select a passphrase or password ( I don't know why I can't use WPA 2 but it's just a small
home net so I don't have problem with that as all people could get by getting the network password is not enough if you have a different log in for your system (you didn't use the same passphrase did you? .. ok next step ) also if you just use the laptops internal network card without a aerial then the connection will be poor outside the room anyway ( wep is mainly guarding against wireless hacking so your best security here is a poor signal ).

Now set this last stage to set wireless mode to Ad-Hoc and type a name for the connection in this case UbustuNet ( Ubuntu server to network )

Also set connection to automatic at the stop of the tab section in case you get your second in command to start it up in a emergency :)


you should set your windows clients to get their IP from the DHCP server

ie if you get this problem from the ip address resolution you have to set the network
to get ips automatically like on the left window below ( you can get these windows by right clicking the network icon in the bottom right hand side of screen in the task notification area and going to the status menu item ).

Next connecting correctly with the Netgear WG311v3 wireless card.

Above is my windows system using my home brewed phaltLime desktop replacement toolbar at the bottom of screen with the Netgear software hooking up to the Ubuntu network using a old Netgear G class wireless card WG311v3 with external aerial.

Some specs for the system

( Power output.  For laptop and small laptop style fan is 20 watts )
( Penetration.     Will go through reinforced concrete tested on 16 story building  walls )
Pros and Cons


1.  Much easier to maintain with a dedicated system monitor screen
     for dropouts and system booting etc.

2.  Recycled hardware cheap and easy to obtain doesn't need wireless N cards
     dedicated routers or extra 3g Modems can use laptops internal wireless card to
     distribute signals.

3. Can be used as a home alarm system as its always on ( need to create this
    application Steve ...... ah its almost done using Netduino here )
    or other small regularly used system such as a temperature warning device
    note I don't accept any liability if your router stuffs your alarm system etc.

4 . More stable software the equivalent is Connectify see picture of my Lenovo
     Ideapad using it at the bottom of the page here ( needs windows 7 )


1.  Router is less energy consuming than a laptop computer.

2.   Needs a dedicated laptop machine preferably on all the time ( extra ware on hardware probably would be good with
      a solid state hard drive for this as the noise may be a issue if the router/laptop is in your bedroom as mine is ).

2.5 Noise may be a issue see note above.

3,   Needs some knowledge of Linux.

4. Security is WEP I can't seem to get WPA working so i just settled for WEP as
   the laptop's wireless signal isn't particularly strong.

Extra possible hacks:

Want more? install a SSD drive to your notebook here

Back to main linux usb modem page or rooting your Huawei 8180 mobile phone or  linux Ubuntu server install here or LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP)

Here is a program to manage network security information that i wrote in Delphi here

or my main page. Disclaimer
or Huawei 8180 mobile phone superuser (root access) page