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phil.lxnet
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:54 pm    Post subject: Latest robix Reply with quote

I have had another go at a robix release. This one still has a broken nodogsplash but has meshed successfully with existing robin systems using both batman and olsr; early days.

I have not tested any of the other captive portals, ie coova-chilli. Actually very little testing all in but here it is anyway; available to test / mend. Any reports would be gratefully received.

Please note:-

-- First -- This is not intended to be a fork of Antonio's and others great work, mearly an attempt to get it working on generic x86 hardware with atheros wifi cards using as few a changes as possible.
-- second -- Thanks to Antonio for being so open with his work such that my meager efforts can come to something; and in case you didn't know Antonio's web site is:-
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Based on robin svn trunk r1319

Available with details of how I built it from the usual place along with the old robix live install cd which can install this version using an internet connection:-

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Show stoppers that spring to mind are:-

Broken nodogsplash
No journaled file system (it uses ext2)
There is no online upgrade facility (I don't have the time to maintain it)

The ext2 fs means that ideally you should ssh in and halt before power cycling. I need to work out how to get openwrt to produce ext3 images. Any Ideas, just haven't looked into it yet.
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ian
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:11 pm    Post subject: Great to see the r1319 version live and well Philip Reply with quote

Since you let me see a copy earlier today I flashed 3 of our compaqs earlier with the new build. It went in so easily. It changed channels quickly. Changed from batman to OLSR quickly as well. Now have it meshing very happily with several old merakis. They can act as gateways or repeaters and currently have longest link of about half a mile... so well pleased! Well Done!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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ian
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:39 am    Post subject: Ok... have been testing for a few hours Reply with quote

Very Happy Ok have been able to test village wise these compaqs flashed with the latest build and they are working great and meshing well with the smaller units. Using OLSR getting decent range and surfing great. As stated before they are totally open. Anyone can surf off them. Havent tested coova-chilli yet.... As we have several gateways up in our trial and the trial with wifi-cpa is only for 1 gateway.

Can anyone jump in on this.... We need to authenticate these x86's maybe with free radius or any suggestions anyone? Surfing is excellent. They have excellent potential as gateways and in village to village links which can then be infilled by the little acctons. But cant keep them up for long at the moment till we get authentication sorted!

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dalenorman
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ian, i don't want to hijack this thread, so i'll keep it short and sweet -


Quote:
They have excellent potential as gateways and in village to village links which can then be infilled by the little acctons.


Can you kindly explain what exactly is attractive about using an x86 pc in this way? Is the idea that it's very inexpensive to add higher-power pci wifi card to achieve greater distances? or have you found how to use more than one wifi card (or ethernet card) to achieve greater functionality and flexibility?

I understand that there are parts of the world where 5+ year old pc's are easy to get but modern wifi routers are not, so i "get" the idea of porting the project to support them, but if you had your choice between off-the-shelf modern wifi equipment and a small desktop pc, why would you choose the pc?

Thanks.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:43 pm    Post subject: a quick reply Reply with quote

yes... yes and yes...... compaqs are very reliable! One frustration with our "merakis" is the need to reboot/reflash so often. Modern is not always better! Yes re 2 or 3 cards. hoping to be able to achieve that for gateways. Range for us is critical as well. At moment with our locustworld boxes we need links of a few miles. we want to replicate the same with open-mesh and infill with acctons ....... you can also plug in a screen easily and see whats happening out in the field easier!!

We need both. Good solid long range gateways plus the lovely small tidy neat modern acctons.....

That is my dimes worth...

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:40 pm    Post subject: Hi Reply with quote

Ian,

From the e-mail that you sent, RADIUS would be your best bet if you plan to use a centrally controlled user database. I was able to get everything to work perfectly with coova-chilli and radius.

The only downside is that I couldn't get the Wisp attributes to work with ROBIN. (like bandwidth control).

I also noticed that ROBIN (at the time) was too unstable for corporate use and relying on a third party (that may go down and has no accountability) like open-mesh and wifi-cpa also was not a option.

I suggest just using a remote configurable (using ssh) openwrt custom build and coova chilli with RADIUS.

You will also need to set up a Mysql database to house your data.

I was also able to integrate a paypal credit card splash screen where people could purchase time and then after the allowed time their login would expire.

Unfortunately, using ROBIN it was way too unstable and I moved on to work on my own setup. We are still testing though.

I wish you luck.

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williamruckman
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Latest robix Reply with quote

phil.lxnet wrote:
I have had another go at a robix release. This one still has a broken nodogsplash but has meshed successfully with existing robin systems using both batman and olsr; early days.

I have not tested any of the other captive portals, ie coova-chilli. Actually very little testing all in but here it is anyway; available to test / mend. Any reports would be gratefully received.

Please note:-

-- First -- This is not intended to be a fork of Antonio's and others great work, mearly an attempt to get it working on generic x86 hardware with atheros wifi cards using as few a changes as possible.
-- second -- Thanks to Antonio for being so open with his work such that my meager efforts can come to something; and in case you didn't know Antonio's web site is:-
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Based on robin svn trunk r1319

Available with details of how I built it from the usual place along with the old robix live install cd which can install this version using an internet connection:-

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Show stoppers that spring to mind are:-

Broken nodogsplash
No journaled file system (it uses ext2)
There is no online upgrade facility (I don't have the time to maintain it)

The ext2 fs means that ideally you should ssh in and halt before power cycling. I need to work out how to get openwrt to produce ext3 images. Any Ideas, just haven't looked into it yet.


Not sure if this will help you:

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williamruckman
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:47 pm    Post subject: X86 Build Reply with quote

I have to admit that I really like the X86 branch of ROBIN. I like the ability to port it to any platform I wish and the hardware that I can choose from is way more stable.

KUDOS!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian left out one important reason why SussexNetShare needs to use the x86 version - we have already deployed over 100 nodes in the UK, and just throwing all that hardware away does not make sense!

The Meraki units are great, but they do not have enough power to provide long distance links like a full power PC card does. Thats just life I suppose Smile

As far as authentication - using RADIUS is one of the things we have wanted for a while - I already have a test RADIUS server up and running at home, but as yet, haven't sorted out connecting the ROBIN and ROBIX boxes to it - Ian, we can do this when I get back from China if you want! Where is the documentation about the ROBIN/ROBIX RADIUS setup?

Cheers,

Richie

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ian
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William... good to see your post!

Any further ideas on getting radius/coova-chilli working on the Robix could be very useful. William have you any documentation as to what you tried before. The Robix could be a lot more stable than the Robin ?? Worth a play? This x86 version could also be a great tool to test future builds on....


Richie!!!
Great to hear from you in China!! I hope they arent working you too hard!! Def want to get moving with this authentication when you get back to the UK. Hopefully... that is!!!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:51 pm    Post subject: robix does work with wifi-cpa Reply with quote

well... robix does work with putting a blob in the wifi-cpa option. Managed to find time to try last night and hey presto the robix will authorise users with this option... still must trial further. So ordering more cards now so that we can get our first fully fledged robix/robin community mesh deployed.

Means in the future we should be able to link to our existing radius server for authentication. On the open mesh dashboard this doesnt seem an option available at the present time but no doubt development must be going on elsewhere on this.. just cant find the links on this busy forum!!

Nodogsplash is still broken but I know Philip & Antonio are liasing on this. Fingers crossed! At least for the time being the Robix can be used with Wifi-Cpa authentication safely! Very Happy

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phil.lxnet
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:35 am    Post subject: ext2 - ext3 conversion to make robix more power cycle robust Reply with quote

@ williamruckman -

- re ext2 to ext3 conversion.
Yes that link is useful, have found in the past but good to have it brought back. Just got to get the time to put the info to use by modifying openwrt such that it creates images pre-formatted to ext3 and with the appropriate kernel command line to mount it that way. Bit unsure of auto ability to repair with limited system in place. As with so many of these things it is more a matter of finding the time to look into it and sort.

- I think this is the way to go though; does anyone else think similarly or am I missing something here.

re kudos
- Thanks, glad you like it and my meager efforts, on top of Antonio's great ones, may be of some use, but really early days though yet.

@ dalenorman

- re why pc - I see that there might be a place for robix as high power (cpu & maybee storage wise) gateways that may be required in some countries to comply with traffic monitoring regulations. Please see the adjacent thread "Why do we need a x86 platform?", that thread has been spammed though.

- I would also like to think that when the nds problem is sorted that robix could help in the development of the robin system generally as it is easier and quicker to test stuff with a pc than having to flash an embedded system. You also have the option of running more diagnostic tools to help work out problems / memory use.

@ Ian & Richie

- This stuff is great and am eagerly waiting to find out how you did what every you have done to date re coova-chilli auth. Will really come in handy, especially given the current broken nature of nds, dragging my heels a little on that one, just had real life getting in the way quite a bit.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:07 pm    Post subject: Bridging Wireless Traffic? Reply with quote

I was trying to bridge traffic exclusively from the backhaul repeater (ad-hoc mode) device to the master mode device. Anyone know how to make those settings permanent?

I want to set up Robix nodes as wireless bridges AND act as access points to also serve client connections.

On a related note, ROBIX only works (ie. launches and serves up DHCP addresses) when it detects a wired ethernet connection (e.g internet) on the server machine. Is this a bug or a feature?

It would be great if Robix would work without a wired internet access if it can find a wireless (e.g. open municipal wireless) connection.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am confused by the post above saying that robix only works when it detects a wired internet connection...!

I use the robix as a gateway or repeater. I have 3 up here at moment either acting as gateways or repeaters and are very happy repeating off a meraki or in reverse acting as a gateway for a few merakis.

At this very moment i have a robix up in the roof void which is wirelessly feeding another robix at the end of our plot which has another hop to a few merakis. They are interchangeable...

I can surf off any of them and get authorisation using coova-chilli... am i missing something?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian's referring to the the potential capacity for a Robin/Robix gateway to use a wireless uplink to an access point that is not running mesh software, instead of a wired link to a router,... the same issue I referred to here:
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Bubba on the Meraki forums

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wrote: "the openmesh project has a decent little hack to add the wireless uplink function to thejr units "

Does anyone know what hack he's referring to?

Stephen
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phil.lxnet
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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 5:30 pm    Post subject: Another robix release but based on robin beta 1.4 tag Reply with quote

All the same problems as my last release (r1319 based) but just based on newer robin beta 1.4 tag from svn r1705. So far from ready really.

But have included darrenp's
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coova related fix.

Have used the exact same openwrt base.

Hope this helps someone and that we can sort this seemingly never ending nodogsplash show stopper issue.

Note that I have used beta tag as had no access to robin trunk. Hope to have another stab at it when this again becomes available, or when we get a newer tag. Used the same openwrt as have little time at the moment so couldn't risk potential further delays in changing to a newer base. But I hope to have a go at this on the next release; hopefully quicker than this one.

N.B. This is the first robix to 'meddle' with the antenna settings, see /etc/init.d/sysctl
I have put rx & tx antenna to 1 (corner connector of cm9) and turned diversity off. This much improved cm9 performance / reliability as forced the use of the correct antenna which didn't always happen. But this may adversely affect other cards! Advise on adjusting this can be had from my build notes within the download tar.gz which details exactly how I modified the robin svn to make robix (just a bunch of seds).

The tar.gz of all relevant files can be got from the usual place:-

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I have also updated the robix live install cd to version 0.2 which now includes this r1522 image. I hope to later re-create the install cd but based on a cut down Ubuntu but haven't had the time / attention to sort yet. My thanks go to Matthew Franz & co for ubuntutrinux on which the current and previous robix live cds are heavily based.

Thanks also to sussex net share (uk) for their assistance including providing wifi cards such that I can have a go at all.

Again please note:-

-- First -- This is not intended to be a fork of Antonio's and others great work, mearly an attempt to get it working on generic x86 hardware with atheros wifi cards using as few a changes as possible.
-- second -- Thanks to Antonio for being so open with his work such that my meager efforts can come to something; and in case you didn't know Antonio's web site is:-

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Remember that the dashboard requires the mac of the ethernet card not the wifi card when registering.
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dplacko
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:17 am    Post subject: Re: Latest robix Reply with quote

phil.lxnet wrote:
I have had another go at a robix release. This one still has a broken nodogsplash but has meshed successfully with existing robin systems using both batman and olsr; early days.

I have not tested any of the other captive portals, ie coova-chilli. Actually very little testing all in but here it is anyway; available to test / mend. Any reports would be gratefully received.

Please note:-

-- First -- This is not intended to be a fork of Antonio's and others great work, mearly an attempt to get it working on generic x86 hardware with atheros wifi cards using as few a changes as possible.
-- second -- Thanks to Antonio for being so open with his work such that my meager efforts can come to something; and in case you didn't know Antonio's web site is:-
Only registered users can see links on this forum!
Register or Login on forum!



Based on robin svn trunk r1319

Available with details of how I built it from the usual place along with the old robix live install cd which can install this version using an internet connection:-

Only registered users can see links on this forum!
Register or Login on forum!



Show stoppers that spring to mind are:-

Broken nodogsplash
No journaled file system (it uses ext2)
There is no online upgrade facility (I don't have the time to maintain it)

The ext2 fs means that ideally you should ssh in and halt before power cycling. I need to work out how to get openwrt to produce ext3 images. Any Ideas, just haven't looked into it yet.


In my work to get robin running on the PC Engines ALIX board, I have have discovered the issue with nodogsplash. I have it working on my set-up.

I will work to get the fix incorporated to the latest version of ND.

Dave
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dplacko
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Latest robix Reply with quote

This was sent to the nodogsplash maintainer yesterday:

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: David Placko <dave@placko.net>
To:
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Sent: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 23:38:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Nodog Bug Fixed in ndsctl on x86

Hello,

I have been working to get nodogsplash working with the ROBIN project on a PC Engines ALIX (x86) board. In doing so, I have discovered a bug with ndsctl, which I have corrected.

This has been lingering for a while. From the robin form back in April of 2008:

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Not sure the best way to get it to you, so I will just send you a snippet and let you incorporate yourself.

It appears that the call to accept is not initializing the len to the size of the sa_un structure. It is actually a large negative number at runtime. To fix it, I added [len = (socklen_t)sizeof(sa_un);] which worked for me. You may want to fix this in a different way to fit your style.

We are currently using 0.9_beta9.9.3.

In ndsctl_thread.c near line 139 in the while (1) loop:

Code:
while (1) {
            memset(&sa_un, 0, sizeof(sa_un));
            len = (socklen_t)sizeof(sa_un); //<<< ADDED BY DPLACKO
            if ((fd = accept(sock, (struct sockaddr *)&sa_un, &len)) == -1){
              debug(LOG_ERR, "Accept failed on control socket: %s",
            strerror(errno));
    } else {
      debug(LOG_DEBUG, "Accepted connection on ndsctl socket %d (%s)", fd, sa_un.sun_path);
      result = pthread_create(&tid, NULL, &thread_ndsctl_handler, (void *)fd);
      if (result != 0) {
        debug(LOG_ERR, "FATAL: Failed to create a new thread (ndsctl handler) - exiting");
        termination_handler(0);
      }
      pthread_detach(tid);
    }
  }



Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Keep up the great work.

Dave
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phil.lxnet
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject: Re robix nodogsplash hope Reply with quote

Well done dplacko (David)

What a relief, as you point out this has been lingering for over a year; and the entire history of robix. Hats off to you.

I have just moved (forced) so all is up in the air for me, or rather in boxes, but hope to incorporate this in the next release of robix. Lets hope they pop it in up stream.

Thanks for posting, and all your effort in debugging.

A much appreciated effort.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fix has been posted:
nodogsplash-0.9_beta9.9.4

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm    Post subject: New robix release r2687 Reply with quote

I have just uploaded another robix release:- see the Downloads page at opensourcemesh.org

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Robix is now build very differently from all previous versions up to and including r1522. Previously I modified the robin trunk but since then we have open-mesh and the new build system and very significantly Antonio's inclusion of the Soekris openwrt-net4801 branch. Given that the net4801 board is essentially a 586 arch it makes much more sense to base robix (generic x86 robin) on this openwrt-net4801 branch of robin. Robix now is essentially a trivial standard re-configuration of this branch.

Due to dplacko in this very thread I suspect that nodogsplash may even work. Thanks again dplacko, what a relief. I have only lightly tested this latest release and suspect that it is olsr only. Testing of all aspects is required, it has however successfully authenticated via coova-chilli and a radius server arrangement which is what we were hoping for with this latest release.

Due to wishing to stick as closely to what Antonio had done I haven't changed any of the antenna settings like I did in the previous release, this may be necessary to gain good performance from cm9 cards. I wanted first to release this version so that it could be tested, given so much has changed in robin since the last robix release.

Sorry for lack of details here but complete and exact information as to what I have done is available from the above page.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:40 pm    Post subject: Great Philip. I have 2 up in the Chailey mesh and working!! Reply with quote

Well Done Philip!!

Yes, i quickly downloaded your new image tonight and got 2 up as repeaters straight away authenticating by chillispot/freeradius to our server. All worked very smoothly! I won't speak too soon, but they authenticate well. Both are in compaqs using CM9 cards. Over next few days i will test with all the cards i can find.

This will be very very useful to recycle our 100 odd compaqs, which will then mesh with the acctons. At mo i am meshing wit MR3201a and OM1p and nanostations. The Routerstations i cant get in the same mesh... but i am sure that can be achieved shortly if i can find the time to play!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:15 pm    Post subject: New robix release r3253 Reply with quote

I've just uploaded another robix release, this time based on robin r3253. Taken from Antonio's development branch of Net4801 robin.

see the Downloads page at opensourcemesh.org.

In keeping with sticking as closely as possible to Antonio's Net4801 robin this robix is now built on 8.09.2 of openwrt. cm9 antenna performance is also much improved by robin's new Antenna settings system and a bug in the previous release of robix which caused dashboard reports for download to represent speed from internet rather than from mesh gateway has also been fixed. Thanks again to Antonio et al and open-mesh for this great and rapidly improving open source system.

Sorry for lack of details again but complete and exact information as to what I have done is available from the above page.

N.B. This is not intended to be a fork of any description, merely an attempt to get robin working on generic x86 hardware using atheros wifi cards whilst making as few modifications as possible. But I would like to move to ext3 soon.

Again, only very limited testing and very much an on going project.

This build does include libpcap and tcpdump so Antonio's new olsr-dump.sh utility should work, but I haven't tried it yet.
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