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1. Setting up an Ubuntu Wired/Wireless Router

1.1. Preface

This article is intended for intermediate and advanced users who would like to set up an Ubuntu installation acting as a router at home or in their office. The end result is a powerful router that can provide functionality similar to popular products (for example, the Linksys WRT54G).

1.2. Scripted wired:wired router

I (user id Snake_Byte) created a python script a while back that sets up a wired router for you given some basic info (check the readme).

Tested on Karmic and Lucid, let me know if you have any problems. I want to start a GUI project to make this simpler, and incorporate wireless features if anyone is interested, we can get a repo going.

You can get it here:

ubuntu router.tar

1.3. Network Manager

This tool is perfect for simple networking problems, especially for laptop users. It is not appropriate for setting up a router, even though it does have a very basic internet connection sharing capability.

1.3.1. Typical Example

Home Office

The basis is one PC connected to a broadband internet connection. Additional devices:

  • network printer
  • wifi PDA
  • laptop

Some of these devices should be able to communicate with each other, some should be allowed to communicate with the internet. Some are wired, and some are wireless. With this guide, your PC can share the internet over additional network interfaces, such as wireless cards and ethernet cards.

University

Single PC on a university LAN. Additional devices:

  • X-Box running mythbuntu
  • Wifi mobile phone
  • laptops

1.3.1.1. Quick and Dirty

If you would like to try to do the same thing the 'quick and dirty' way, see EasyRouter, a much quicker method with much less flexibility.

1.4. Technical Overview

The router that will be created is an Internet gateway for wired and/or wireless clients to share an internet connection with one IP address.

The essential components are:

  • routing of packets from your local networks to the internet, with IP_masquerading

  • handling DNS requests
  • providing IP addresses to devices on your local networks (DHCP)

This router can also provide:

  • A firewall
  • port forwarding

2. Prerequisites

2.1. Internet Connection

This is not strictly necessary, but is probably the reason you are following this article. You can set up a router in an isolated network using these instructions, but you will likely have specialist requirements, and need to make changes.

2.2. Router Hardware

2.2.1. Use your desktop PC

If you have a recent PC, bought in the last two years, it probably has enough horsepower to run all your normal applications and act as a router at the same time.

2.2.2. Dedicated Hardware

You'll need a dedicated computer to act as the router. The computer can use old hardware and having the minimum requirements to install Ubuntu should suffice. The author of this article runs his router on a P3 600mhz processor with 256MB of RAM. You are encouraged use this as a server for other applications perhaps by installing postfix, apache, mysql, and/or samba. This guide recommends a server installation of Ubuntu, but there's no reason why a desktop installation wouldn't work. If you plan to be able to access the router remotely, install ssh before proceeding.

The following needs to be physically installed and recognized by the kernel on your router:

  • A network adapter
  • For a wired network,

    • Another network adapter, typically an ethernet port on a motherboard, or PCI card.
  • For a wireless network,

    • A wireless network adapter
      • Ideally it should be able run in "master" mode, although "ad-hoc" mode might be good enough. Cards and chipsets which can work in master mode (otherwise known as access point or ap mode), are listed at the Linux Wireless Project.

      • sudo ip link set dev <interface name> down && sudo iwconfig <interface name> mode master should not return an error; but some cards take extra commands to set master mode. mac80211 compatible drivers can run cards in master mode. Pay careful attention to what hardware you buy.

      • If your wireless network adapter is not recognized by your server installation of Ubuntu, it may use the madwifi chipset (like the D-Link DWL-G520). Please visit Router/Madwifi for more information.

Running ip addr will show you what network interfaces are available.

2.2.3. Terminology

interface is used to mean the operating system's name for a place which sends or receives data packets. It is often, but not necessarily, the same as a device. An interface may have several devices associated (e.g. a bridge), or a single device may have several interfaces. device will refer here to the bit of hardware dealing with your network connections.

3. Internal Network Information

Here are the values we'll use to set up your internal network. Advanced users use caution when changing them as the changes will need to be reflected in all further router configuration.

Firstly, discover the IP address of your internet-connected interface. If you are plugged into a business or academic LAN, this is very likely to be given by:

ip addr show eth0

For a home broadband user, it may be a ppp interface; and a wireless user could have any number of interface names, such as ethX, wlanX, athX, where X is a digit.

Be aware that it is important to use different numbers below to the one given to your internet device. This is probably the case already, but if you are not directly connected to the internet, you may be on a LAN with the same address range. If you already have a broadband router, for example, it might have given you the 192.168.0.2 address, and kept 192.168.0.1 for itself. If so, change the third digit (0) to another number (and do so throughout the rest of this tutorial).

Router

Address

192.168.0.1

Network

192.168.0.0/24

Broadcast

192.168.0.255

Clients

Addresses

192.168.0.2 - 192.168.0.254

Prefix length

/24

Broadcast

192.168.0.255

Gateway

192.168.0.1

4. Setting Up Your Network Interfaces

4.1. Device Naming Overview

Network Device

Internal or External Network

Description

eth0

External

Network adapter connected to an external network (your broadband connection)

eth1

Internal

Network adapter connected to a hub or switch

wlan0

Internal

Wireless network adapter

br0

Internal

Network bridge between eth1 and wlan0 that will treat the two like one device

It is important to note that the names of the network interfaces above (eth0, eth1, and wlan0) are used as convention. It is very likely that your router will recognize its devices under different names (for example, madwifi calls its wireless device ath0). Please substitute the names of your device accordingly. For information about how to change the names of your network devices, try man iftab.

4.2. Taking a Backup

Issue the following command to take a backup of your current network configuration:

  • sudo cp /etc/network/interfaces /etc/network/interfaces.bak

4.3. Configuring the External Network Interface

4.3.1. Setting up External Network Interface

Here, we configure the Ubuntu networking system to bring the the local loopback and external network interfaces up by editing /etc/networking/interfaces. The primary goal here is to set up your external network interface (eth0, or whatever you're using in place of it) to be brought up by the networking subsystem. The examples below are only for the most basic setups. If your setup requires additional configuration, for example you need to setup ADSL with PPPoE, adapt the following examples so that the end result is your external network interface connected to the Internet.

4.3.1.1. For Dynamic IP Addresses (DHCP) Only

Open /etc/network/interfaces with your favourite editor. Delete everything and paste in what is below. Follow the commented out instructions carefully.

  • # Set up the local loopback interface
    auto lo
    iface lo inet loopback
    
    # Set up the external interface
    #
    # Don't forget to change eth0 to the proper name of the external
    # interface if applicable.
    #
    auto eth0
    iface eth0 inet dhcp

4.3.1.2. For PPPoE connection with dynamic IP address only

See forum.

4.3.1.3. For Static IP Address Only

Open /etc/network/interfaces with your favourite editor. Delete everything and paste in what is below. Follow the commented out instructions carefully.

  • # Set up the local loopback interface
    auto lo
    iface lo inet loopback
    
    # Set up the External interface
    #
    # For every xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, enter the numeric address given to you
    # by your Internet provider. Don't forget to change eth0 to the proper
    # name of the external interface if applicable.
    #
    auto eth0
    iface eth0 inet static
        address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
        netmask xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
        gateway xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

Now, set up your DNS servers as given to you by your service provider in /etc/resolv.conf, which should look something like this

  • nameserver xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
    nameserver xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

You can visit the Ubuntu Server Guide - Network Configuration documentation for more information

4.3.2. Testing Connectivity

Reload the network configuration and test for connectivity,

  • sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
    ping -c 3 -W 10 ubuntu.com

And if all goes well something similar should return:

  • PING ubuntu.com (82.211.81.166) 56(84) bytes of data.
    64 bytes from signey.ubuntu.com (82.211.81.166): icmp_seq=1 ttl=43 time=99.9 ms
    64 bytes from signey.ubuntu.com (82.211.81.166): icmp_seq=2 ttl=43 time=109 ms
    64 bytes from signey.ubuntu.com (82.211.81.166): icmp_seq=3 ttl=43 time=100 ms
    
    --- ubuntu.com ping statistics ---
    3 packets transmitted, 3 received, 0% packet loss, time 2001ms
    rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 99.982/103.450/109.419/4.254 ms

4.4. Configuring the Internal Network Interfaces

4.4.1. Wired Only

Append the following to /etc/network/interfaces and follow the commented out instructions carefully.

  • # Set up the internal wired network
    #
    # Don't forget to change eth1 to the proper name of the internal
    # wired network interface if applicable.
    #
    auto eth1
    iface eth1 inet static
        address 192.168.0.1
        network 192.168.0.0
        netmask 255.255.255.0
        broadcast 192.168.0.255

Your internal network interface is: eth1 (or whatever you're using in place of it)

4.4.2. Wireless Only

If you plan on using WEP, generate a network key,

  • dd if=/dev/random bs=1 count=13 2>/dev/null | xxd -p

Append the following to /etc/network/interfaces and follow the commented out instructions carefully.

  • # Set up the internal wireless network
    #
    # Don't forget to change wlan0 to the proper name of the internal
    # wireless network interface if applicable.
    #
    # If you would like to use WEP, uncomment the line 'wireless-key'
    # and replace '<key goes here>' with a WEP key.
    # 
    # You may also change the network essid and channel.
    #
    auto wlan0
    iface wlan0 inet static
        wireless-mode master
        wireless-essid "UbuntuWireless"
        wireless-channel 1
        #wireless-key <key goes here>
        address 192.168.0.1
        network 192.168.0.0
        netmask 255.255.255.0
        broadcast 192.168.0.255

Your internal network interface is: wlan0 (or whatever you're using in place of it)

4.4.3. Both Wired and Wireless

First install the necessary tools to create a network bridge,

  • sudo apt-get install bridge-utils

If you plan on using WEP, generate a network key,

  • dd if=/dev/random bs=1 count=13 2>/dev/null | xxd -p

Append the following to /etc/network/interfaces and follow the commented out instructions carefully.

  • # Set up the internal wireless network
    #
    # Don't forget to change wlan0 to the proper name of the internal
    # wireless network interface if applicable.
    #
    # If you would like to use WEP, uncomment the line 'wireless-key'
    # and replace '<key goes here>' with a WEP key.
    # 
    # You may also change the network essid and channel.
    #
    auto wlan0
    iface wlan0 inet manual
        wireless-mode master
        wireless-essid "UbuntuWireless"
        wireless-channel 1
        #wireless-key <key goes here>
    
    # Set up the internal wired network
    #
    # It's not necessary to bring this interface up as the bridge
    # we are about to create does this. Leave these lines commented.
    #
    #auto eth1
    #iface eth1 inet manual
    
    
    # Set up the internal wired/wireless network bridge
    #
    # Don't forget to change wlan0 and eth1 to the proper name of
    # the internal wired and wireless interfaces if applicable.
    #
    auto br0
    iface br0 inet static
        address 192.168.0.1
        network 192.168.0.0
        netmask 255.255.255.0
        broadcast 192.168.0.255
        bridge-ports eth1 wlan0

Your internal network interface is: br0

4.5. Enable IP forwarding and Masquerading

Doing the above might not be enough to make the Ubuntu machine a real router which does NAT (Network Address Translation) and IP Forwarding. The following script configures the Kernel IPTable and IP forwarding. You will have to configure at least the script's 2 variables; the 1st is the external network interface; the 2nd is the internal network interface.

  • EXTIF="eth0"
    INTIF="eth1"

The script was originally from a Ubuntu router guide forum article which has 2 internal network interfaces. What's showing below uses only 1 internal network interface. You will have to modify the script manually or use the script in the Ubuntu router guide forum article if you need to configure 2 internal network interfaces.

  • echo -e "\n\nLoading simple rc.firewall-iptables version $FWVER..\n"
    DEPMOD=/sbin/depmod
    MODPROBE=/sbin/modprobe
    
    EXTIF="eth0"
    INTIF="eth1"
    #INTIF2="eth0"
    echo "   External Interface:  $EXTIF"
    echo "   Internal Interface:  $INTIF"
    
    #======================================================================
    #== No editing beyond this line is required for initial MASQ testing == 
    echo -en "   loading modules: "
    echo "  - Verifying that all kernel modules are ok"
    $DEPMOD -a
    echo "----------------------------------------------------------------------"
    echo -en "ip_tables, "
    $MODPROBE ip_tables
    echo -en "nf_conntrack, " 
    $MODPROBE nf_conntrack
    echo -en "nf_conntrack_ftp, " 
    $MODPROBE nf_conntrack_ftp
    echo -en "nf_conntrack_irc, " 
    $MODPROBE nf_conntrack_irc
    echo -en "iptable_nat, "
    $MODPROBE iptable_nat
    echo -en "nf_nat_ftp, "
    $MODPROBE nf_nat_ftp
    echo "----------------------------------------------------------------------"
    echo -e "   Done loading modules.\n"
    echo "   Enabling forwarding.."
    echo "1" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
    echo "   Enabling DynamicAddr.."
    echo "1" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_dynaddr 
    echo "   Clearing any existing rules and setting default policy.."
    
    iptables-restore <<-EOF
    *nat
    -A POSTROUTING -o "$EXTIF" -j MASQUERADE
    COMMIT
    *filter
    :INPUT ACCEPT [0:0]
    :FORWARD DROP [0:0]
    :OUTPUT ACCEPT [0:0]
    -A FORWARD -i "$EXTIF" -o "$INTIF" -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT 
    -A FORWARD -i "$INTIF" -o "$EXTIF" -j ACCEPT
    -A FORWARD -j LOG
    COMMIT
    EOF
    
    echo -e "\nrc.firewall-iptables v$FWVER done.\n"

After configuring the 2 variables, save the script below as nat.sh and make it executable by doing

  • chmod a+x nat.sh

Now, test the script by running as root

  • sudo sh nat.sh

Investigate the messages from the console output to see if any error happened. If everything looks fine, use another host in the internal network to test if it can access the external network (presumably the Internet). A quick way to test is pinging Google public DNS from the console.

  • ping -c 3 -W 10 8.8.8.8

If ping responds, make our new script bootable so we don't have to run the script every time we restart.

  • sudo cp nat.sh /etc/init.d/
    sudo ln -s /etc/init.d/nat.sh /etc/rc2.d/S95masquradescript

As a final test, restart your computer and test to see if you still have the same functionality. If so then congratulations! If not then make sure you followed the above correctly so the script is bootable.

5. Firewall

See Router/Firewall

6. DHCP and DNS

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)


CategoryNetworking

Router (last edited 2014-07-05 07:46:45 by ldevis)