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Free router distro gains wild WiFi features

Apr 3, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 19 views

A project developing a free Linux distribution for x86-based network appliances has achieved a new release with some intriguing wireless access point features. Zeroshell 1.0.beta8 lets one physical radio support multiple logical SSIDs, each with a different encryption and authentication scheme, VLAN, and function… (client/AP).

(Click for larger view of Zeroshell's graphical web interface)

Project originator Fulvio Ricciardi explains the beta 8 release's new access point capabilities as follows:

  • Multi SSID management — On the same wifi card you can define multiple logical SSIDs, each independent from the others. Any SSID can adopt an independent encryption/authentication schema (WPA-PSK, WPA-Enterprise with RADIUS, WEP, or plaintext with captive portal).
  • Any SSID can be bridged with a different VLAN 802.1q.
  • Any SSID can be bridged with LAN-to-LAN VPN (OpenVPN), which allows you to deploy a homogeneous set of Wireless SSIDs in a remote environment by using the Internet. All the remode SSIDs share the same Layer 2.
  • You can define on the same wifi card one SSID to act as client and others to act as access points. This could extend the range of the WLAN configuring the WDS (wireless distribution system).

Zeroshell is primarily a single-developer project, Ricciardi said, with community involvement in documentation and testing. He expects a 1.0 version “within a month,” after which he plans to launch a CVS (concurrent version system) with the aim of involving more developers.

Ricciardi began beta testing a 1.0 Zeroshell release more than a year ago. In March of last year, a 1.0beta4 release added sophisticated QoS (quality-of-service) capabilities. Based on L7-filter, the QoS features were aimed at improving performance with VoIP and P2P software.

Ricciardi commented, “I have tested the wifi capabilities of Zeroshell 1.0beta8 on the new ALIX board with a miniPCI Atheros card [and] on mini-ITX systems with PCI Atheros cards.”

More details about Zeroshell Access Point may be found here. A user forum apparently frequented by lots of university students can be found here.

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