I need to connect my two desktop PCs running Kubuntu Linux to the Internet. As you know I already have a Sagem F@st3202 Livebox which has wireless and Ethernet capabilities. But as the Livebox is far from my PCs, I don’t want to have a wired connection. I’ve tried a Wifi USB dongle on the PC but (i) it is not reliable and (ii) it is a pain the ass to setup with Linux.
Unfortunately, the WET54G is not easily found here in Mauritius and is expensive anyway.
A better solution
I guess many of you have heard of the Linksys WRT54G which is a wireless router which has four Ethernet ports. It is powered by Linux and its firmware has been released under the GPL license. Notice that it is NOT a transparent bridge out of the box.
With the appropriate opensource firmware (either DD-WRT or Thibor (which is the one I want to use)), the router transforms itself into anything you would like (from a router to a firewall to a VoIP server to a transparent bridge etc.) just by changing some settings.
Just to be sure, I’m buying a Linksys WRT54GL which is certified to work with Linux. I am buying mine from a friend in Vacoas at around Rs. 3200 which is reasonable.
This means that tomorrow I’ll be able to connect my two PCs using Ethernet wired connections to the WRT54GL which will itself connect to my Livebox wirelessly and life will be cool :-)
One interesting feature provided by the Thibor firmware is a SSH server. I’ll therefore be able to open a terminal session to the Linksys. Of course, this is cool but (remember: it runs Linux!). What is even cooler is that the WRT54GL features a MIPS32-compatible processor. This means that I’ll be able to play with a pure RISC processor. I’ll even been able to write some simple C or assembly program on my Macbook or my Linux and cross-compile it to the MIPS32 processor using the GNU gcc compiler. For fun, I’ve downloaded a MIPS32 simulator called SPIM which seems to work well on my MacBook and it works on Linux and Windoze too.
Incidentally, the MIPS architecture is considered to be one of the best and simplest RISC architecture making it very nice to teach assembly programming. Heck, even Patterson and Hennessy are massive fans of MIPS.
I’ll let you know by tomorrow if everything works correctly.
Call me a geek :-)