Search Results : How To : Use The Raspberry Pi As A Wireless Access Point/Router

Feb 102013

So, I figured out why wlan0 doesn’t get an IP address when hostapd starts up.
ifplugd messes about with the interfaces when they go up and down, so the simplest solution is to disable ifplugd for wlan0 !
in /etc/default/ifplugd, the default configuration is this

ARGS="-q -f -u0 -d10 -w -I"

Simply changing it to this

ARGS="-q -f -u0 -d10 -w -I"

will ensure that wlan0 will not lose it’s static IP address that’s configured in /etc/network/interfaces when wlan0 goes up.

Jan 102013

So a few people have tried to follow Part 3 of this series of posts, and had issues with the connections once everything is setup.
The main cause for that, was that hostapd would take away the IP address of wlan0 for some reason.
I worked around it by modifying the /etc/init.d/hostapd startup file.

In that file, there is a switch case statement which controls what the file does depending on how you run the file.

The example below is what you will see part way down the file. What we need to do is add in some commands into that block of code.

case "$1" in
log_daemon_msg "Starting $DESC" "$NAME"
start-stop-daemon --start --oknodo --quiet --exec "$DAEMON_SBIN" \
--pidfile "$PIDFILE" -- $DAEMON_OPTS >/dev/null
log_end_msg "$?"

The command we will need to add are :
ifup wlan0

Which brings up wlan0 with the specified IP address. The IP address should have been setup in Part 3 of this series.

So the above block of code will now become –

case "$1" in
log_daemon_msg "Starting $DESC" "$NAME"
start-stop-daemon --start --oknodo --quiet --exec "$DAEMON_SBIN" \
--pidfile "$PIDFILE" -- $DAEMON_OPTS >/dev/null
log_end_msg "$?"
ifup wlan0

This will force wlan0 to come up after hostapd is started.

Alternatively to force wlan0 to use an ip.address, replace ifup wlan0 with this
ifconfig wlan0 netmask up
Hopefully this helps everyone when they come to making their Pi a WiFi Router ! 😀

Aug 112012

Part 1 – How to create a wireless network on your RPi
Part 2 – How to make your RPi into a Wireless Access Point
Part 3A – Issues with HostAPD ? Click here
Part 3B – Issues with HostAPD ? Click here!

In Part 3, we will turn the Raspberry Pi into a router. The Pi will use the ethernet port as the “WAN” port, and the wireless adapter as the “LAN” side of things.
First thing we need to do is to enable packet forwarding.
In the file /etc/sysctl.conf, we need to uncomment the following line (should be line 28).


After changing that, run this command to re-read the sysctl.conf file

sysctl -p

We will also need to install the iptables utilities if they are not already installed, and alter the dnsmasq.conf file so that dnsmasq will assign a gateway to the computers.

Firstly we install iptables.

apt-get install iptables

Then we will add this line to dnsmasq.conf.
The IP address is the same one we gave to the WiFi adapter back in Part 1


We will need to create an iptables script to tell the Raspberry Pi to forward packets from the WiFi interface to the LAN interface. This script will need to run at startup in order for it to be a router.
I have created the following file in /etc/network/if-up.d/ called router. By placing the script in that directory, it will be run every time the Raspberry Pi comes online.
This file contains the following lines

iptables -F
iptables -X

iptables -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -o lo -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -i wlan0 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -o wlan0 -j ACCEPT

iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE
iptables -A FORWARD -i wlan0 -j ACCEPT

After creating this file, make it executable by using this command

chmod +x /etc/network/if-up.d/router

Once that file has been run, it should start forwarding traffic from the WiFi Interface to the LAN interface !

** UPDATE **
As a few people have found out, the IP address of the Pi does not get set correctly until you take down wlan0 and bring it back up after hostapd starts.
I have not found out why yet, but the workaround I am currently using consists of editing /etc/init.d/hostapd, and modifying the start case statement to include ifdown wlan0 && ifup wlan0 at the end of it.
I failed to copy the statement I am talking about, but if you’re familiar with scripting it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. Otherwise I’ll get the code I modified up here soon.

** UPDATE 2 **
Looks like a Pi user has successfully gotten hostapd running on the realtek devices.
Info can be found here

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Aug 102012

Part 1 – How to create a Wireless Network On Your RPi
Part 3 – How to make your RPi into a Router

In this part, we will turn the Raspberry Pi into a Wireless Access point.
All it will do is forward packets from the WiFi adapter to ethernet and vice versa. It will allow you to access your network via WiFi without needing a WiFi router.

To do this, we need to bridge the ethernet and wifi connections, and tell hostapd that we are now using a bridge connection.
In /etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf, we need to add the following line.


Add the following lines into /etc/network/interfaces to define the bridge connection.

#auto br0
iface br0 inet dhcp
bridge_ports eth0 wlan0
pre-up ifconfig eth0 up
pre-up ifconfig wlan0 up
pre-up brctl addbr br0
pre-up brctl addif br0 eth0
post-down ifconfig wlan0 down
post-down ifconfig eth0 down
post-down brctl delif br0 eth0
post-down brctl delbr br0

Notice the “auto br0” is commented out. This is so the bridge does not come up automatically, as once the bridge is up, you will not be able to remotely access the Raspberry Pi until the bridge is brought down or until the bridge gets an IP address.

Once the lines are in /etc/network/interfaces, you can type in ifup br0 as root to bring up the bridge. If you are ssh’ed into the Pi, this will drop your connection.
Once it’s up, the Raspberry Pi will forward anything from the WiFi to ethernet and vice versa.

This let’s the Raspberry Pi act as a Wireless Access Point without any sort of routing. On a WiFi device, you will be able to connect to RaspAP, and it will act is if it was on the network, i.e. it will get an IP address from your normal router.

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Aug 092012

** Quick Tip For The QuickLinks **
If you want a wifi router, ignore Part 2, and go from this part straight to Part 3. Need internet access ? Part 2 or 3 is the go depending on your need 🙂
Part 2 – How to make your RPi into a Wireless Access Point
Part 3 – How to make your RPi into a Router

Also if you are using a RTL8188CUS based device check this forum thread
** Update – 2012-11-10 **
Looks like the newest version of the Raspbian distro adds an extra line to /etc/network/interfaces which needs to be removed or commented out.
The line is wpa-roam /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
Thanks to hunternet93

** Update – 2016-11-06 **
As requested, I’ve added some information from the comments – courtesy of Jakimfett
To find out what driver your USB WiFi stick uses, you can use lshw -C network to find out. The driver info is shown under the configuration section. If lshw is not installed, you can install it via apt-get – apt-get install lshw

** Original Post Starts Here **

I recently bought a Wifi dongle for my Raspberry Pi – A Ralink RT5370.
While I was poking around, I noticed that the USB dongle could act as an Access Point.
I haven’t tried with any others, but the way I found out about mine is by using the iw utility.
Running iw list spat out a list of abilities.
This was a part of the list
Supported interface modes:
* managed
* AP
* monitor
* mesh point

So I decided to try it out.
I installed hostapd so that I could run an access point off the Raspberry Pi.
apt-get install hostapd

After I installed hostapd, I had to modify a few files before hostapd would run.

Before I go modifying the files though, I need to give my WiFi adapter a static IP address.
In /etc/network/ there is a file called interfaces. This file contains the details for the network adapters.
I have the lines below in order to set a static IP address.

iface wlan0 inet static

Now, we need to edit some files.
First up, I had to modify /etc/default/hostapd. The DAEMON_CONF variable was not configured, so I pointed it to a configuration file that I was about to create.

After that, I created the configuration file in the location specified.
In the configuration file, I specified the following parameters

# First we configure the interface we'll be listening on
interface=wlan0 # The interface to listen on
# The driver that is being used by the WiFi adapter, this could be different for everyone
ctrl_interface_group=0 # These 2 are just parameters so that the hostap daemon runs.

# Now onto the important WiFi configuration
# First up, the SSID or Network name. This is what other devices will see when they try to connect.
# I'm setting this to Wireless G mode. A, B, and G are available here.
# This is setting the channel that the WiFi is on, valid channels are from 1-11, or 1-14 depending on location.

# Wifi Security Settings
wpa=2 # This sets the security settings to WPA2
# The line above sets the wpa passphrase to "raspiwlan", this is obtained via the wpa_passphrase command.
# However, you can also set a passphrase like the line below.

# I've set these to WPA-PSK to indicate that we are using a Pre-Shared Key with CCMP encryption.
# Otherwise, hostapd also has a built in RADIUS server that we can use for authentcation
# But I'll leave that to another post.

# Other settings
beacon_int=100 # This sets how often the WiFi will send a beacon out.

** Note ** You may need to strip out all the comments when you save your configuration file as hostapd does not have consistent comment handling.

With the above configuration file saved, I downloaded dnsmasq in order to give my Raspberry Pi the ability to hand out IP addresses to clients that connected to the RaspAP.
apt-get install dnsmasq

For now, we’ll only do a base configuration of dnsmasq, just enough for it to hand out IP addresses so we can test out our new RasAP.

interface=wlan0 # To get dnsmasq to listen only on wlan0.
dhcp-range=,,,12h # This sets the available range from to
# It also sets the subnet mask to and specifies a lease time of 12 hours.

After the configuration file has been created in /etc/dnsmasq.conf, start up hostapd and restart dnsmasq.
You should now be able to see the WiFi network “RaspAP” and be able to connect to it and get an IP address.

In the next post, we will turn the Raspberry Pi into a bridge so that it can act as a wireless access point.

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