Difference between revisions of "Mesh/Firmware"

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(Added TunnelDigger link.)
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This should not be a single VPN server, as that would be a single point of failure.
This should not be a single VPN server, as that would be a single point of failure.
I suggest to use [http://wlan-si.net/blog/2012/10/29/tunneldigger-the-new-vpn-solution/ TunnelDigger]. [[User:Mitar|Mitar]] ([[User talk:Mitar|talk]]) 21:50, 11 July 2013 (PDT)
== Mesh VPN ==
== Mesh VPN ==

Revision as of 21:50, 11 July 2013

Documentation for the sudo mesh firmware.

Firmware generation features

It should be easy to generate a new firmware with the following custom config:

  • Location and ownership information.
Contact info should be saved in a secure database but maybe not on the node itself?
  • Randomly generated passwords set for wpa2, admin interface and ssh.
The SSH password should be stored securely and a couple of stickers with the wpa2 and admin password should be printed for the user.

Stuff the firmware should have

Location and status reporting

Something that reports location and status when polled.

SSH server

The SSH server should be contactable from any interface. It should initially allow root access using a random generated password that the mesh group has and that the node owner can get and change if they are so inclined.


We'll use this as the mesh protocol.

Multiple virtual network interfaces with their own SSIDs

  • One ad-hock mode, unencrypted interface for the mesh nodes, e.g. sudomesh-backchannel
  • One access point mode, unencrypted interface, for non-mesh devices to connect to the mesh, e.g. sudomesh.
  • One access point mode, private interface with WPA2, for the people who own the nodes. [optional]

Traffic on the private interface should be completely separated from traffic on the non-private interfaces unless a client connected to the private interface requests an IP on the mesh.

Maybe the last one is optional because some people may not need that feature (they already have another access point and they want to keep it), but then how do people administrate the router?

Web admin interface

A very simple one-page interface. It should do at least the following:

  • Set location, name, description.
  • Let people select how much bandwidth they share.
They always share 100% when they're not using the connection themselves.
Do any ISPs have bandwidth caps around here? If so, let people specify how many MB to share per month.
  • Let people change the admin password and the private wifi wpa2 password.
  • Donate / "buy routers as presents for your friends"-button.

Nice to have:

  • Status info: How many nodes is your node connected to. Is the internet link working.
  • An "I don't know what my internet bandwidth is, test it for me"-function.
  • Usage statistics (so people can see how many people they helped get internet!)
  • Let people put up a bit of info about their node / house / co-op, on a simple web page that people can access only if they're connected to that node. It could be shown as part of the splash page.

QoS / bandwidth shaping

To support letting node owners select how much bandwidth they share.

Splash page

We should have a captive portal so people can learn about the mesh. We have also thought about letting local groups and businesses advertise with location-specific advertisements on the splash page. This could be a source of revenue for the mesh. This should also act as a list/portal for the local services running on the mesh.

Internet VPN

The firmware should tunnel all Internet traffic from the mesh through a VPN server, unless this feature is specifically disabled.

This should not be a single VPN server, as that would be a single point of failure.

I suggest to use TunnelDigger. Mitar (talk) 21:50, 11 July 2013 (PDT)

Mesh VPN

If the mesh does not see any other nodes (and maybe even if it does?), and it has internet, then it should connect to another node or two over VPN. The easy solution is to use the same VPN servers as for the internet.

DHCP and batman-adv gateway mode

Nodes with an internet connection should run DHCP and batman-adv gateway mode.

Stuff the firmware could have

DNS server

Each node could run its own (caching) DNS server. Doing this would allow people to access the admin interface for their node by going to e.g. http://me.mesh/ from the private interface.

Caching web proxy

We could use Polipo to improve people's browsing experience. Not sure how much cpu and memory this would need. We may not be able to run it on the routers with less than 32 MB ram (e.g. the Bullet 2 HPs).

Block ads and tracking

We could use e.g. Polipo with the sources from both adblock plus and ghostery. If we implement this, it should be an optional (default off) feature that you can select on the splash page, with a "remember this" that remembers either using a cookie or using your MAC (but then we'd be tracking people's MAC addresses :-S). The block should probably be time-limited (e.g. 30 days).

Compatible devices

We should have ready-made images for:

  • One really cheap indoor router (with 3G usb stick support?) like TP-Link TL-WR703N
  • One nice high-speed indoor router (300 mbps 802.11n)
  • Ubiquiti hardware. Most of the AirMAX stuff.