It’s not there yet. I’m being totally unfair, because comparing Windows or OS X to the Linux distribution I’m using (Gentoo) is like apples and oranges. Gentoo is meant for people who are comfortable with the command-line and want to experiment. (It’d be fairer to compare Windows to Suse.) But I just want to bridge a connection between an ethernet card and a wireless USB device. Is that too much to ask? When I did this in Windows I just highlighted the two connections, right-clicked, and chose “Bridge Connections.” It spun for a little bit and then it was done. End of story.
The work started yesterday, when I figured out that the reason nothing would emerge is that there were bad GCC flags in my make.conf file. How they got there, I’ll never know. Bad ebuild I guess. So I got that fixed, synced, and updated world. 85 packages! The next day I compiled a new kernel (2.6.7-rc2) but forgot to load the Tulip module required for my ethernet card. Recompile, reboot. Runs great, and I tell myself everything is running faster. Right now I’m bridging my desk LAN to the main router through the Windows desktop, and since I just moved the linux box on a new UPS I’d like to move the wireless connection there too. I was feeling lucky, so I tried just plugging it in to see what happened.
dmesg, device not recognized. Search search search the excellent Gentoo forums, find out that to get my MA101 working I shouldn’t use the drivers from Sourceforge, but rather the at76c503a Atmel drivers for wireless USB devices. Download, compile against current kernel sources, install. Reboot. Don’t have any wireless tools.
emerge wireless-utilities. Twiddle for 45 minutes to see why it won’t see any networks. Forgot to enable “Wireless radio (non-HAM)” support in the kernel. Recompile. Reboot.
iwscan shows my network,
iwconfig wlan0 works as expected. The instructions that tell me to put in ad-hoc mode are wrong. (Hour later.) Put it in Managed mode. Cycle the device and run
dhcpd wlan0. Ping Yahoo. Online! Track down documentation on bridging. Emerge bridging program. Appears to run fine, but gives a funky error and doesn’t seem to do anything. Add “802.11d bridging” support to kernel. Recompile. Remount /boot. Copy kernel. Reboot… Computer loads everything through Gnome, then mouse and keyboard freezes. Switch back to laptop, write blog entry to let off steam. Reboot again, just to see if it’ll work. Loads, run
brctl.So far so good.
brctl addbr mattlan returns
br_add_bridge: Package not installed, which seems to indicate that the proper kernel module isn’t installed. Would check the
.config, but the computer just froze again.
I need some rest.