HostAPD: Linux Wifi Router

  • TL;DR: Turn a Linux device into a wireless router the easy way:

    Ran into some cash flow issues at home this month and I don't have a shiney new UAP yet... My backup router has also bombed out. I had an old netbook siting around doing nothing that I just installed ElementaryOS (Ubuntu based) on... so I checked a quick couple of ways to turn a linux device into a wireless router.

    hostapd fit the bill quite nicely. I tried configuring it by hand, but wasn't able to get it to cooperate with me. I did a few more googles and found:

    This sets up everything for you, assuming you have a wireless card that supports being an AP. To find out, you can....

    iw list

    and in the resulting output, you should see something similar to...

     Available Antennas: TX 0x1 RX 0x1
            Configured Antennas: TX 0x1 RX 0x1
            Supported interface modes:
                     * IBSS
                     * managed
                     * AP
                     * AP/VLAN

    The key here is the AP line. If you see that, you should be in good shape.

    The Github link ( has some good examples if you just need it as a one off.

    If you want to make a more permanent set up, edit /etc/create_ap.conf and check the Github link for the systemd commands.

    This sure helped me out, and I hope it helps somebody else out too.

    Edit: I should mention that I have a Pihole handling my DNS and DHCP. If you need those services you can install dnsmasq.

    Edit 2: I happened to notice after a more thorough review of my home network this morning that it does configure dnsmasq for DNS & DHCP on its own.

  • That's awesome.

  • As one's last resort, this should definitely do the trick. Will save for myself, just in case.

  • I have a Monster OTG that I want to upgrade by moving to a SBC (rPiZ).. could be fun to try out.