The main reason for writing this document is to share my surprise of how easy it is to convert the Aspire One into a wireless access point on Slackware and how good the Aspire One hardware is for this. Accidentally, I happened to have some free time and one three year old Aspire in my hands so I decided to do something about my growing dissatisfaction with my home router. I live in a crowded Wi-Fi area with over 30 access points coming from the apartments around me and my router obviously has troubles with this. What I wanted was a wireless router over which I will have full control of all settings: log levels control, ability to install additional software for traffic analysis, a decent iptables firewall, RADIUS; in short a wireless router with full Linux installed on it.
I chose to use Free RADIUS, since I wanted not only support for WPA and the ability to append eventual access points with roaming, but also the extensibility to any user data base, from local flat files to LDAP. Hostapd has its own integrated RADIUS, but the freedom of having FreeRADIUS was so tempting; besides the setup with flat ASCII users file is really easy. In this configuration RADIUS is set up to use files.
Ipv6 and DNSSEC are here to stay and no embedded router has all the functionality which I have with Linux. Ipv6 and DNSSEC configuration is not included in this HOWTO guide, but the freedom to configure them is there.
I wanted to have not only a standard firewall, but the full power of iptables. A simple functionality like SSH tunnels that allows home access from school for my kids is tricky with my router and traffic shaping is simply not available. For this reason the Firewall Builder is included in this configuration with a basic rule set. I think it is by far the best firewall management solution on the market and it is free for Linux users.
I wanted to have at least two wireless networks "different ssid", to open safely one of them and share some of my bandwidth with my neighbours. This I hope will make me feel less ripped-off next time I pay my internet bill.
The other solution OpenWrt had two disadvantages: my router is too weak to support OpenWrt and any router that is powerful enough for everything that I want will cost nearly as much or more then the Aspire; which I already have.