I would like to pull into a truck stop and offer a folder of free documentaries, broadcasting from my bus. I have a bunch of videos in a web folder and can access it locally and would like others to be able to access it freely and without passwords or other restrictions.

I run Linux and have an internal wireless adapter in the laptop but my bus has an antenna on the roof which I connect via USB to create a wireless signal; this is the one I’d like to focus on since it will offer the most reach to all those truckers out there.

I have a Linux box which is the router direct from the modem. The Linux box as a router via an ethernet card as the outbound to a hub, switch, another router, whatever I want it to go to right now it’s to exclusively to a printer rather than going through the switch.

The Linux box is also the server; the web server is Apache2 and serves videos, pictures, and documents.

I already know how to setup a wireless router to the outbound channel of my Linux box which is the proven better method as opposed to being placed before my Linux box!

What is the easiest way to ensure that when someone logs onto the wireless router that they can access this folder? Would this be so simple as a port-forward? But I think that only works from the website?


Pretty much all you need to do is to set up a router somehow - I do believe some wireless adaptors would do that, and/or you can use hostapd. Tricky thing really is to get the users to find the server—you would need to set up a captive portal for that—the firewall approach makes most sense here. If you wanted to make it even simpler, just name the AP in some way its obvious how to find the server.

Something that might work perfectly with a few tweaks is the PirateBox. Rhese installations scripts would be what you’re looking for, and there's more usage cases here.

  • Yeah, basically you want to use the same logic that a motel (or, probably, truck stop) server uses to force your browser to start at a specific page (the sign-on page for the motel, but your menu page in your case). I don't recall exactly (or even approximately) how it's done, but it's not too complicated. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 16 '13 at 20:24

Your network terminology is a bit awkward. What do you mean by router outbound channel?

I can imagine two setups:

  1. Use a wireless lan card or usb stick with hostapd to set up your linux router as a full access point. You can Disable routing for the wifi subnet or set up a iptables firewall to prohibit wifi users to access anything but what you want them to.

  2. Another posibility is that you hook up an Wi-Fi access point (cheap Wi-Fi router will do too) to a free network port of the Linux router and again set up a iptables firewall.

If you cant wrap your head around iptables command line syntax try Firewall Builder which could serve as a nice GUI.

Just 2 out of many possibilities. Also the mentioned OpenWrt captive portal solution would work.

Also you could grab an OpenWrt capable router and again only set it up with iptables thorugh the LuCI web interface.

There should be a lot “how tos” on the web regarding OpenWrt access points which could point you in the right direction to set up captive portal, iptables, web redirects, etc…


You could setup a wireless access point and use a captive portal to redirect any outbound web traffic to your internal server. A good captive portal for OpenWRT is nodogsplash

I would advise making it very obvious that your wirless access point does not have internet. Most people will expect an open AP to be connected to the internet.

Your question is similar to this one Configure router to redirect requests from local machine

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