Using builder to create a node

builder was a script used almost exclusively by the NetworkOperationsTeam to create PTP-branded routers with a captive portal and various other core services on normal computers with two (or more) network interfaces.

This project was primarily a simple proof of concept, establishing techniques for effective mass-deployment of nodes. It is no longer functional due to the demise of the original Subversion repository.

In the future, Adhocracy will support the functionality which was provided by builder. Until then, check out NewCloneArmyInstallMethodology.


NOTE - The process documented here WILL NOT WORK. See above.

Please read this entire document before starting your work on a system. This description is not entirely complete, and any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

You'll need the following components:

Also, you'll need to prepare the following information:

Finally, you'll need the specifics of the target connection:

If you don't already have all of these things, don't begin this process! You won't be able to finish, and it's usually easiest, best and cleanest to go through the entire process at once.

If you're having trouble with the specifics of the target connection, please contact the provider of the connection for more information. They should be able to provide exact values for these fields.

If you're still reading at this point and are not a member of the NetworkOperationsTeam, please consider getting in touch with someone who is and providing to them the information listed above. They will be able to provide you with a working system in a reasonable period of time.

Step One (Base Software)

To begin, you'll need to install the DebianLinux base system on your target box. See DebianLinuxInstallation for detailed information.

Step Two (Registration)

See NodeDb for information on registering with the node database.

See NetworkAddressAllocations to register your network and receive network numbers.

Step Three (Create Configuration Files)

Create files with

1. Create a working directory to run the builder script

2. Get the script from subversion that will do the configuration

3. Prepare the script for execution

4. Install Subversion, if you don't have it. (If "which svn" returns nothing, you don't have it...)

5. Run with the -s option

6. Complete the following questions in a way that is applicable to your node location

Step Four (Make it all come together)

Obtain and run builder script

These scripts expect to find a computer that has a minimal debian install, two ethernet cards, and a connection to the Internet.

From the command line on the machine that is going to be the captive portal router

1. Install wget

2. Use wget to retreive

3. Make the script executabe

4. Run the script

And now watch it go. When this finishes, reboot the machine. Now you should have a working Personal Telco Captive Portal Machine. This includes all services to provide the network infrastructure at the location. All configuration files are stored and managed in subversion.

Q&A / Commentary

/etc/modules Does not contain the identification of the network drivers which were installed during bf24 installation. You must edit this file to include the driver identification. NOTE It appears that one might look at "" as a source of this opportunity as the modules here match what is loaded.

/etc/resolv.conf The nameserver listed/identified does not work and the file must be edited to a working nameserver; HOWEVER even after editing resolv.conf when the system is rebooted, the file reverts to the inoperative nameserver. NOTE It appears that one might look at "" as the source of the inoperable nameserver.
NOTE This is infact supposed to be using as the nameserver. As bind9 is running locally. If on reboot dns is not working we need to discover why bind isn't producing correct lookups locally. We should not be using external dns nameservers in resolv.conf. AaronBaer
NOTE Check to make sure that the date of the machine in question is synced to an ntp server. I have had sitations where bind9 has stopped working because the host in question has become so far out of sync with the time that has that it will not resolve hosts. Making sure that ntp is running correctly or using ntpdate to sync time to and restarting bind has worked on many hosts.

A file download/installation is missing. svn co home/web CAUTION: Watch when you try this download--as I had to repartition the disk to get the complete file.

EVEN AT THIS POINT Apache fails to start.

- Did your apache failure come from a host name resolution failure? This happened to me. Check out /etc/hosts and make sure it has a correct entry for

More problems from a PTP-supplied Dell Optiplex w/2x NICs: The modules "3c59x" and "eepro100" for the two NICs aren't loaded -- I added

to /etc/init.d/networking. If you are getting "ERROR while getting interface flags: no such device," this may be what you need. Highly recommend that the building scripts go ahead and try to load all reasonably relevant NIC modules, since this is the kind of thing that drives newbies screaming from Debian.

to setup new accounts from
# cd /tmp
# wget
# VERBOSE=1 sh ./


AaronBaer, KeeganQuinn

[CategorySoftware] [CategoryPersonalTelco] [CategoryNuCab] [CategoryDocumentation] [CategoryNetwork]

UsingBuilderHowTo (last edited 2012-04-25 13:48:08 by DanRasmussen)