Differences between revisions 73 and 74
Revision 73 as of 2005-05-16 03:03:31
Size: 11564
Editor: c-67-170-184-196
Comment: full path to builder in svn (-kq)
Revision 74 as of 2005-10-03 18:08:00
Size: 11573
Editor: 64
Comment: changed category (-kq)
Deletions are marked like this. Additions are marked like this.
Line 221: Line 221:
[CategoryNode] [CategoryPersonalTelco]

Using builder to create a node

builder is used to create Personal Telco-branded routers with a captive portal and various other core services on computers with two (or more) Ethernet interfaces. It is intended primarily for use by the NetworkOperationsTeam in constructing new nodes, but may occasionally be useful to others.

This page is intended to document the usage of the current 'builder' scripts in the PTP Subversion repository, located at http://svn.personaltelco.net/svn/ptp/code/trunk/builder

builder is a working proof of concept. In the future, the fuctionality of these scripts will be part of ["Adhocracy"].

builder is not intended for use on privately-managed systems, embedded hardware or systems with wireless interfaces. If you have any doubt as to whether or not builder is suitable for your installation, chances are high that it is not. Check out NewCloneArmyInstallMethodology for a more complicated installation which is much easier to customize, or get in touch with us (the NetworkOperationsTeam) to work something out.

Before You Begin

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:

  • An x86-based (ie., Intel, AMD, Via) PC ("box" or "target") with
    • two (2) or more Ethernet interfaces ("eth0" and "eth1"),
    • a hard disk of at least 1GiB (smaller drives may work, but are not recommended) and
    • at least 16MiB RAM.
    • Usage of this process on embedded systems is not recommended.
  • A temporary working Internet connection connected to one of the Ethernet interfaces during installation. ("source connection")
  • A permanent working Internet connection to be connected to one of the Ethernet interfaces after installation, if installation is not performed on-site. ("target connection")
  • An additional computer of any type running Linux, also connected to the Internet.

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

  • a node code: a simple, brief, lowercase, whitespace-free identifier for your new node. For example, the node serving Couch Park has the code 'couchpark'. 12 characters or less recommended; no more than 16.
  • a location name: a short description for your new node. For example, the node serving Couch Park has the location name 'Couch Park'. 16 characters or less recommended; no more than 20.
  • a contact address: a contact e-mail address for your new node. For example, the node serving Couch Park has the contact address 'John Doe <john@hotmail.com>'.

  • a hostname: your box needs a hostname. This can be any reasonably short, lowercase, whitespace-free identifier for the computer. For example, the node serving Couch Park has the hostname 'tinged'. 12 characters or less recommended; no more than 16.

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

  • the target connection IP address: you'll need the IP address assigned to the installed target connection.
    • If the address is dynamically assigned, you need to know that this is the case.
    • If the address is static (this is preferred), in addition to the address you will need to know:
      • the target connection network address,
      • the target connection network mask,
      • the target connection broadcast address and
      • the target connection gateway address.
  • the target connection primary DNS server address.
  • the target connection secondary DNS server address.

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 node-preconfig.sh

1. Create a working directory to run the builder script node-preconfig.sh

  • Do this step outside of the repository tree if you have a local copy of the ptp repository

  • mkdir builder
  • cd builder

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

3. Prepare the script for execution

  • chmod 755 node-preconfig.sh

4. Run node-preconfig.sh with the -s option

  • ./node-preconfig.sh -s

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

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

NOTE: svn is required for this step.

  • [aaronb@laptop builder]$ ./node-preconfig.sh -s
    • Node number: 608 Location (20 char. or less): Urban Grind - Pearl District

      Contact: ops@personaltelco.net Hostname: grank Domain: personaltelco.net FQDN is grank.personaltelco.net Internet IP address (or 'dhcp'): dhcp Internet DNS address 1: Internet DNS address 2 (or 'none'): [replace the secondary with your ISP's primary dns server IP, there needs to be a tertiary designation with these two being added automatically.] PTPnet IP address: PTPnet network address: PTPnet network mask: PTPnet broadcast address: PTPnet DHCP server pool start address: PTPnet DHCP server pool finish address:

  • This will create and commit the configuration files for your node into the repository using svn.

Step Four (Make it all come together)

Obtain and run node.sh 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

  • perform these steps as root in root's home directory.

1. Install wget

  • apt-get install wget

2. Use wget to retreive node.sh

3. Make the script executabe

  • chmod 755 node.sh

4. Run the script

  • ./node.sh [NODEID]
    • example: ./node.sh 608

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.

ALL IS NOT WELL AT THIS POINT You still have some opportuntities!!!

Note: node.sh is currently b0rken (05 January 2005). It tries to download a tarball that doesn't exist: svn-snapshot-YYYYMMDD.tar.bz2. In fact, the only file in that directory is named svn-snapshot.tar.bz2 (no date), and it's humongous. Is this really something we want to download?

Also, if you use the command given below:

you will end up checking out the whole "web" tree, including copies of firefix and other cruft. Is that right? If this is just for the node's DocumentRoot, don't we want:

BR We indeed do check out the whole web tree into /home/web on each nucab. The first command is the correct one. Of course this assumse that you are at / when you issue the command. AaronBaer

/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 "svn.personaltelco.net/svn/ptp/system/trunk/node/net/modules-595" 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 "svn.personaltelco.net/svn/ptp/system/trunk/node/net/resolv.conf" as the source of the inoperable nameserver. BR 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 BR 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 bone.personaltelco.net has that it will not resolve hosts. Making sure that ntp is running correctly or using ntpdate to sync time to cornerstone.personaltelco.net and restarting bind has worked on many hosts.

A file download/installation is missing. svn co http://svn.personaltelco.net/svn/ptp/web/trunk 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.

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

  • insmod 3c59x insmod eepro100

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.

Q&A / Commentary

blah blah


AaronBaer, KeeganQuinn

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

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