Use Chromebook as WiFi repeater

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If you’re like me and have your chromebook in developer mode, you’re probably wondering how to use it as a WiFi repeater 🙂 .

Install crew

First, the simplest part, install crew. This is an amazing tool that will install gcc and make to allow you to build virtually anything. It even has a ton of programs pre-compiled such as clamav and nano. Anyways, installation is easy, just run:

curl -Ls git.io/vddgY | bash

and follow the instructions.

Install hostapd

This part took me a while to do, but here are the steps.
Go into /usr/local/bin because you have execute permissions there:

cd /usr/local/bin

Clone the first git repo, and build:

git clone https://github.com/thom311/libnl.git
cd libnl
bash autogen.sh
bash configure
make
sudo make install

Actually build hostapd:

cd ..
git clone http://w1.fi/hostap.git
cd hostap/hostapd
cp defconfig .config
make
make install

Install dnsmasq

Go to /usr/local/bin

cd /usr/local/bin

Clone the repo

git clone https://github.com/imp/dnsmasq.git

Build and install

cd dnsmasq
make
sudo make install

Get create_ap

Go to your home folder

cd ~/

Clone the repo

git clone https://github.com/oblique/create_ap.git

Run

cd create_ap
sudo stop shill
sudo start shill ignore=ap0
sudo bash create_ap wlan0 wlan0 SSID Password

Troubleshoot

If there is an issue with create_ap, make sure you ran:

sudo stop shill
sudo start shill ignore=ap0

and that you have the right interface. You can list all of your interfaces with:

ifconfig

Or, if you get a driver error, your WiFi card may just not support virtual adapters, in which case you’ll need to install another Linux distro and plug in another WiFi card(i.e. USB WiFi adapter)

Please leave any problems you have in the comments and I will try to help.

Sources(a.k.a. where the code snippets are from 🙂 ) Crew Wiki| Hostapd GitHub | DNSmasq GitHub


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  • David Pierce

    Hi Im running into an issue when I try to install dnsmasq. I cloned the repo but when i try to use the next step and type make the terminal responds with make: *** No targets specified and no makefile found. Stop. Im not good with understanding code like this so please help me if you can.

    • NerdOfLinux

      Sorry, I forgot to add this in the tutorial:

      After you clone dnsmasq, you have to run cd dnsmasq before running make

  • Tim Döring

    Do you know what this means? After running sudo bash create_ap wlan0 wlan0 SSID Password

    iptables: No chain/target/match by that name.

    • Unless it’s not working, I wouldn’t worry about it. I get that error too(on my server), but everything still works.

      • Tim Döring

        Unfortunately it doesn’t. But it seems to work on GalliumOs, so good enough..

  • Maxime Côté

    Hi!

    I’m having a few issues along the way. Is there a way I can troubleshoot myself each steps?

    I tried this weekend with poor success. I installed crew and gcc, once finished it says Chromebrew installed successfully and package list updated.

    Then i go into cd /usr/local/bin, clone the 1st git. No “success” , it says : Entering src make [1] : nothing to be done for ‘all’ and Entering tests make[1] : nothing to be done for ‘all’,

    then build hostapd : when I enter the make command, it says “package libnl-3.0 was not found in the pkg-config search path, skipping incompatible and error 1… I’m stuck there.

    I would like to get better than just trying following “simple steps” and understanding what I’m actually doing 😂 I don’t know, maybe a great book about coding on chromebook (android?) or a blog, online pdf, course?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    see ya

    Max

    • The errors are due to an outdated version of something. I’ll release an updated post soon.

      • Maxime Côté

        Oh ok! Thanks a lot!
        Is there a way I can learn the things you figured out? 😛

        • I can’t remember right now, but I think it was something about hostapd complaining about not finding the correct version of some library, similar to what you mentioned in your original comment. When I’ve tried to compile newer versions, the WiFi hotspot didn’t work well on my Chromebook. Since my current Chromebook isn’t the same one as when I originally wrote this post, I’m still trying to figure out if the issue is software or hardware.

          • Maxime Côté

            Where did you learn all this coding stuff?

    • I’ve updated the post. Please try again now.

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