Building Custom Firmware with OpenWrt

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Using an inexpensive wireless router, you can build a file server, a print server and even a media server. Plus, you can put all of those together and build the network device that does what you want.
Conclusion

This article demonstrates a technique for providing Kerberos, LDAP, network filesystem, print and media services using a Linksys WRT160NL wireless router. The result is a low-cost network server for the home or small office. OpenWrt has a wide range of packages available, so there is potential for many other solutions to be developed around this capable platform. For example, Samba could allow tight integration with Windows clients. Another option is Netatalk, which provides native Mac OS X file sharing, including integration with Apple's Time Machine backup software. Linux, open-source applications and popular network hardware like the Linksys WRT160NL provide a solid basis for developing innovative devices.

Mike Petullo serves in the US Army and enjoys solving problems with innovative open-source software. He has been working with Linux since 1997 and welcomes your comments at mike@flyn.org.

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