First, you should set a password for the root account (which also will enable SSH). Telnet into the router, and run passwd.

The next thing you need to do is set up your network interfaces. Modify /etc/config/network to look similar to this:

config interface 'loopback'
        option ifname 'lo'
        option proto 'static'
        option ipaddr ''
        option netmask ''

config interface 'lan'
        option ifname 'eth0'
        option type 'bridge'
        option proto 'static'
        option ipaddr ''
        option netmask ''
        option gateway ''
        list dns ''
        list dns ''

assuming that the router's IP address will be and your gateway is at

Next, modify the beginning of the firewall config file (/etc/config/firewall) to look like this:

config defaults
        option syn_flood     '1'
        option input         'ACCEPT'
        option output        'ACCEPT'
        option forward       'ACCEPT'
#Uncomment this line to disable ipv6 rules
#       option disable_ipv6  1

config zone
        option name          'lan'
        option network       'lan'
        option input         'ACCEPT'
        option output        'ACCEPT'
        option forward       'ACCEPT'

config zone
        option name          'wan'
        option network       'wan'
        option input         'ACCEPT'
        option output        'ACCEPT'
        option forward       'ACCEPT'
        option masq          '1'
        option mtu_fix       '1'

Leave the rest of the file untouched.

In /etc/config/wireless, find the line that reads "option disabled" and change it to "option disabled 0" to enable wireless. At this point, you need to reboot the router.

Now, connect a FAT32-partitioned USB Flash drive to the router, and run the following commands on the router:

cd /tmp
wget http://piratebox.aod-rpg.de/piratebox_0.3-2_all.ipk
opkg update && opkg install piratebox*

When you restart the device, you should see a new wireless network called "PirateBox - Share Freely". Plug your router in to a USB battery, and place everything into an enclosure of some kind (preferably something black with the Jolly Roger emblazoned on the side). Congratulations! With little to no hassle, you've created a mobile, anonymous sharing device!

Using the PirateBox

The point of the PirateBox is to be integrated easily into a public space with zero effort on the part of the end user; otherwise, no one ever would use it! This means using it has to be incredibly simple, and it is. If you are connected to the "PirateBox - Share Freely" network and you try to open a Web page, you automatically will be redirected to this page (Figure 1).

Figure 1. PirateBox Home Screen

As you can see, you are given choices as to what you wish to do: browse and download files, upload files or chat with other users—all of which is exceedingly easy to do. Go build your own PirateBox and get sharing!



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Mobilya Modelleri

mobilya's picture

this kind of box. I wonder what's inside?

Fantastic concept but...

Veronica Hill's picture

What's the point of being able to share your files, if there's no1 to share them with? How many people have ever heard of Pirate Box? This is certainly my first time and I'm a huge nerd. Let's say I go fully mobile and take it to a public location, what are the odds of me finding someone who is looking for a pirate box as well? Probably slim. And if they did know about it, why wouldn't they try to bring their own? Then everyone's sharing with each other, yet nobody is connected to one another. Neat concept, but far from practical use.

Veronica @ http://www.bluepelicanloans.com/


bizworldusa's picture

One of the most fun aspects of a LAN party was exploring the shared files of all the other users on the network. There were people that would show up, solely for the file swapping. That is exactly what this project is about.PirateBox is a mobile p2p sharing and collaboration platform. Basically it is a wireless hotspot with a slick interface and a shared folder.


This will be useful for our

Cindy's picture

This will be useful for our last finals this coming Saturday. Well, that is, to set it up today so we can pass notes and the other files we have to one another via a centralized location. This way we won't have to format our own individual mess of files in a way that everyone in the group can understand.

I just got it to work in the

Cindy's picture

I just got it to work in the dorm. Instead of what we normally did before, now everyone can just grab what they want instead of interrupting studying just to ask for the USB again...walking back and forth,..getting frustrated...you know the deal. I must admit, we "kids today" are pretty spoiled in some ways with respect to how convenient some things are. I made a page (well took some notes) on how I was able to get it to work at school: (Actually my brother had to stand over my shoulder when doing it haha)

one question:

Arkanabar's picture

how do the dead-drop folks prevent their USB sticks from becoming malware vectors? For that matter, how does the Pirate Box prevent this?

is this essentially an ad

sean f's picture

is this essentially an ad hock network that you setup?

The is incredible!

plaguelock's picture

This is a totally awesome idea. I will have to make one my self now lol.

Source code

danitool's picture

Any link of the piratebox_0.3-2_all.ipk source code?


I believe it's on Source

MikeIEEE's picture

I believe it's on Source Forge somewhere but I have the documentation posted on my page: http://www.daplayersclubz.net/networksetups/linux.html