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Using USB CDMA modem to setup a home/private WiFi network

The idea here is to give a ‘how-to’ on setting up a a home WiFi network using mobile, CDMA based USB modem, hoping that bandwidth that you obtain from this service is satisfactory :-) Hardware Requirements: Linux PC/Notebook/Netbook Wifi Access point connected to ethernet port of the Linux box CDMA-1x USB Modem (Device used: Reliance M880) Software/OS Requirements: Linux Operating System with “usbserial” and “cdc_acm” device driver modules “pppd”, “wvdial”, “iptables”, and “dnsmasq” applications and their dependencies installed on the System Setup: The steps followed in setting up this CDMA based connectivity can be split into 3 steps, as follows. Configuring kernel modules for auto-loading at bootup Configuring “wvdial” application for dialup / ppp connection Initializing / starting the CDMA modem connection Setting up “iptables” for NAT forwarding Setting up “dnsmasq” for resolving DNS and as DHCP server Configuring kernel modules for auto-loading at bootup Open

Custom d-i banner for your Debian blend

The GUI version of the Debian Installer (d-i for short) comes with a pinkish banner with Offical debian logo and GNU/Linux text embossed. If you are going to use live-installer tool to create a Debian Blend you may as well like to have your own d-i banner for your blend. Here are the quick steps:

  • Open GIMP image editor tool and create a new image of size 800x75 pixels. 800 corresponds to vga=788, which is the default command line option for vga, passed in boot menu.
  • Create the banner that suites your tastes and save the image as banner.png
  • Select menu->image->Flatten Image to flatten the image (i.e., remove Alpha) and save it again.
Now, your banner is ready to use. You can use a custom binary-hook script in live-helper such as the following, to get your banner replacing the original d-i banner. The below hook is derived from live-helper configuration for Webconverger.

#!/bin/sh
# This is an binary hook for live-helper(7) to overwrite the banner
# in the graphical Debian Installer. To enable it, coppy or symlink
# this hook into your config/binary_local-hooks directory and add a
# replacement banner.png at:
#  config/binary_local-includes/binary/install/banner.png

# The file should be a PNG image of dimensions 800 x 75.

set -e

TARGET_INITRD=”binary/install/gtk/initrd.gz”
REPACK_TMPDIR=”unpacked-initrd”

# cpio does not have a “extract to directory”, so we must change directory

mkdir -p ${REPACK_TMPDIR}
cd ${REPACK_TMPDIR}
gzip -d  ../${TARGET_INITRD}
cd ..
rm -rf ${REPACK_TMPDIR}
Then, go ahead and build your Debian blend with debian-installer option enabled in your live-helper configuration. If all goes well, you should see your custom banner in d-i (Graphical install option).

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