## building my own router

I hoped things would go more smoothly :)
Anyway, my new miniPC easily accepted CentOS 8 - no fuss here. And I've got to say - I love CentOS8 so far! Shell has amazing nifty tricks, UI (gnome3) is also snappy, video/audio/ethernet,.. everything works.

What I did NOT expect is hardware being off. Well okay, the price was low - it was obvious smth is not right. But still.. I decided to build my own router so that I could swap wifi card whenever I want. So that I could run my own network services in there. Turns out - the card swapping is not as easy as one might think.

I got the AX200 WiFi6 card for that very purpose. But once plugged in the OS can only see it's bluetooth module. Weird... What's even weirder is that even though the card is PCIe, the OS uses btusb module to talk to that device. What? USB?? emm.. What??

And there it is. After opening it up again I noticed that the mPCIe area is marked with a label: "USB WIFI / WWAN". USB? Does that mean this PCIe slot is wired into the USB bus? Not impossible I guess.

Googling for a "pcie wifi over usb" or smth like that brought me to one reddit (I think?) where someone wanted to build a DIY wifi mPCIe -> USB adapter and someone else adviced hime that (for some reason) at best he could only get bluetooth working (hey! just like me!). It's got to do smth with pcie channels and USB being too weak to handle all that load, or smth.. IDK, I'm not a HW guy.

Well that sucks then! I have a mPCIe slot that does not work as a PCIe. Shit! So I guess the best I could do is to plug back in the same wifi card that came with the device. It smells like 2003 - supports only g protocol. Fine, let's try that. Maybe I'll find a way to work around this mPCIe limitation later on (USB adapter or smth... except there are no USB WIFI6 dongles yet :( ). So I plug it back in and start turning it into a router. Disable NetworkManager, configure static NCs' settings, install dhcpd, hostapd, bind and others. Looks like all is done! Now it's time to start it all. systemctl start hostapd --> FAILED. wtf? journalctl says it could not initialize a driver. umm okay? Why? Forums say I should airodump-ng check and kill whatever's using that device. Fine. airodumo reveals avahi and wpa_suppl are still using it. kill, kill, GOTTA KILL 'EM ALL!! Starting hostapd again -- same shit... wtf?

iw list

My gawd... That shitty network card does not even support AP mode :( I mean.. My USB wifi dongle for 2€ supports 2x more modes, is faster, has better range and is easier to work with than this old tart!

Yeah. That was an interesting day. When enfironment engineers break my testing environments at work I'm glad I have where to spend my time now.

BTW any ideas how to bypass this mPCIe nonsense? Come on, there are USB GPUs out there.. Why can't they make a USB (or dual-USB if they really need to) mPCIe adapter?

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    I bypassed it by getting an Asus gt-ax11000 and using the pfsense separately for radius, dhcp, firewall, etc. 😣 Added a few mesh units for household coverage.

    Wifi6 is a little new for me to want to muck with, but I'll definitely be vicariously observing your efforts!
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    @SortOfTested oh, Linux DOES support wifi6, despite it being quite new! At least the Intel AX200 units. It's just that the support is a bit further in the future - you've got to get the 5.1+ kernel. So I just installed the newest mainline kernel for centos/RH available (5.5.7).

    I even installed one on my LinuxMint laptop. Now I have all my devices AX-enabled, except... I don't have what to connect them to :D
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    Interesting project... make me wanna try it also. = )
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    SInce you were the one who got me on the "build your own router" track :) Maybe you'll have some ideas
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    @Haxk20 why do you have to have such a weird name in the first place? :D I wrote it properly but the tag didn't work, so I had to fuck it up to make it work :p
    // no offense

    Too bad I can't afford a full-size PC due to heat and size restrictions :/ I gues I'll have to enjoy my wifi3 then :D

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    There are a lot of preconfigured NUCs out there... Even with 4 Port LAN.

    AMD/Intel, starting at 120 Euro...

    ARM Support has gotten alot better, but it's still - compared to X86 - a lot of fiddling necessary...

    Some of the NUCs are available with WLAN + antenna + ubuntu preinstalled...

    So no fun tinkering it together, but at least you can have fun with the OS and reinstall as u like what u like.
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    Is it USB 3? Otherwise, why even bother with Wifi6?
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