Major firmware projects (build environments)

OpenWRT OpenWrt? is described as a Linux distribution for embedded devices. Instead of trying to create a single, static firmware, OpenWrt? provides a fully writable filesystem with package management. ... OpenWrt? is the framework to build an application without having to build a complete firmware around it.

m0n0wall Embedded Firewall based on FreeBSD that can run from embedded devices as well as PC's. The Captive Portal software included with it allows for button/AUP pass through, as well as authentication using Radius. I believe the captive portal is currently based on iptables rules (similar to WiFiDog) and implements RADIUS in php. Though, I hear they are looking into supporting CoovaChilli?.


A firmware said to have been based on Sveasoft, but takes also from OpenWrt?, and is sometimes questioned concerning the GPL status of it's web interface and the use of techniques to make modifying the firmware difficult.

Firmware configuration management

CoovaAP OpenWRT based firmware specialized for hotspots and strives to support all the features of CoovaChilli?, including integration with 802.1x. Provides ability to use CoovaChilli? with any service provider or to use an embedded captive portal. Also supports WiFiDog.

Luci / x-wrt X-Wrt is a set of packages and patches to enhance the end user experience of OpenWrt?. It is NOT a fork of OpenWrt?. We work in conjunction with the OpenWrt? developers to extend OpenWrt?.

Gargoyle Gargoyle is an interface for small, widely available routers such as the Linksys WRT54G series and the La Fonera. It provides functionality above and beyond what the default software provides including sophisticated dynamic DNS, quality of service, and bandwidth monitoring tools. The primary goal is to provide a polished interface for these advanced tools that is at least as easy to configure as any existing firmware. Gargoyle is based on top of the most recent Kamikaze release of the OpenWrt? firmware, but unlike other Web interfaces for OpenWrt? it places a strong focus an usability and is meant for average users, not just power users.


An OpenWRT based firmware.

Access Controllers

CoovaChilli? CoovaChilli? is a feature rich open-source software access controller that provides a captive portal / walled-garden environment and uses RADIUS for access provisioning and accounting. CoovaChilli? is based on Chillispot which provides a layer 2 access controller. It provides DHCP services, does initial URL hijacking, RADIUS, and packet switching all from a single, non-threaded, server process.


WiFiDog, nodogsplalsh, m0n0wall, and others use iptables for initial HTTP hijacking and a server process to handle login and accounting. WiFiDog uses HTTP status updates, whereas I believe m0n0wall does RADIUS from php code.


Nightwing Nightwing allows the creation of fast deployment wireless networks and without the need to make complicated configurations that allows the extention of the network. From the implementation of a Mesh technology called B.A.T.M.A.N, Nightwing allows the extention of Wireless Network with the simplicity of adding devices and that works with a minimal human intervention. It uses Accton-chipset hardware (open-mesh, Meraki, FON) and Wifidog.

Open-Mesh (hardware) Open-Mesh creates ultra low-cost zero-config, plug & play wireless mesh network solutions that spread an Internet connection throughout a hotel, apartment, neighborhood, village, coffee shop, shopping mall, campground, marina and just about anywhere else you can imagine. We provide all the components you need: routers, indoor wall-plug and outdoor housings and free hosted / control software. You can set the bandwidth users get, design your own splash pages, and even easily add billing and user management options via several third-party solutions.

OrangeMesh? (dashboard) OrangeMesh? is a network management dashboard for ROBIN wireless mesh networks. It provides powerful network status visualization tools and a centralized network configuration for your networks. And it's specifically designed for community wireless networks, with tools to help manage community members and to grow your network organically. You don't have to install OrangeMesh? to run a ROBIN network. You can use the free hosted dashboard available at, the default dashboard for ROBIN nodes. If you ever decide to run your own dashboard server with OrangeMesh?, you can do that later: both dashboards can be used together.

R.O.B.I.N. ROBIN is an Open Source mesh network project. It spreads a wired DSL internet connection throughout an apartment complex, neighborhood, village or school, and work on a variety of commonly available, low-cost Atheros AP51 routers such as: Open-Mesh mr3201a, Meraki Mini, La Fonera, Ubiquiti LS/NS and others. All you need is power-on the devices and connect atleast one of these (gateway node) to a DSL uplink/router so that all others (repeater nodes) can share Internet connection via the open AP and the private (WPA-PSK protected) AP.

O.L.S.R. The OLSR daemon is an implementation of the Optimized Link State Routing protocol. As such it allows mesh routing for any network equipment. It runs on any wifi card that supports ad-hoc mode and of course on any ethernet device. OLSR is next to AODV one of the main two internet standards for mesh networks. It is widely used and well tested. (currently the recommended option on


Portals — Content Management & Social Networking

Drupal Widely used content management system with strong community features. Relevance: Tool for portal pages.

Wordpress Widely used content management system that is easy to hack on. Relevance: Tool for portal pages.

BuddyPress? BuddyPress? is a suite of WordPress? plugins and themes that transforms WordPress? MU into a social network platform. Relevance: Supports WP as a tool for portal pages.

Pylons Flexible Python web framework Relevance: Someone from the Wifidog community is already running a captive portal implementation based on Pylons.

Hotspot Module for Drupal The Hotspot modules provides integration between Drupal and captive portal access controllers. Currently, only CoovaChilli?, an open-source access controller (based on ChilliSpot?), is supported. With CoovaChilli? configured to use this module within your Drupal site, your portal becomes the captive portal of your wireless (or wired) network. Service providers

CoovaAAA CoovaAAA is a free Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting service. You can use this service with WPA/WPA2 Enterprise WiFi? routers or captive portal hotspots - pretty much any device or application that supports RADIUS. Using the Coova HotSpot? Facebook application, you can now use Facebook as your captive portal landing page and have yourself and your friends automatically logged in. CoovaAAA also supports OpenID authentication.

CoovaOM Plugin for dashboard to use CoovaNET/CoovaAAA.

Chillifire Hotspot Software GPL code for the paid "ChilliFire?" hotspot service. Think it's client software. Also "Chillifire Wireless Repeater Software

A commercial and free (I think) service. Support both Chillispot and CoovaChilli?.

A commercial hotspot system. Support both chillispot and CoovaChilli?.

Sputnik A commercial hotspot system. Supports only their own proprietary access controller software required on the router.

Wireless Orbit

A commercial hotspot system. Supports CoovaChilli? among other RADIUS based access controllers.


Commercial package that provides hotspot management, user billing and a nice web dashboard. Custom firmware for Broadcom and Atheros routers. $2000 for a full license, or $190/month hosted solution. Firmware based on CoovaAP and open-mesh. The platform is said to be based on pfsense and some question it's open-source licensing and compliance.


Similar to wifi-cpa with questionable open-source licesning and compliance.


OpenID OpenID is an open, decentralized, free framework for user-centric digital identity.

WISPr WISPr is a draft protocol submitted to the Wi-Fi Alliance that allows users to roam between wireless internet service providers, in a fashion similar to that used to allow cellphone users to roam between carriers. A RADIUS server is used to authenticate the subscriber's credentials.

RADIUS Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS) is a networking protocol that provides centralized Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) management for computers to connect and use a network service. Because of the broad support and the ubiquitous nature of the RADIUS protocol it is often used by ISPs and enterprises to manage access to the Internet or internal networks, wireless networks, and integrated e-mail services. RADIUS is a client/server protocol that runs in the application layer, using UDP as transport.RADIUS serves three functions: to authenticate users or devices before granting them access to a network, to authorize those users or devices for certain network services and to account for usage of those services. Carrying Location Objects in RADIUS and Diameter - This document describes procedures for conveying access network ownership and location information based on a civic and geospatial location format in Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS) and Diameter.


Personal Telco's painfully comprehensive list of portal software.