I am a member of a wireless community network called Freifunk (german page). To join in to the community, one has to set up a wireless device using the Ad-Hoc WLAN mode and run a specific routing daemon for the OLSR routing protocol. The firmware runs on Linksys/Broadcom wireless routers and compatible devices. Details on devices can be found in the readme.txt provided in the download directories. Some documentation about the Freifunk-Firmware can be found here:
Freifunk-Firmware is a specialised OpenWRT application. OpenWRT is in turn a Linux distro made by using the GPL sources for the device published by Linksys earlier under the GPL (see http://www.linksys.com/support/gpl.asp). OpenWrt is heading straight for an universal embedded Linux distro, whereas the Freifunk Firmware will stay with Linksys/Broadcom. There are plans to migrate as ipkg on top of OpenWrt/Kamikaze in the future.
Installation, customisation and administration of OpenWRT is a bit hard for normal users, even if they already have some wireless skills. While you may decide to do it all for you own, you are invited to try out this preinstalled OpenWRT with OLSR daemon and web based UI included.
Preview Web-UI (Languages)
Preview Web-UI (Variants)
Other Communities / Links
The Freifunk-Firmware project includes build scripts, sources for several small packages I wrote and some patch files needed to customise OpenWRT. A list of things to be included can be found here: http://styx.commando.de/sven-ola/ipkg/ and via anonymous CVS to the sourceforge repository:
cvs -d:pserver:email@example.com:/cvsroot/ff-firmware login cvs -z3 -d:pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvsroot/ff-firmware co ff-devel
The Firmware is based on OpenWRT/Whiterussian RC6 with a 2.4.32 linux kernel. Please read the readme.txt provided in the firmware download directory.
If you want to include a new template for a new UI variant (e.g. for your hometown mesh network) there are samples in ff-devel/webadmin/work/freifunk/template-*.html. Just drop a note if you want your customisations to be added here. Please note, that you do not have to compile for yourself to customise. Grab one of the files in the "kit" subdir and be sure to read the comments in the "gen-openwrt" script. A sample webserver "ff.cgi" script to generate firmware files in realtime with "compiled in IP address" is provided also.