[avahi] I'm building a mesh network and was wondering if someone would lend some advice - yeah that topic again.

Jesse ki4jgt at gmail.com
Sat Apr 30 22:43:42 UTC 2016


My name is Jesse Cox. I am in the process of building a mesh 
walkie-talkie network running off of 802.11 towers. I'm wanting to build 
this to promote open communication hardware and to further global 
communications. I'm writing a python server at the moment (not very big) 
to direct packets through the network. I intend to start small and work 
my way up to a global presence by connecting multiple sites through the 
Internet using P2P. That's the plan but at the moment, I am only working 
on local meshing.

My problem:

I'm new to networking (both conceptually and practically). I can write 
modules to broadcast and transfer data through my network just fine but 
when mesh comes along, it kind of messes everything up. Everyone else 
I've spoken with has either said mesh was way over their heads or they 
didn't know a thing about it. So though I get how a network works, I 
don't get how the individual protocols and programs which maintain them 
work. I know about dchp and routing tables and domains but I don't KNOW 
about them. I don't want to spend a month learning all the protocols 
either when what I need is simple (conceptually anyways). I need a 
network which can act like a normal LAN. I don't want to use any of the 
other networking protocols (B.A.T.M.A.N.) because it seems like there's 
too much overhead there to just forward a simple message through the 
network to whomever requests it.

Here's how I setup my mesh:

     sudo iw wlp2s0 set type ibss
     sudo rfkill unblock wifi * my raspberry pi doesn't have rfkill and 
I don't really need it because it's running server and wifi doesn't 
"just work" with a server.
     sudo ip link set wlp2s0 up
     sudo iw wlp2s0 ibss join Network 2412
     sudo avahi-autoipd wlp2s0 -D -w --force-bind

I do this for both devices. This is all fine and dandy for towers. It 
will allow me to send messages between all my towers and get them to the 
locations they're supposed to be using shortest path determined by 
broadcasting and relaying udp packets through the network (correct?). My 
problem is mobile devices; if someone has a tower in their vehicle, how 
will that mess with the network (how does one auto-refresh every few 
seconds to deal with this or does one have to)? Lastly, how does other 
hardware connect to the network (hardware: computers, phones, tablets, 
handheld computers, etc; which doesn't have avahi installed) and can 
they be mobile?

Thanks for all your help. I'm grasping at straws at the moment so any 
information will assist me. Have a great day.

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