mintCast 323.5 – Traveling Networker Problem (mp3)


In our Innards section, we talk travel networking and access

And finally, our listener feedback


Travel Networking

  • Joe
    • First get a travel router unless you want to set up one of your laptops as a hotspot
      • I suggest the GL.iNet GL-AR300M if you want a robust machine.
        • Comes stock with openwrt and 128mb nand flash which allows you to install applications.
        • It does not have 5ghz which is a con
        • Installed easytether and nano using opkg
      • Otherwise if you want a simple setup I suggest the TP-Link MR3040
      • Setting up a netbook as router with dnsmasq is not too difficult and while it adds to complexity in some ways it removes some in others
    • If not one of the routers that I suggested then try something that is 5v.  I know a couple of podcasters that stand by the HooToo TripMate Titan.
      • The 5v travel routers are nice because you can use any cell phone charger or a port on your laptop.  Any USB port.
      • Comparatively the 12v or higher voltage routers have more functionality but are more limited in where you can hook them up
    •  The point of getting a setup like this is that you can set the wifi to be the same name and password as the one from home
      • This means that everyone’s devices will almost automatically connect.
      • Because it is a different device you may have to tell your devices to connect to it the first time but the password will already be stored
      • This means that you will be able to take it to the grandparents house and just hook up the ethernet cable and everyone will be ready to go
    • This device can also be useful while traveling down the road.
      • You can set up a local area network in your vehicle and have one of your devices act like a server and provide media to all the other devices
      • Texas is a big place that takes a long time to drive across with many open spaces with very little cell connectivity
      • A simple low power device like a netbook or a pi which keeps things at five volts and a plex server can provide endless entertainment for the kids and passenger.
      • The server is why you need something that can set static IP addresses
    • Usually your phone is more than good enough for your listening needs but if phone memory is a premium it may also be nice to have a music server setup.
    • As for hotels the setup is mostly the same as for at the grandparents house with some addendums
      • Many hotels limit the number of devices that can be connected at one time.  The router is a good way around that
      • The easiest way to get up and running is to allow your phone to connect to the wifi and then use easytether to provide that connection to the router
        • This however can be limiting to speeds
        • You will also need to use the phones browser to get past whatever login screen the hotel has
      •  The next way to do it is a bit more complicated
        • Hook the router directly into the ethernet(if you are lucky)
        • Then you will need to connect your laptop to the router wifi and use ssh -l to forward port 80 and then go through the login screen.  All your other devices should then work fine
        • Also recommend using a vpn which I will cover soon
    • VPN
      • A VPN is a great tool while traveling
      • It has 2 main uses.
        • One is security
        • The other is giving you access to your entire home network without opening more than one hole
        • We have done other shows where we talked about how to set one up and why your public internet connections should always be encrypted.
    • Easytether
      • Pretty easy to use.  Need the android app and the server/drivers.
      • You need to go out to the easytether drivers website and grab the proper one based on the processor or operating system that you have
      • For the AR300M I needed the ar7xx drivers which I had to extract from the zip and push to the devices tmp
      • Then I used opkg to install and had to use the command easytether-usb to get it listening
      • I also needed to make that command run at startup which is a matter of adding it to the rc
        • Make sure the first line of your script reads:
          #!/bin/sh /etc/rc.common
        • Copy your script to the /etc/init.d/ directory
        • Make sure the execute bit is on
          chmod +x /etc/init.d/your script
        • Enable your script
          /etc/init.d/your script enable
          Your script should now have a symlink in /etc/rc.d/
          ls -lh /etc/rc.d | grep your script
        • Confirm your init script is enabled:asy
          /etc/init.d/your script enabled && echo on
          If this command returns on, then you’re all set. If this command doesn’t return anything, then your script isn’t enabled. Here’s an example of a script that’s enabled:
          root@OpenWrt:~# /etc/init.d/system enabled && echo on on
      • Also needed to add the interface for the network
cat  EOF /etc/config/network

config interface 'wan'

option ifname 'tap-easytether'

option proto 'dhcp'

      • On the phone you need to turn on developer mode and usb debugging
      • With a laptop running Ubuntu it is a matter of installing the drivers and then turning off your other interfaces before connecting your phone. You also will need the proper drivers for your device as well as adb.
      • Found out something very disappointing.  My cell company now detects easytether usage and throttles like any other tethering.  Yes I am still looking for a workaround.
  • Leo
    • Most of the apps I use are directly on my phone. Bring a pair of headphones with a mic, and I’m golden. Most of the time, I try to disconnect, though. Mental fortitude is at a premium!
    • If I need to access things at home from away, I have my VPN certs on both my phone and my laptop. Phone when I don’t have wifi, and laptop for when I do.
    • The Nextcloud desktop app is where I do all of my work like news articles, or accessing docs or pictures.
    • I can get to my VSphere host, my NAS and other little devices via VPN as well.
    • If I’m in a no service area altogether, Plex sync is fantastic. Fill up your device before you go, and you’ve got hours of watching/listening.
  • Tony Watts
    • Have a plan for NO connectivity
      • Local media on external HDD, for VAC
      • Bring portable set-top box or HDMI capable laptop, HDMI cable, to connect to a TV in hotel etc
      • Pro Tip: Bring a Raspberry Pi and set it up with both Kodi and Retropie (Batocera has BOTH – also there is a Kodi plugin for Retropie)
      • Scope nearby places with wifi, in case network is not good


  • David
  • Henrik Hemrin via (Re: 321.5 mp3)
  • KWisher (via MeWe, with response from MeWe)


  • Leo
  • Moss
    • Volla Phone Kickstarter – 300 Euro privacy phone, only needs $385k to get going, kickstarter ends SOON Dec 15, lots of cool things about this one. Runs AOSP with no Google apps but almost all Android apps, or can run with Ubuntu Touch. No US phone yet, Europe only.
    • Synaptic is 18 years old (unmaintained for the past 2 years)
    • MS Users Now can use Puppy with just a few mouse clicks (LICK Installer, no CD/DVD or USB stick needed) LICK can be used with any distro and is MIT licensed, but uses Puppy to demonstrate the concept.
  • Joe
    • One Netbook One Mix 2S Yoga
      • Same processor as the GPD Pocket 2 and same form factor. Just can rotate the screen 360 degrees. ($770!!! Can’t even use it as a phone – Moss)(IKR???!!!JB)
  • Tony W
    • ncdu – utility to analyze disk storage, what files/directories are using up your storage


  • Next Episode will be December 15, 2019, 2pm Central US time.


Before we leave, we want to make sure to acknowledge some of the people who make mintCast possible …

  • Josh for all his work on the website and the livestream
  • Bytemark Hosting for hosting and our Mumble server
  • for hosting our audio files
  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about (Thanks, Clem!)

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