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[Freedombox-discuss] [ask] booting and configuring

So there was quite a discussion on this topic of different ways to do 
it. I wanted to propose an other solution I don't think I've seen mentioned.

Linksys sells these "Valet" routers that use a usb dongle to 
automatically configure and pair your computer to the router.  I think 
this is a great, secure, and simple model for dealing with 
configuration.  You do not need to have your freedombox both plugged in 
and physically near your computer to make it work, and the USB dongle, 
which is really nothing more than a small flash drive, lets you easily 
and securely sneakernet between your PC and your device.

I imagine the following process:
- Freedombox comes with the dongle inserted.  Connect it to your network 
(if wired) and turn it on.
- When it boots, it will write a public key out to the dongle, along 
with some other information about your particular box.  After its done, 
a light changes to let you know.
- Take the dongle and put it in a PC.   The dongle can contain:
    - Apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux that walk you through the basic 
network configuration and creating and exchanging keys between your PC 
and the freedombox.
    - If you are worried about the security of your installed OS, the 
dongle could be bootable as well.
- The configuration established on your PC is written to the dongle.
- Connect the dongle to your freedombox, and it will read the 
configuration, put itself on the network, etc.
- The box can then backup some critical data about its idenity to the 
dongle, and you can then go and put it in a safe or something.

Not all of these steps need to happen, but I think using USB storage as 
the main interface creates the most ease and compatibility possible.

If anyone has worked with one of these Valet routers, maybe we can look 
into how they do it.

On 03/14/2011 10:03 PM, Thomas Lord wrote:
> Opinions and speculations requested, please.
> What is our group vision about this:
> I mail off a headless freedombox to some non-hacker
> friend (who, let's assume, has a computer
> and Internet connection at home already, but
> who isn't a sysadmin or anything close).
> He opens it up.  Plugs it in / turns it
> on.   The package, I hope, has one page of
> instructions about how to configure the
> freedombox and start using it.
> What does the process look like?
> Does my friend have to have wifi?
> Or a spare ethernet cable and a router
> with a spare slot?   What if his wifi
> is password protected?   Does he
> telnet to the box?  Use a web browser?
> Or does it include a (possibly tiny, minimal)
> display and my friend is supposed to plug
> in a keyboard?
> What is a realistic and desirable "vision"
> for the "first 10 minutes" experience?
> -t
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> Freedombox-discuss at lists.alioth.debian.org
> http://lists.alioth.debian.org/mailman/listinfo/freedombox-discuss

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