LCWA LiveCD

The LCWA LiveCD is designed to be a “Swiss Army knife” tool for volunteers. You can burn it to a CD-R, or format a USB drive with it, use it with a computer, and launch a custom operating system that has documentation and tools for common radio setup and maintenence tasks. Once you’ve finished using the LiveCD, you can quit out, remove the disk/drive, and shutdown the system – and no trace of the LiveCD is left on the computer. While the LiveCD is designed to make many tasks easier, it’s mainly designed for knowledgable volunteers, so if you’re not one, ask about how to use the tools on the LiveCD before trying to use it.

Changelog

V1.6.3:

  • Updated programs to fix several potential exploits/vulnerabilities.

V1.6.2:

  • Nanobeam firmware added.
  • Updated programs, which fixes several potential exploits.
  • Minor cleanup and tweaks.

V1.6:

  • Changed default Ubiquiti firmware to 5.5.8. Please note that unless you need features in the new firmware, you don’t need to upgrade your radio at this time.
  • Added IcedTea Java web plugin for running AirView, etc. Please, do not browse the internet without disabling this plugin first. Linux is vulnerable to Java exploits. You can disable IcedTea in the browser by going to the “tools – Add-ons” menu item, then selecting the “Plugins” tab and selecting “Never Activate” under the IcedTea listing.
  • Documentation and filesystem cleanup, changed boot screen and wallpaper on 64-bit version to distinguish it as such.
  • Updated to latest versions of programs from Debian Stable repository.

V1.5:

  • Initial release. Includes Java JRE for running radio discovery tools, but no web browser plugin.
Features

You can watch a video walkthrough of version 1.5 of the LiveCD here:

Password is “LCWA” (without the quotes).

Network Presets

Change the PC’s network settings simply by clicking on the network icon on the top right of the screen (looks like two monitors), then selecting the subnet for the device you want to access.

Offline Documentation

Offline LCWA Wiki documentation for the most common tasks that volunteers will be doing, including radio setup, router setup, physical installations, etc. Manuals for both Ubiquiti and Tranzeo radios are also included.

Radio Discovery Tools

For both Ubiquiti and Tranzeo radios. No matter the network settings you’re using, these tools should allow you to find the address of a radio connected to the computer’s ethernet port.

Note: The Tranzeo tool and documentation is only provided for repurposing old Tranzeo radios as short-range outdoor extenders for the member’s router network. Tranzeo radios are no longer in use as part of the LCWA network. Do not attempt to directly use a Tranzeo radio on the LCWA network. You will degrade service for yourself and other members..

Firmware

Firmware for Ubiquiti radios. Includes MD5 checksums for verification (you’ll need to use md5sum from the Terminal. See below). Also included are previous firmware versions, but these are only for advanced users who know what they’re doing. Unless you are specifically told otherwise, do not load any of the older firmwares on a radio.

Command-line tools

You can get to all the command-line goodness by opening a terminal window. There’s a shortcut icon that looks like an old-style computer monitor at the bottom bar of the desktop.

  • ping is the easiest way to figure out if your connection to a radio is working or not. Just type:
   ping -c 10 172.16.X.X

Replace the “X”s with the proper subnet address values of the radio. The “-c” option limits ping to a set number of pings (in this case, 10). You can stop ping at any time by hitting Ctrl-C.

If you get a “no connection” error, you may want to check your settings and try again.

  • traceroute can help you figure out how many “hops” your PC/radio is making to connect to a particular address. Type:
  traceroute 172.16.X.X

Replace the “X”s with the proper subnet address values of the radio, hit Ctrl-C to quit at any time.

  • htop is a great resource monitor to let you know how much RAM and CPU power is currently being used. You can use the arrow keys to scroll up and down the list of processes, then hit “q” when you’re done.
  • nmap is a general tool for messing around with a network. For people who know what they’re doing.
  • wireshark is actually a graphical tool, but it’s one of the best ways to observe network traffic. This is useful if you’re trying to figure out weird traffic that a radio is sending over an ethernet connection (or wireless, if you have a Wi-Fi chip in the computer you’re using). Also for people who know what they’re doing.
  • iftop is a tool for figuring out what programs on the LiveCD are accessing the network. Also for people who know what they’re doing.
  • md5sum is a simple utility for determining whether a file has been modified. In this case, it’s included on the LiveCD to check radio firmwares before using them to update a radio. Simply go to the firmware directory by typing:
   cd ~/NEW\ -\ Ubiquiti\ Radios/Ubiquiti\ Firmwares/

then type:

   md5sum XM-v5.5.6.build17762.bin

Compare the output with the MD5SUM file by typing:

   more MD5SUM

If the two sums match, you’re good to go. If not, your CD or USB key may be corrupted somehow.

With any of the command-line programs, you can get more complete documentation by typing “man” before the program name, e.g. “man nmap”. You can then use the up and down arrow keys (as well as the PageUp and PageDown keys) to navigate, then hit “q” when you want to quit the man page.

Other than the above instructions, remember to ask for help if you get stuck. Good luck!

ISO Images

In addition to asking for a copy from another member, or posting on the tech mailing list, you can download the most recent ISO images here. To verify the integrity of the image, use sha256sum from the command line/prompt. If you’re on Windows, you can download sha256sum.exe from here:
LCWA LiveCD V1.6.3 for 32-bit processors (Generally the most compatible version. If unsure, get this one first.):

 

sha256sum: 1a2727d495e7cef5b0f653c9cbddb1185b8842b7bd4ee865ad804e309cfba36c
LCWA LiveCD V1.6.3 for 64-bit processors:

sha256sum: 0eb0c25f7348945f0c5a4b094bbf49fef69c50d9b66768fdec5d86a2c6691bf5
For the paranoid, here’s some PGP/GPG/etc. .asc signatures for the releases:
LCWA LiveCD V1.6.3 for 32-bit processors

LCWA LiveCD V1.6.3 for 64-bit processors and the public key that can be used to verify them: PGP Public Key

Feedback

If you encounter any bugs with the LiveCD, please post on the tech mailing list so that we can help you and improve the LiveCD.