Internal LAN setup
Some users choose to keep their "internal" LinuxMCE LAN separate from their "external" home LAN.
In such a configuration, the "external" home LAN has a router which provides the connection to the Internet (through a DSL/Cable/satellite modem or a T1 connection). This router will continue to provide DHCP functions, NAT firewall, and port forwarding for the external home LAN.
The LinuxMCE Core server connects to the external LAN router through one of its two NIC cards. It appears as a single device to the "external" home LAN. The Core will use an IP address on that NIC card that is consistent with the home LAN. For example, If the external home LAN uses the IP range 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.0.254, the Core will have an IP address within that range, such as 192.168.0.50.
To the "external" home LAN, in fact, the entire LinuxMCE LAN will appear to be a single device. The external LAN will only see the Core. The Core bridges all functions between the external home LAN and the internal LinuxMCE LAN.
The "internal" LinuxMCE LAN will have its own (different) IP range, in contrast. For example, if you have used the default setup options, that IP range will be 192.168.80.1 to 192.168.80.254. The Core server will be 192.168.80.1. The rest of the internal LinuxMCE LAN connects to the Core through the second NIC card you installed in the Core.
The other devices in the LinuxMCE LAN will connect to a switch or a second router (which can be a wireless router). That switch or wireless router will then connect to the second NIC card of the Core server. The CAT5 connection cable from the Core to the router should not be plugged into the WAN port of the router, but should be connected to one of the 4 (or 8, depending on your router) LAN ports of the router.
When a wireless router is used instead of a switch, the configuration of this second wireless router is very important.
- Connect wirelessly to this second wireless router, from a wireless laptop, for example. Choose the "View available wireless networks" option, for example, and connect to your new router. Open a browser and enter the web-based configuration page of your new router. Often this is http://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.2.1, depending on your brand of router.
- See your manufacturer's instructions for the default id and password for the router administration web page. Often the password is simply "admin" or "password". The userid is often either blank or "admin".
- You should name this "internal" router uniquely, such as "LinuxMCE_AP" or something like that. That way, when you "View Available Wireless Networks" you can distinguish the wireless router used for the LinuxMCE LAN from the wireless router used for your external home LAN.
- Don't forget to establish a security (WEP/WPA,etc.) password for the "internal" wireless router. Otherwise, anyone could connect to your LinuxMCE LAN wirelessly and control your home for you. This is usually set in the Wireless-->Security section of your router admin web page. You should set your passphrase (or key) and then set the same passphrase/key for any laptop or device that will connect to the router wirelessly.
- There ought to be a "Basic setup" section. On it there should be an "Internet Connection type." This is the way the router itself will get an IP address from the Core server's integrated DHCP service. You can leave this as DHCP or you can specify a Static IP. If you choose a static IP, you must set all the subsequent values. The static IP must be in the range 192.168.80.xxx (or whatever the IP range for the LinuxMCE LAN is). The gateway must be the Core server (e.g. 192.168.80.1) as must be the DNS server.
- Usually you can just leave this as DHCP and you will be ok.
- The next step is critical, however. You must disable the DHCP server settings in a section called "Network Address Server settings (DHCP)", or something very similar. This setting indicates whether the router itself will provide DHCP services. Since the Core server is providing the DHCP services, the router mustn't.
- Now you connect any LinuxMCE LAN devices to this router, either wired or wirelessly. (Note, however, that Media Directors should be connected in a wired fashion if you intend to netboot. Netboot doesn't work wirelessly for most people.)
- All devices connected to this router will be part of the "internal" LinuxMCE LAN, not the external home LAN.
- If you wish to use a device (such as a laptop) as part of the external LAN (and no longer part of the internal LinuxMCE LAN), simply change which wireless router the device (e.g. the laptop) connects to.
- Don't forget to allow any firewalls you may have to allow the new network IP ranges of both the LinuxMCE network and the new wireless router (e.g. 192.168.80.1 to 192.168.80.254 for the LinuxMCE LAN, as well as 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.254 for the new router). Note that the IP address range for your new router might be the same as or may be different to the IP address address range for your home LAN router. Don't worry about it. It makes no difference.