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Is there an easy way to configure Ubuntu laptop as access point? Sometimes when I only have cable connection to the internet I would like to give my gadgets access to the internet using WiFi. Is it possible?

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It is possible, and there are various ways to do so. One way would be to use an ad-hoc connection, and the other way to setup a real access point.

http://www.raphink.info/2009/01/setting-up-access-point-with-wpa-on.html covers how to setup the latter. The instructions were written for Ubuntu Intrepid, so I cannot guarantee that they still work ; there might be some adjustments to make.

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It depends on your wifi card. Not all cards are capable of acting as an AP. I have had most luck with the MadWiFi drivers on ubuntu, but it was a year since I last tried. From my experience there is no pretty GUI that works, and the CLI configuration is painful.

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