I'm building a device that includes an embedded Linux computer and I need to allow the device user to (easily) configure the device to connect to their wired or wireless network.

I know there are technologies on the horizon which might make this easier, such as ProbMe, but I need a solution I can implement now using standard wifi equipment.

As I've seen done for some wireless equipment, an embedded web server could allow the user to start with a wired connection, connect to an embedded web server, and setup their wifi that way. Is there a commodity such web server app, or is this something everyone rolls their own of?

Even with an embedded web server, establishing a wired connection to said server is potentially beyond the skills of basic users as they'd have to change the host computer's static IP address and navigate their browser to an IP-based address. Again, does anyone know of something off-the-shelf for this sort of thing, or is this just something developers handle anew for each product?

This seems like an increasingly common problem as we move towards the IoT, so hopefully there are reusable components to be had here. I've searched around somewhat, but it's actually a little tricky to search for something as odd as a web server to configure an embedded internet client. Anyone know of anything?


I still haven't found anything in terms of a configuration web server as stated in my question, but this article addresses the general problem really well and lays out the current options. Essentially options include:

  • Wi-Fi protected setup including
    • USB flash drive configured from an AP (rare)
    • PIN
    • Push button (possibly the best solution when there is access to the AP)
    • NFC
  • Access Point (AP) mode - device initially acts as an AP; connected to and configured (very attractive for initial setup but could be problematic for changes - maybe add a button that resets the device back into AP mode, or have it auto-revert when it can't successfully communicate)
  • Ad-hoc mode
  • Vendor specific solutions
  • Bluetooth - setup device's Wi-Fi through a mobile app

Of these, only AP Mode seems to me like a full-proof method that could work in home, business, and industrial settings. It could even offer the feature that connected clients would be auto-redirected to the configuration page, like public Wi-Fi services often do. It would be great if someone developed an open source such a solution for the major OSes. Anyone know of anything?

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