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November 8 2022 Tim Berners-Lee, certbot, OpenWrt and Home Assistant

Posted on November 12, 2022
( 4 minute read )

John said he had been at a hybrid meeting with Tim Berners-Lee the previous day when Tim Berners-Lee had explained what he meant by Web 1, Web 2 and Web 3. Web 1 was the era of static websites based on Netscape, though the original design of the web had included the possibility of editing it. Web 2 was the era of server based websites developed by programmers though his intention had been that the web should be WYSIWYG. The problem with server based websites was that the data was held on a server which was a long way from the user and had to be retrieved every time and which was not under the control of the user. Web 3 is about giving back to users control of their data by creating decentralised storage over which the user has control; so, for example, you would control your health records and give permission to your doctor to use them. Web 3 is being developed by the Solid Project which he invited developers to join.

John had asked about installing certificates on the old school association static website which he manages using certbot; it is not needed as there is nothing to steal but browsers are now marking it as insecure. The hosting provider, 123, is not listed on the certbot website as supporting certbot. David said you could ignore that and pointed to How do I install my free SSL certificate?, How do I manually install an SSL certificate on my cPanel hosting package? and How do I activate my free SSL certificate? which John will follow up.

Brian had picked up a Comtrend AR-5387un DSL router by a skip and showed how he had been able to get it working with OpenWrt. He had configured the default /etc/config/fstab in the Comtrend router following OpenWRT traffic NAT rules as follows:

config 'global'
option anon_swap '0'
option anon_mount '0'
option auto_swap '1'
option auto_mount '1'
option delay_root '5'
option check_fs '0'
config 'mount'
option target '/overlay'
option uuid 'be1c992d-f344-47a6-8638-0556bf707f36'
option enabled '1'

the UUID being that of the 8GB USB which he had added to hold OpenWrt because the router only had 16MB of flash but did have a USB port.

There is a good selection of videos on installing OpenWrt on Van Tech Corner — YouTube.

He had installed tailscale with

opkg update
opkg install tailscale
opkg install iptables-nft
tailscale up

and then followed the instructions on YouTube: Configure LAN port as WAN port to configure the LAN port as a WAN port.

Brian also demonstrated using Home Assistant to program the temperature and the lights in his house in the UK.

Text of configuration

David mentioned that, when you install OpenWRT, you can give names to IP addresses; however, in order to enable IPv6, you have to turn everything off and disable DHCP:

Screenshot of OpenWrt Interfaces & LAN configurationScreenshot of OpenWrt Interfaces configuration

as described in OpenWrt’s Wi-Fi extender / repeater / bridge configuration.