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captive portal

asked 2014-12-20 03:03:50 -0600

basilicum gravatar image

In fc21 is says there is a captive portal in the workstation installation package.

Could some one explain what functionality that would provide for me as a home user ?

And what does the sentence mean that the servers of Fedora are involved ?

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answered 2015-04-21 01:29:58 -0600

guss77 gravatar image

Fedora 21 features "Captive Portal detection". A captive portal is a mechanism where a WiFi network allows access to its resources only after a user visits a website and clicks through some ToS or something. This is done by the WiFi access point capturing all internet traffic and redirecting it to the web page, so no internet access is available until the "sign-in process" is complete.

This is mostly annoying for mobile users, as these captive portals are used in train stations and coffee shops, and the captive portal system is often buggy and doesn't redirect you back to the web site you intended to go to, instead showing you ads or directing you to the web site of the WiFi owner.

Fedora, at least using GNOME shell, has a captive portal detection feature, where when you connect to a wireless network, Network Manager will check if you have full access to internet services and if not, GNOME will pop up a small web browser window with the captive portal log in screen. As soon as you log in, the captive portal window goes away and no actual browser windows are harmed in the process.

While this feature very useful for mobile users, even if you spend most of your time at home then its a good idea to have this on - captive portals are common now days in municipal WiFi, Hotels and conference halls, so if you'll ever use any of these you'd want this feature. Granted - it is completely useless for a desktop system permanently plugged into the wall.

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Asked: 2014-12-20 03:03:50 -0600

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Last updated: Apr 21 '15