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What is the correct way to run a WIFI access point on Ubuntu server 18.04 LTS?

  • Netplan / systemd-networkd (as installed by default) doesn't support AP mode.

  • Networkmanager (apparently) only works on Desktop edition.

Will reverting to ifup/down allow this?

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After some research and experimentation I found that if you configure the wifi interface as standard ethernet, then netplan will assign it an address but won't interfere with the wireless side of it.

You can then use hostapd to handle the access point. Ensure that wpa_supplicant is not running or hostapd will emit incomprehensible errors about being unable to configure the driver.

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network-manager does work on server, despite not being included by default; if you are comfortable configuring network-manager from the commandline (using nmcli or nmtui-edit), this is an option. Otherwise, ifupdown is also supported in Ubuntu main in 18.04 and you can certainly install and use it for any network configuration requirements not currently supported by netplan.

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