The FON Labs just released a very beta download that turns your Intel based Mac or your Linux based computer (Ubuntu for example) into a FONspot.

I have been testing this download and it is really fun to use. For example at Kinnernet, I made a lot of friends when their WiFi went down and the only available WiFi was the one coming out of my Mac that was receiving internet signal with a 3G card. So next time there’s rip off WiFi somewhere, or no WiFi, you can take out your laptop with your flat data plan and be nice (a Linus Fonero) or entrepreneurial (a Bill Fonero) and help others connect.

Om Malik covers the news here.

The reason we don´t have it for Windows or Vista is that Microsoft handles WiFi in a way that makes it hard for a laptop to shift from being a receiver of WiFi signal to being an emitter of WiFi signal. But if anyone knows how to do this for Windows pls contact me at

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Juergen on April 25, 2007  · 

Hi Martin,
although not directly related… connecting to a FONera compromises a Foneros security as the connection is not encrypted (as with WAP, etc.) I just came across an article which describes a company that tackles that issue. . Might also be interesting for you?

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Alberto on April 26, 2007  · 

Martin, What are you laughting about? :).

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steven on April 26, 2007  · 

Hi Martin,

This kind of software allready exists for windows and can be found on :
I don’t have 3G card to play with… but it should work perfectly…
It even has features we lack in Fon…
support of 14 languages, You can TOTALLY customize your captive portal…there is just a bit of branding here and there,

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Michal on April 26, 2007  · 

Usually when I cannot do something under Windows I’m using coLinux.

coLinux is a clever piece of software which runs linux (with linux kernel and full distribution) under Windows, as a Windows service.

Maybe, with some tweaking it would be possible to run Fonera under coLinux?

I’m using coLinux on my laptop that way that it uses the same Ethernet port but is visible under different IP address.


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Stefanos on April 26, 2007  · 

I tried using fonspot on ubuntu, but I get this error message:

Error for wireless request “Set Mode” (8B06) :
SET failed on device wlan1 ; Device or resource busy.
/etc/fon_hotspot/fon_hotspot: 222: let: not found
/etc/fon_hotspot/fon_hotspot: 222: let: not found
Error for wireless request “Set Frequency” (8B04) :
too few arguments.
trap: 222: SIGINT: bad trap

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Albert on April 26, 2007  · 

The software has misdetected your wifi interface.

You should edit the /etc/fon_hotspot file manually and specify your correct interfaces uncommenting the following lines:

#uncomment these lines for manual configuration

wan_ifname should point to your internet connected interface and wifi_ifname to the wlan device

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Ksilebo on April 26, 2007  · 

Trying it on my Mac Mini before running around with it on my Macbook Pro, and its displaying everything in I think Spanish. How do I set it to be in English?

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bernard on April 26, 2007  · 

Buuaaaaah Martín!

Again, people forgetting about us Mac PPC processor people!

First Joost, and now Fon! 🙂

Do you have any timeframe on releasing a beta for Mac Powerbook (PPC processors) machines?

And yes, like Alberto asked, why were you smerking so much? Was the cameraman pulling faces? 🙂


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Anonymous on April 27, 2007  · 

/usr/local/sbin/fonspot: line 3: exec: wish: not found

thats the error I get when trying to run this on ubuntu 7.04

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Victor Martin on April 27, 2007  · 

Ksilebo, you’ve downloaded the spanish package. The english version is here:

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Victor Martin on April 27, 2007  · 

Steven, chillispot is not ported on windows. We have to search a windows hotspot software compatible with FON backend servers.

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Martin Varsavsky on April 27, 2007  · 


We did a first cut with Nina in which she said I was too serious. Then we did a second cut and she started making fun of me and that’s why I laugh.

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Anonymous on April 28, 2007  · 

Wheres the source code?

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Antonio on April 28, 2007  · 

Hi Martin,
good piece of script! I’m wondering if we can join your project with my ponte2 (wifi expander madwifi equipped device)…

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Jordi - FON on April 30, 2007  · 

Dear Antonio,
Thank you for testing our software! We are very interested on cooperarting with you. I guess your ponte2 project involves having a special hardware (usb dongle suporting madwifi driver), can you confirm and share with us how your system works and which OSes does it support?
Best Regards,

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Michael on April 30, 2007  · 

Please tell me, why the GUI of the software support spanish only? Unfortunately my spanish is not very good… ;-(

— Michael

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Dave on May 1, 2007  · 

I have the same problem as Stefanos. I edited /etc/fon_hotspot/fon_hotspot as Albert suggested.
I also commented out the first lines that try to guess the ifnames, and added eth1 in /etc/iftab because it was missing, but nothing changed.
Any suggestion?

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Matthias L. on May 6, 2007  · 

I switched just now to Ubuntu and I must find out all features. 😉 So I have a question: Where can I enable “Linux* Universal TUN/TAP driver (tun.o)” and “Runtime Tcl/tk”?

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Matthias L. on May 6, 2007  · 

I see, “Anonymous” has the same problem like me. I get the same error: exec: 3: wish: not found.

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Vincenzo on May 9, 2007  · 

Hi nice software, but there is a way to unistall his components on mac os x?

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miss a on May 10, 2007  · 

well, i installed the program, but it seems to be in spanish!!!
how come?
(just clicked the ‘mac’ link on the website….

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Martin Varsavsky on May 10, 2007  · 

miss a,

There´s in Spanish and English

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Fred on May 13, 2007  · 

Hi Martin,I began to translate FonMacSpot in French….That’s right for the interface…but I can’t translate the script…they’re locked…
Could you do something?
The link on FrancoFon:çais

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Simon on May 30, 2007  · 

How do you change the language in the interface to english?

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Victor on May 30, 2007  · 

Simon, you have to download the english version

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Simon on May 31, 2007  · 

If you go to
and download the Fonspot application, the download link is as follows:
which downloads the following file: fon_macspot_beta0.2_en.dmg
Which is not in english, but spanish.

But if you load:
you get file: fon_macspot_beta0.2_es.dmg
It is english.

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Mattias on June 10, 2007  · 

How come we Mac PPC users are left out in the cold…? No plans for inviting us?


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mortimer on June 15, 2007  · 

I installed Fon MacSpot on my iMac but at first login i didn’t get the form to register MacSpot, so it also doesn’t appear in my userzone. What can i do? Do i have to delete some kind of ini/config-file?
Thanks for your answer!
Best regards from Hamburg, Germany,


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drbrandus on June 15, 2007  · 


I tried it with Ubuntu 7.04.
in order to solve the errors you should edit /etc/fon_hotspot/fon_hotspot and replace the first line #!/bin/sh with #!/bin/bash

In order to use it you have to install tk8.4 and tcl8.4 using aptitude or synaptics package manager.

I could not register the fonspot on the network since I don’t have a second wireless adapter 🙁

3.0 rating

drbrandus on June 15, 2007  · 

Another comment:

with my network card (D-Link G630 using rt61 chipset) I had to exchange lines 135 and 136 of the above file /etc/fon_hotspot/fon_hotspot because the card went back into managed mode after setting the essid…

Hope it helps,

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drbrandus on June 26, 2007  · 

It worked!
I was able to navigate the internet through the fonspot connection…
but no form was presented at the first usage of the fonspot…

Anyone got it?

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clive darr on July 1, 2007  · 

GnewSense 6.06.01 only xmits in AD-HOC mode instead of Infrastructure so I can’t connect !

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Dag Forsén on July 4, 2007  · 

How do you uninstall the software?

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clive darr on July 4, 2007  · 

good question since it doesn’t work, there’s no documentation and no support !

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Alberto on July 5, 2007  · 

I installed Fon HotSpot on my Linux but at first login i didn’t get the form to register HotSpot. What can i do?


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Banian on July 8, 2007  · 

I install the mac version. But;
no form was presented at the first usage of the fonspot / so that I am still alien
no spots close to me to try connexion
Airport icon on my mac seems stange see :

Any one how make it work on Mac???

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CiccioKiò on July 14, 2007  · 

After some troubleshooting, my FonSpot is up and running on a desktop pc with Linux Ubuntu 7.
This computer has to work as a wi-fi router for my zone. But…
I couldn’t register my fonspot, so i’m stll an alien and there is apparently no way to become a linus if i don’t buy a fonera…
(I’m just waiting for Fonera 2.0, but i need fon now!)
I(we) like the idea behind this piece of software, so why don’t you(we) get it up and running, Martin? Thank you!

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blue on July 26, 2007  · 

I don’t know how to make it work on mac either – same problem as you. But the airport icon is strange because it shows that your computer is hosting a wireless network.

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hello on August 15, 2007  · 

I am getting the following errors, trying to actually start the FONSPOT server.

/etc/fon_hotspot/fon_hotspot: line 93: /usr/local/sbin/chilli_radconfig: No such file or directory
/etc/fon_hotspot/fon_hotspot: line 156: /usr/local/sbin/chilli: No such file or directory

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katayama on August 16, 2007  · 

It worked! on Ubuntu 7.04, but FC6. And I could connect to FON_LINUXSPOT AP by laptop PC with wi-fi. But, I couldn’t see regist page. Why?
And why the FON_LINUXSPOT works Ad-Hoc mode? It seems that infrastructure mode is better.

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hello on August 16, 2007  · 

Ok I fixed the previous problem. I was running the AMD64 version… Fonspot launches fine on i386 with TK8.4 installed.
So…. Fonspot is successfully started, but my new AP doesnt show up (checked with Network Stumbler).

If I check on Unbuntu with iwconfig — it says it’s running in MANAGED mode. So I manually set it to Ad-Hoc through

iwconfig eth1 set mode Ad-Hoc

but the new AP still doesn’t show up! (there is activity on my ZD1211 stick though!)

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Paolo on September 10, 2007  · 

The link of the MAC version of FON Spot are still wrong… if you download the english version you get the spanish one and viceversa…

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nolips on October 14, 2007  · 

I’m can not use it.
“NSReceiverEvaluationScriptError” is generated by Mac OS X(v10.4.10) of a Japanese environment.

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Karl on October 17, 2007  · 

Help – I can only find the Spanish version, no matter which link I use. ?!

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Leej on November 9, 2007  · 

OK so I have it working on my MAC Book Pro but there is no way to add it to my User Zone so even if an Alien used it I wouldn’t get paid.

When will we be able to configure it so that it associates the Mac Spot with our user zone?


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John on November 11, 2007  · 

Well it works on Ubuntu 7.10, with a Sprint connection via USB to my Palm Treo, took a while to get the FON login page but it cam up eventually. Now how do we get our OWN login page instead of Martin’s 🙂

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MarcoTO on November 16, 2007  · 

Well, I think that the FonSpot for Max & Linux it’s great!
I downloaded the “Spanglish” version and it worked at the first time on my iMac with Leopard.

I tried to connect to it with my Nokia E61i and I got it! But, trying to get to any website, I get the Fon Access page and it looks like I never cab get the full page on my mobile to log in.

Just a little doubt and remark: if from march you couldn’t fix the wrong version download link, who is really working on this project?

Take care,

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mika sjöman on November 19, 2007  · 

I agree, what is happening with this? What is the point for me to set up the FON Macspot, if I can not connect it to my userID? Great for FON, usless for me. Taking the crap software down now.
Sorry, that is the only way I see this software that started out as an good idea. You could have had soooo many more users if you let people share their connections via our WiFI cards. I also have a server, that I dont use at all and is on 24/7. If there was a VMware application, or a linux download preconfigured, I could had installed it on the server.
Guess that you easily could have doubled the userbase, many like me has wifi cards and a non compatible FON router, but now you are slowing yourself down. Really sad to see.

3.0 rating

Clifford on November 28, 2007  · 

anyone know where can I get the same kind of software for win?… I’m using 3G USB modem, thinking of a method to share the net work with my friends while we go out door together using laptop.

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David on November 30, 2007  · 

When I try to install on 10.5.1 an error shows:


Install Failed

Unable to install

The Installer could not install the software because there was no software found to install”

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iLM on December 17, 2007  · 

Well… The Leopard Installer Doesn’t Work.

i Open the “Installer Package” and then, when “start the installation” give me a error that say that the installation has Failed becuase no Installer has found on the package…

i try in different Mac’s and have the same problem. by the way i install the Tiger Version and its work…
And the Ubuntu Version and it Works…

Bye !

3.0 rating

cocodeschamps on December 26, 2007  · 

i have installed the linux fonspot on a debian etch, it work fine,i can connect to it with another pc, but how i can register my fonspot, any url except and redirect to an url ( and give me a blank page .

can help me ?


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Joke on December 29, 2007  · 

I had the same David’s problem (The Installer could not install the software because there was no software found to install) with Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.1).

But after
1. right clicking on the installer file
2. “Show package content”
3. browse to “Contents”>”Packages”
4. double click on “Fon Macspot”

the installation was successful

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Dave on December 31, 2007  · 

Maybe dumb question, but why is this not available for Windows platforms?

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daniel on January 12, 2008  · 

when I went through the instalation proccess after downloading, it would give me a popup screen saying you need to restart your computer when it was done installing. then it said installation failed because there was no software to be installed. I don’t get it, what should I do??

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daniel on January 13, 2008  · 

how do you right click in macs

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David on January 13, 2008  · 

Simply press the ‘ctrl’ key and whilst holding it down, click your mouse on the file or link

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Lucio on January 20, 2008  · 

I hade Joke’s same problem and managed to work as he did.
U can run the program (I’m on a ppc machine, wasn’t this only for IntelBased? how comes it runs on mine?) but it doesn’t works completally.
When I push the START button it actually claims to be anabled (and the airport icon on my menu-bar actually shows up the ad-hoc network) but after a couple of seconds it drops everything with the following error message:

“We couldn’t retrieve the configuration from our server.
We need to deactivate you hotspot now to keep your connection alive”

I’m running it on a 1.5Ghz G4 powerbook with leopard.

what does EXACTLY this message means? 😛 (the second part is a little bit “cryptical”)

I check on the tun/tap drivers and the kext are loaded properly.

Any suggestion?

thx for help

3.0 rating

Thomas Glud on February 17, 2008  · 

I have the same problem. “Couldnt retreive the information from the server. Needs to close to save your connection”. Whats for me to do?

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Marco Bertorello on March 3, 2008  · 

I’m a Debian Maintainer and I’ve packaged fon-linuxspot for this distribution (A .deb file avaible here:

I look for an official inclusion in Debian, but I’ve not seen any source code nor any copyright note on this software. Can you help me to understand if this is free software and/or if I can redistribute it?

Thanks a lot for reply and sorry for my english 🙂

3.0 rating

gb on March 13, 2008  · 

I have exactly the same problem as cocodeschamps. Did anyone find a solution?

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JERLINKKU on March 20, 2008  · 


I’m using ubuntu 7.10 amd64 version.. thats problem cuz i cant get it to work… =/

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JERLINKKU on March 20, 2008  · 

it gave me this same error as to some people.. changed names but still for some reason.. =(

Error for wireless request “Set Mode” (8B06) :
SET failed on device wlan1 ; Device or resource busy.
/etc/fon_hotspot/fon_hotspot: 222: let: not found
/etc/fon_hotspot/fon_hotspot: 222: let: not found
Error for wireless request “Set Frequency” (8B04) :
too few arguments.
trap: 222: SIGINT: bad trap

3.0 rating

Henning Harms on March 31, 2008  · 

I would like to know how to uninstall before I install… regards Henning

3.0 rating

lolo on March 31, 2008  · 

for those having problems with wish do:

sudo apt-get install tk8.4

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Mark on April 30, 2008  · 

“Posted by Thomas Glud – February 17, 2008 4:19 pm – #

I have the same problem. “Couldnt retreive the information from the server. Needs to close to save your connection”. Whats for me?”

In fact:

It works on my PPC emac interenet through ethernet and using airport extreme as the spot.

Start it, cancel the message ” Couldnt retrieve….” send the app to the doc, I can connect to the MACFON SPOT using my iPod Touch if I set its network prefs to router = the IP of my emac.

I guess its working just as an adhoc network therefore in the same way as Internet sharing would, without any involvement of the FON server/account.

As my eMac is better placed in my house than my router I can use my new SPOT around town as I live in the centre…. Ill test the security though first as I dont want others getting to my Mac network!

3.0 rating

deadrabbit on May 30, 2008  · 

i have installed fonspot, but now my wireless lan connection is lost. How can i rebuild it? I tried to delete some folders, but my wlan connection to my fritzbox didn’t work anymore

3.0 rating

alam on June 30, 2008  · 

I just downloaded & started fonspot on my debian etch.

it *seems* to work…. i mean it starts 😀 and I can see the “essid” from my phone.

but as I try to start the connection, is asking for a WEP key.
I though “garrafon” was the key, but answer is “Invalid Wep key”

thanks for your help

3.0 rating

Ed Berntsen on June 30, 2008  · 

Installed on PCLinuxOS 2007, FON_LINUXSPOT is vissible for other WiFi clients, but no handshake or DHCP.
Network card is eth0 3com 3c905
WiFi card is wlan0
Marvell Technology Group Ltd.(88w8335 (Libertas) 802.11b/g Wireless
with Ndiswrapper
Suggestions ??


3.0 rating

AcmeUK on August 7, 2008  · 

Hi Guys

I have installed the .deb package and the tcl/tk dependancies.

When I run fonspot I get “Application initalization failed: no display name & no $DISPLAY environment variable”

Can FONspot be run on a command line only server?


3.0 rating

Pedro Reis Colaço on August 27, 2008  · 

I am interested in this software. Is it being maintained? Can I help with any development?

Other thing that I don’t understand is why using a FONSpot we can’t be recognized as a spot for FON network. Am I missing something?

If it is a development issue integrating with chillispot, please release the source code for the community and it will get done for sure.

Maybe it would be worth it to give some more detailed explanations to the community about this software that I think may help extending the FON network very fast.

Good morning Martin and readers.

3.0 rating

AcmeUK on August 27, 2008  · 

Hi Guys

So it looks as though FONspot needs a graphical interface.

I now have 3 issues:-

1 I cannot find a coherent guide to installing the Linux* Universal TUN/TAP driver

2 I am running Xubuntu which detects and configures my Cisco Aironet 350 PCI card. Fonspot does not detect it!

3 Ubuntu doumentation indicates that “As of mid 2007, ChilliSpot appears to be dead.” see As FONspot is built on Chillispot is FONspot also dead???!!!!!!!

3.0 rating

jekader on March 22, 2009  · 

Hi, I can’t understand – why is the architecture not indicated for the linux package? Since it’s in binary form, as I understand it… Moreover, why does it need X to function? And if you don’t want to ship the source – you could at least pack the files into .deb and .rpm packages, so people could install and remove the program easily!

3.0 rating

Shib on May 30, 2009  · 

As has been asked a couple of times before: how do I uninstall this on OSX ?

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on May 31, 2009  · 

pls write to

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