Configuring Internet Sharing between an iMac running Snow Leopard, a Mac laptop, an Ubuntu netbook, and a Roku

The title lays out the scenario: we had an iMac running Mac OS X 10.6.2, connected to the internet via a DSL modem. We wanted to create a wifi network so we could get a Mac laptop, an Asus Eee PC 901 running Ubuntu GNU/Linux 9.10 (Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Karmic Koala), and a Roku Netflix player all on the net. Turns out you can use the iMac itself to create a wifi network. No additional equipment is required, just some tricky configuration.

Part One: Internet Sharing

This article was helpful, though I had to combine the main instructions with something suggested in the comments.

On the iMac:

  1. System Preferences->Sharing.
  2. Click on “Internet Sharing.”
  3. In the pull-down menu, “Share your connection from” Ethernet.
  4. “To computers using” AirPort.
  5. Channel: Automatic.
  6. Enable encryption.
  7. Select a 5-digit password. (Important for getting this to work with Ubuntu.)
  8. WEP Key Length should be “40-bit.”
  9. OK.
  10. Make sure the box next to “Internet Sharing” is checked.

    Now the Mac laptop should be able to join the wireless network.

    Log on to your Ubuntu laptop and we’ll configure the connection there.

  11. Right-click the network icon.
  12. Edit Connections->Wireless.
  13. Select the new wifi network and click Edit.
  14. Under “Wireless Security”, change “Authentication” to “Shared Key.”
  15. Save the changes.

Part Two: Roku configuration

These instructions were very helpful.

On the iMac:

  1. System Preferences->Sharing.
  2. Make sure the box is checked next to “Internet Sharing.”
  3. Applications->Utilities->Terminal.
  4. In the Terminal, enter this command: sudo cp /etc/bootpd.plist /etc/bootpd.plist.roku

    (It will ask for your password.)

  5. Now stop Internet Sharing by un-checking the box.
  6. sudo /Applications/TextEdit.app/Contents/MacOS/TextEdit /etc/bootpd.list.roku
  7. TextEdit will launch. Near the end of the text file, you’ll see this:

    <key>reply_threshold_seconds</key>
    <integer>4</integer>

  8. Change “4” to “0”.
  9. In TextEdit, File->Save. You can close TextEdit.
  10. In Terminal: sudo cp /etc/bootpd.list.roku /etc/bootpd.list
  11. Check the box next to “Internet Sharing” again.

You should now be able to connect your Roku to this new wifi network. You can double-check that your editing worked by, in Terminal, entering more /etc/bootpd.list and looking to see that “reply_threshold_seconds” is still set to “0”.

14 thoughts on “Configuring Internet Sharing between an iMac running Snow Leopard, a Mac laptop, an Ubuntu netbook, and a Roku”

  1. You rock my world. I used this to connect to a Windows XP laptop (using the $ hex advice from the article you linked to) and it totally worked.

  2. I’m running 10.5.8 on an Intel iMac and am not able to make this work. I have a standalone Mac, no existing network. Created one in Network>Airport, which Roku detects, but I can find nothing in any of my settings that looks like a WEP key or a passphrase. I did try the Terminal protocol above, but I get one of several responses: 1. nothing happens except Return to a next blank line, 2. No such command found, or 3. TextEdit opens to a blank window with the dialog box “The document bootpd.list.roku could not be opened. the file does not exist.” Any advice?

  3. You’re AWESOME! I was trying to set up a Roku player for my grandparents without introducing more pieces of hardware (ie a router), and this was a simple solution. Thanks!

  4. Fantastic post! I was amazed at how many postings I found prior to this that were made out of ignorance claiming “this just isn’t possible”.

    Well written, and spot on. Great job!

  5. There are a few errors on the instructions, I had to enter sudo cp /etc/bootpd.plist.roku /etc/bootpd.plist for the last set of commands for it to work. Or at least I think that is what finally made it happen 🙂

    Thanks for the help!

  6. I tried this and it didn’t work. Said the Roku file was not found so nothing opened in textedit. Now my network is not working for internet sharing. how do i undo this? help!

  7. in terminal, when it asks for a password, what password does it want? i tried the roku password, tried my macbook admin password, tried the network password. all 3 failed…

  8. Thanks–this worked great!

    But, yes, you have some typos–you said “list” instead of “plist” in parts of the instructions (Part Two).

    Ronna: this was your problem; TextEdit had the wrong file name
    Kiki: you need to enter your Mac admin password; you’re basically over-riding the permissions as admin

    Corrected steps:
    – step 6: sudo /Applications/TextEdit.app/Contents/MacOS/TextEdit /etc/bootpd.plist.roku
    – step 10: In Terminal: sudo cp /etc/bootpd.plist.roku /etc/bootpd.plist
    – step 11: Check the box next to “Internet Sharing” again.
    You should now be able to connect your Roku to this new wifi network. You can double-check that your editing worked by, in Terminal, entering more /etc/bootpd.plist and looking to see that “reply_threshold_seconds” is still set to “0″.

  9. Thanks! My hotel provided ethernet and wifi but my brand new Roku2 couldn’t authenticate through the wifi. These instructions helped make my hotel stay a fair bit better after sharing the ethernet connection over wifi.

    As a bonus this also let my Kindle 3 connect to the Mac.

  10. Thanks! Still working.

    Followed instructions with the Mark August 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm amendments and it worked instantly.

    However, no luck double-checking following the instructions:

    ‘in Terminal, entering more /etc/bootpd.list and looking to see that “reply_threshold_seconds” is still set to “0″.’

    This resulted in the message:

    ‘/etc/bootpd.list: No such file or directory’

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
    I spent two evenings researching w/ trial & error before I found this! You’re awesome!
    I was a little scared at first, since I am not at all familiar w/ terminal commands, and amazingly figured out the typos on my own (didn’t think to read the comments when it didn’t work at first). But after that the Roku works!!! Just like that. Wow!
    Thanks again.

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