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Automatically sign into the captive portal
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Description

I'm at an event at the moment and I really wish the captive portal login screen would pop up immediately.

What we have to be careful about is that we don't spy on people; if we ping a website to check connectivity, it should be something we already depend on like archive.ubuntu.com.

How do we do this in a way that's sanely-designed but not intrusive?

Event Timeline

tsimonq2 created this task.Wed, Nov 7, 5:51 PM
tsimonq2 triaged this task as High priority.
kc2bez added a subscriber: kc2bez.Wed, Nov 7, 5:58 PM
wxl added a comment.EditedWed, Nov 7, 6:14 PM

There's no consistency among captive portals, so automatic sign ins won't really be a thing. Even the methodology used (HTTP redirect, DNS, etc.) varies.

The way Chromium OS does it is by checking a particular page (hosted by Google, of course). If it cannot get the page or gets something other than a 204 response, it considers it a portal. This works for HTTP redirects and DNS servers that return local IPs. However, if no redirects are used and it's a standard DNS server but there's no connectivity outside of the local network, it'll get stuck.

So even big old Google hasn't solved this one. And for us, we don't even know how that page and the webserver serving it is set up. And we don't want to ping Google. And some people might not want it at all, or only in the event that their VPN or Tor is set up, so we'd need to work with that.

Rabbit hole's there if you want to dive in. Nice knowing you.

wxl added a comment.Wed, Nov 7, 6:15 PM

Pro tip: most are HTTP redirects. And they don't do HTTPS. I use http://http.rip to get the captive portals up reliably.

kc2bez added a comment.Wed, Nov 7, 6:22 PM

+1 on using standard HTTP.
If HTTPS is used, you will end up with certificate errors on most captive portals since the cert of the desired site won't match the captive portal.