I'd like to only have to configure OpenWrt (which runs as a VM) centrally. I'd like to avoid having access points spread around the premises that that also need configuration, updating, troubleshooting. And I have many of them. Even though the access points run OpenWrt, it's still a pain to work with as they are basically neutered routers turned into a dumb access point. So many things can go wrong ;(
Is there anyway I can hook up devices using Ethernet connections, that basically either serve as an access point which shows up in OpenWrt as an antenna or as an interface.
You can make your custom pre-configurations for the device and bundle them into a custom firmware.
You can then flash this firmware to your various devices; so the machine will be configured as you like by default.
It sounds like you're asking if it is possible to centrally manage your devices with a single-pane-of-glass type interface such as how Unifi works (among other systems). OpenWrt isn't really designed that way, so no, your ethernet connected APs are just ethernet devices out on your network, each of which will have its own configuration interface.
That said, as @lleachii said, you can roll out custom images to your devices so that they have the desired default configuration... once that firmware is installed, it will require little-to-no additional work to configure out of the box. But if you are doing anything and something goes wrong, just factory reset them and they go back to what you had declared as the defaults (rather than the standard OpenWrt default configuration). Similarly, you can just make backups of the working configurations and then restore those at any time.
I haven't tried doing this on OpenWrt, but there are some tools that may help you make a more centralized controller environment. Check out Ansible as one option, or Dawn as another.
Or, if a more purpose-built centralized management system is desired, you might look at investing in a specific hardware ecosystem like Unifi, Omada and others that build systems for higher end home and business type envrionments.
Thanks guys for your input. I'll have a look into it
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