What does configuring an access point actually do?

I recently purchased, installed and configured a gl-ar750s-ext. Works great. I’m currently using it as an “access point”, which I configured via the web ui. I have a few follow on questions:

  • When I set the device “profile” as an access point, what does that actually do? Is “profile” the correct terminology? Does the change update some configuration files similar to using say uci? Or does it run a script under the covers? If it runs a script, what’s the script? I seem to be able to do something similar with luci, so perhaps it’s just a luci script.

  • I changed the profile fairly early, before I really understood what I was doing. I then resorted to ssh-ing into the device and changing configuration files with zile and/or uci. That’s fine, I learned bit along the way. If there’s a script to change router to access point, I’d like to augment it or create a second script. In my case, I changed the hostname, ssid’s, passwords, remove the guest ssid’s and installed some additional software (git, zile). I have a few of these devices, so I’d like to write a script and “do it once.”

  • I’d like to install and configure a multicast dns service on the device. https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-developer/mdns seems to guide me, but the commands don’t work. I’d like to avoid avahi because it’s large and “not openwrt” (whatever that means, I just invented the term).

These devices are neat and (in my mind) present an alternative to purchasing repeaters or mesh wireless. They’re also useful to experiment with. Nice job. Thanks.