Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Putting Linux on my Linksys WRT54G V5 router.

I've been pondering about doing this for some time; putting Linux on my Linksys router. Some people may say I'm crazy with my recent all-out switch to Linux. I can't stress how much this means to me, just to get away from the proprietary chains, Microsoft products are crap; it takes years to get a platform that's decent, by the time it's actually stable and usable there is another platform that's being launched. Nothing like Vista, I don't think I've ever saw Microsoft this aggressive.

I don't know about you but I don't want to be a forced Beta Tester, especially when I'm not being paid. I recently got a laptop for free from a friend of mine, he purchased this laptop used about a year ago, since then it's been giving him nothing but trouble. I have tried several times to diagnose the issues, once I even formatted it, with no luck. Needless to say he bought a new Laptop with x64 XP, it's very nice.

I took this laptop home and attempted to install Gentoo, after 2 days of compiling I gained a lot of interest in Kubuntu. I currently have a Ubunutu gaming-box which serves as my main machine. Well I needed wireless, I have a few Linksys routers/ap's lying around the house these days so I whipped one out and attempted to install it on my domain. To my dismay Linksys doesn't make it so easy, the router isn't compatible with other routers, not even using uplink and disabling DHCP.

So what else to do, > INSTALL DD-WRT!! The v5 access points are not as friendly; the community refers to these as 'neutered' because they have half of the cache and RAM as their big brothers v4, 3, 2 and 1. I started to gather some information about which packages I need etc to get this working.

First I reset the routers' factory settings, then I joined the Administration tab > Firmware Upgrade. Proceeded with the upgrade, screen went white and I hard-rebooted the router. Now I connect to the routers' IP VIA HTTP once again and now I see I'm in management mode, I proceed with the install of the Linux Prep package.

Now the fun begins, after one more reboot the router is basically in a limbo mode; generally if I were using a Windows box I would just download the TFTP client that Linksys has available for download that would have saved a few quick steps, here is what I had to do;

# cd /home/misconfig/
tftp 192.168.1.1
tftp>binary
tftp>trace
tftp>rexmt 1
tftp>put dd-wrt.v23_micro_generic.bin

From this point on I saw the writing of these raw binary files VIA the shell so, I started to get pretty excited. After about 10 seconds nothing was moving so I hard-rebooted once more. Now I was able to connect to the web-interface and setup my new Access Point! LINUX FTW!! Now I'm not limited to any default settings, I now have full access to customize whatever I feel.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

That is pretty awesome!! Sounds like a lot of work but the payout was BIG!!! Congrats on the switch!!