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OpenWRT: Turbocharging My Hunk of Plastic

Posted: October 1st, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: Linux | 6 Comments »

Yesterday I installed OpenWRT on a Linksys WRT54GS while evaluating some technology for a potential client. After exploiting an overflow in Ping.asp I had boot_wait set to on and was tftping White Russian RC3 to the box.

A few minutes later the WRT54GS began behaving like a router again and I SSHed in to it. I quickly ran ipkg update and ipkg install NoCatSplash. After that I edited /etc/nocat.conf and the splash page HTML. Finally some NVRAM tweaks (don’t forget nvram commit when you’re done) and a reboot and a cheap hunk of plastic was up to customer spec with a custom splash page including T&C and AUP agreement.

In the process of installing and configuring OpenWRT I was amazed at the quality and depth of the wikified OpenWRT documentation. OpenWRT also works on a wide range of newer hardware including a WRT54GS 2.1 that was purchased a few months ago and a WRT54 3.0 that a friend purchased not long ago. See TableOfHardware for a complete list of compatible hardware.

After such a positive experience yesterday I plopped OpenWRT on my WRT54G at home. It kept most of the settings from the NVRAM, I just had to tweak the SSID and some wireless settings before I could get back online via wi-fi.

If you want to enable SSH from the WAN port, just uncomment two lines in /etc/firewall.user. I’ve also set up my box to update its clock via NTP by using these instructions. It also looks rather trivial to set up cron jobs.

I feel stupid for not installing OpenWRT sooner, as I’ve obviously been missing out on the fun for quite some time. The project has improved an amazing amount since I last looked at it. Now I feel like grabbing newer hardware with more storage space and hacking the crap out of it!

Update: There’s something satisfying about updating your firewall rules via SSH, hupping /etc/init.d/S45firewall and having everything behave as it should.


6 Comments on “OpenWRT: Turbocharging My Hunk of Plastic”

  1. 1 l.m.orchard said at 6:09 am on October 3rd, 2005:

    OpenWRT rocks. I run SSH + screen sessions on it, monitor network traffic, log & block nasty attacks, as well as keeping an eye out for the one Windows machine I have in the house making a conversion to zombie with its outgoing traffic.

    It’s amazing stuff, when I think that just 5-7 years ago, wireless notwithstading, this was the sort of thing I was doing with a dual-NIC spare PC whirring away in the corner.

  2. 2 Newbie said at 1:46 pm on August 31st, 2006:

    Has anyone been able to setup a mail client using OpenWRT?
    Im trying to setup a real simple stripped down mail client that can send out a single line of txt, and can recieve a email and be able to parse that message.

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