Thursday, May 1, 2008

Linux on the Linksys WRT54GL

In a move to put Linux on everything I own, I just installed DD-WRT on my Linksys router. DD-WRT is free Linux-based firmware for several wireless routers, most notably the Linksys WRT54G family. Many of DD-WRT's features are not included in typical router firmware. These features include support for the Kai network, daemon-based services, IPv6, Wireless Distribution System, RADIUS, advanced quality of service, radio output power control, overclocking capability, and software support for a Secure Digital Card hardware modification.

The Linksys WRT54GL was released in 2005 to support third-party firmware based on Linux. Its fully compatible with DD-WRT. This guide also works for a couple of other LinksysWRT54G, models WRT54G v4 and earlier, but the WRT54GL is the the preferred router to buy/use.

If you want to see what other routers are DD-WRT compatible go here.

BEFORE YOU START:
Use an ethernet cable to connect your PC to your router (use port 1)
DO NOT attempt to use the guide via wifi, you will brick your router.


Step 1: Get Your Router Ready
Type the following into your browser's URL box:
http://192.168.1.1

Restore your router to its factory settings:
In the Administration tab, under Factory Defaults, select YES and the SAVE the Settings.

Log Back Into Your Router:
http://192.168.1.1
name= *Leave It Blank*
password= admin


Step 2: The Inital Flash
Download dd-wrt.v23_mini_generic.bin

Unzip the dd-wrt.v23_sp2_mini.zip file

Go to Firmware Management, under Administration>Firmware Management.
Select the dd-wrt.v23_mini_generic.bin file
Select UPGRADE to begin the process.
* Do not interrupt the process * make sure the router stays plugged in

You will see an Upgrade Successful screen message
Click CONTINUE.


Step 3: Reset and Flash Firmware Again
Find the reset button on the back of the WRT54GL
Hold down the reset button for 30 seconds
Release the reset button
Allow the lights to blink for 15 seconds

Log Back Into Your Router:
http://192.168.1.1
username= root
password= admin

Download the dd-wrt.v23_generic.bin

Unzip the dd-wrt.v23_sp2_standard.zip file

Go to Firmware Management, under Administration>Firmware Management.
Select the dd-wrt.v23_generic.bin file
Select UPGRADE to begin the process.
* Do not interrupt the process * make sure the router stays plugged in

Find the reset button on the back of the WRT54GL
Hold down the reset button for 30 seconds
Release the reset button
Allow the lights to blink for 15 seconds


Step 4: Login & Setup Your Router
http://192.168.1.1
username= root
password= admin

8 comments:

Jason said...

You should mention that you need to be connected via an ethernet cable or your router will potentially brick.

Neil said...

highly recommend this firmware. I put it on everything. Very stable and doesn't drop when torrenting which is a huge issue with other firmware. Also has opt packages which allows you to install software. Personally I'm using openwrt with x-wrt GUI but have ctorrent, irssi on it as well. Asterik is available for it plus tonnes of other. If you buy one of these pay attention to the version numbers some have more memory then other so more can go on it and make it more versatile. This is the easiest way to turn a 60$ router into a enterprise level appliance.

Christopher said...

Ditto. I put DD-WRT on my WRT54G a few months ago so I could automatically ping dyndns and OpenDNS. It was painless and works great.

Jason said...

Users who attempt this upgrade should be aware that some versions of the WRT54G are considered substandard and should use the DD-WRT "Micro" firmware if they are committed to flashing the router. Note that even the DD-WRT "Micro" developers recommend buying a fully supported router rather than attempting to install the "Micro" firmware. My reading gives me the impression that the opportunity to "brick" these substandard routers is higher than I'd like it to be. I was going to do this upgrade until I read some info in the DD-WRT Wiki.

Gibona said...

I've been using DD-wrt for a 2 months, since i switched to tomato. Tomato is lighter, with more functions and better interface.
You can try it on http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato

Todd said...

I second the nod for Tomato firmware instead of DD-WRT.

Dan said...

I have been running DD-WRT for a while now, it is a lot more stable and forgiving than the standard firmware on the WRT54G. I have to run the micro, since I have a v6, and upgrading the router was a lot easier then it you are lead to believe. I have a Netgear and a 2wire modem/router combo and a few routers, I chose to use the one running DD-WRT for the security and stability.

safoo said...

I just bought the WRT54GL on Friday and installed dd-wrt that night, so far its working great, I have had no issues with WPA2 or download speeds over DSL. I think I am going to remove my ATT modem and use the PPPoE opting on my WRT54GL and see how that works out too.