OpenWRT Kamikaze


I’ve been running OpenWRT on my Linksys WRT54G for quite some time now. It’s one of those things you configure and then forget about. From a functionality standpoint, I have no complaints: I’ve never had to twiddle the configuration, or fuss with the device. When I do want to fiddle with the system, though, I always found it tedious: it’s not a full-blown GNU/Linux system, but its close enough to always make me forget.

I found out today that the latest release of the OpenWRT firmware, Kamikaze 7.07 is now available for download. With Carina and the twins off shopping for school, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to upgrade without interrupting anything.

The upgrade was painless: I uploaded the new firmware using the web-based control panel, and waited as it rebooted. When the DMZ light went out on my router, I knew the upgrade was complete. I unplugged the Ethernet cable, and then re-connected it, after which my laptop got a new IP address. By default ssh is disabled, so I had to telnet into the unit. As soon as you provide a root password, telnet gets disabled and ssh gets enabled.

The entire configuration system has been modified in this latest firmware. All configuration items go in /etc/config/, a perfectly sane and GNU/Linux-friendly location. Setting the LAN, WAN, and wireless options was extremely easy and self-documenting this time. No more fussing around with nvram commands, and no more referring back to the OpenWRT wiki for details. Setting up port-forwarding so that I can ssh into my NSLU2 from outside of the house was a single directive. All in all, this is a marked improvement on an already superb product!

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