RouterStation Pro OpenWRT upgrade

In an effort to upgrade my network from the aging–and failing WRT54G’s, I purchased a RouterStation Pro.  A RouterStation Pro is an embedded Linux board with some impressive hardware specs.  The part that appealed to me was the 3 Mini-PCI slots that allowed me to use wireless cards that had support in the Linux kernel.  There’s a large portion of 802.11N routers that are using Broadcom chipsets which are only supported by a proprietary blob(wl.ko).

The RouterStation Pro comes preloaded with a relatively old installation of OpenWRT Kamikaze.  Being a sucker for bleeding-edge software, I definitely wanted to check out code from the main Subversion repository to get it up-to-date as far as development goes.  Here’s how I did it.

bkero@ponderosa ~ $ svn co svn://svn.openwrt.org/openwrt/branches/backfire
bkero@ponderosa ~ $ cd backfire
bkero@ponderosa ~/backfire $ make menuconfig

Now you select some options to specify that we are building an OpenWRT image for a RouterStation Pro:

Target System (Ateros AR71xx/AR7240/AR913x)
Target Profile (Ubiquiti RouterStation Pro)

Select the Exit option by pressing the right arrow key, then hit Enter.  Save the config, then:

bkero@ponderosa ~/backfire $ make -j4

Adjust -j4 for the number of cores in your box(n+1 or n*2) are popular.  This is going to take quite a while, so go to lunch or watch some more Star Trek.

If all goes well, you should have several image files ready.

bkero@ponderosa ~/backfire $ ls bin/ar71xx/
md5sums
openwrt-ar71xx-rootfs.tar.gz
openwrt-ar71xx-root.jffs2-128k
openwrt-ar71xx-root.jffs2-64k
openwrt-ar71xx-root.squashfs
openwrt-ar71xx-root.squashfs-4k
openwrt-ar71xx-ubnt-rspro-jffs2-factory.bin
openwrt-ar71xx-ubnt-rspro-jffs2-sysupgrade.bin
openwrt-ar71xx-ubnt-rspro-squashfs-factory.bin
openwrt-ar71xx-ubnt-rspro-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin
openwrt-ar71xx-uImage-gzip.bin
openwrt-ar71xx-uImage-lzma.bin
openwrt-ar71xx-vmlinux.bin
openwrt-ar71xx-vmlinux.elf
openwrt-ar71xx-vmlinux.gz
openwrt-ar71xx-vmlinux.lzma
packages

We’re concerned with the file “openwrt-ar71xx-ubnt-rspro-squashfs-factory.bin”.  Make sure the box you’re doing this on has the ‘tftp’ package installed.  A second ethernet interface would also be helpful.

Unplug your RouterStation Pro.  Hold the reset button down and plug the power back in.  Hold the reset button down until the RF LED on the front of the board becomes solid.  Plug a computer into the WAN port of your RouterStation Pro.  For some reason it brings up 192.168.1.20 on the WAN port, and the LAN ports become unused.

bkero@ponderosa ~/openwrt/backfire.rspro/bin/ar71xx $ tftp 192.168.1.20
tftp> binary
tftp> put openwrt-ar71xx-ubnt-rspro-squashfs-factory.bin
Sent 2949120 bytes OK.
tftp> quit

Give your router 10 minutes for the recovery process to run.  Plug your computer back into a LAN port and try pinging 192.168.1.20(the default IP).  Mine didn’t come back up alright with the default configuration settings, so I had to hold the reset button down for 20 seconds(LEDs on the board will change).  Afterwards, the router was up and pingable/telnetable at 192.168.1.20.   Telnet in and you’ll be presented with a default installation of OpenWRT.

Right now the system will be probably useless for you.  To install a familiar web interface for configuration, simply install luci:

root@rspro:~$ opkg install luci
root@rspro:~$ passwd
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully
root@rspro:~$ /etc/init.d/uhttpd enable
root@rspro:~$ /etc/init.d/uhttpd start
Starting uhttpd... OK

Now point your browser at http://192.168.1.20, and login!

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