Posts Tagged openwrt

Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X, a powerful $50 device

Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X is a tiny and cheap (around $50) router with a decent amount of memory: 256MB RAM and 256MB flash. The router offers 5 GigE copper ports, and there’s also a model with an additional SFP port. The device is produced since 2014, and it’s still up to date and a good value for money.

On hardware level, the device consists of a Gigabit Ethernet switch, with one GigE port attached to the MIPS CPU and used as a 802.1q trunk. Also inside the enclosure, serial console port is available for easy debugging or manipulating the boot loader.

The router comes with stock Ubuquiti software which is based on Debian Wheezy, so many files are from 2013-2014. OpenVPN package is pre-installed, but only version 2.3 is available. The software offers a nice GUI and SSH access.

OpenWRT provides excellent support for this hardware. The router is able to perform IP routing at more than 400Mbps (I haven’t tested it with back-to-back connection, so I don’t know the limit).

Also with OpenVPN 2.4 that is available in up-to-date OpenWRT packages, the box performs at up to 20Mbps with 256-bit AES encryption, and at about 55Mbps with encryption and authentication disabled.

In default OpenWRT configuration, the switch port 0 is dedicated to WAN link, and ports 1-4 are used as a LAN bridge. The WAN link acts as a DHCP client, and LAN is configured with DHCP service in 192.168.1.0/24 range. The command-line configuration utilities are quite straightforward, and there’s a Web UI as well.

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OpenWRT patch for Edimax BR6104KP with USB rootfs

The Edimax BR6104KP router (also available as Omnima Embedded Controller from Omnima with JTAG and serial already soldered in) has only 2MB onboard flash, which is too small for any usable Linux setup.

The board has also two USB1.1 interfaces, and this patch introduces a new profile that builds two images: the flash image containing the LZMA loader and the kernel (less than 900KB), and a tar.gz archive of the root filesystem. The kernel looks to mount the rootfs as ext3 or ext2 on /dev/sda1.

The patches for include/image.mk and include/kernel-defaults.mk extend the existing functionality and should not hurt any existing profile.

To use the new profile, choose in menuconfig:

  • Target System: Infineon/ADMtek ADM5120 [2.6]
  • Target Profile: Edimax BR-6104KP (USB Root FS)

The patch was tested, and by default it supports the onboard switch and the USB storage. Other kernel modules should function as well.

The next step will be to utilize the unused space in the onboard flash to store the persistent configuration, so that updating the rootfs would not hurt it.

A copy of the patch is available here. It should work against the SVN trunk at revision 13018

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