Hacking the Linksys WRT54G

JStay at mediageneral.com JStay at mediageneral.com
Mon Mar 14 07:04:57 MST 2005

I currently run a hacked WRT54G at home.  I have tried various distros,
from WifiBox to Sveasoft, to generic Linksys, but I have ended up on
openwrt (http://www.openwrt.org).  This firmware is very stable, and
also starts out very basic.  You can then add components as needed down
the road via it's own packaging system called ipkg.  Because of this it
is very customizable.  I plan on using one of the hotspot packages down
the road to turn it into a hotspot.

The only problem with this distro (if you call it a problem) is it is
pure-command line Linux.  All is done via telnet, and if you install an
ssh daemon, you can get rid of telnet and do it all via ssh.  Any
modifications to the firewall have to be done via iptables, so a good
knowledge of iptables is necessary.  It's a good way to force yourself
to learn though.  Because of this there is a bit of risk in that if you
put the wrong iptables line in your firewall script, it can disable
access to the router.

That being said, if it ever does happen, there are numerous ways to get
yourself out of a hairy situation, all can be found at openwrt.org.
Every time I've locked myself or thought I had broke it, I've been able
to recover - I would say this brings down the risk level significantly.
However, if you want something safer, but just as powerful, go with
Sveasoft - keep in mind though if you ever want decent support you have
to pay about $20/yr for it.  Despite Sveasoft being GPL, the maintainers
make it awfully hard to bring in community support.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: plug-bounces at plug.org [mailto:plug-bounces at plug.org] On 
> Behalf Of Gabriel Gunderson
> Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2005 2:50 PM
> To: plug at plug.org
> Subject: Hacking the Linksys WRT54G
> Anyone messed around with putting a different Linux on one of 
> these wireless routers?  What works best?  What has the least 
> risk?  What are you doing with it now that it's opened up?
> Gabe
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