Kam Salisbury on 2 Mar 2009 14:40:54 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Wish list for PLUG talks --> OpenWRT

On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 5:29 PM, Gordon Dexter <gordon@texasdex.com> wrote:
JP Vossen wrote:
I have a "WRT54G" and a "WRT54G v.3" (w/ Cisco label) I need to set up. 
  Is OpenWRT what everyone recommends?  I plan to put the device on its 
own FW segment, with its own subnet, so I don't think I care about 
anything but the wireless AP part.  But I don't know anything about the 
device or any of the possible firmwares.

Thoughts or recommendations?  (Remember, I'm occupationally paranoid.)
The firmware I've heard everybody recommend is DD-WRT.  It has a very powerful web interface, and comes with all the features to be expected of a third party firmware.  HOWEVER!  While it's based on the Linux kernel, and it's still using FOSS for a lot of the features, DD-WRT has taken a worrying turn towards being proprietary.  As far as I can tell they can sort of do this because they rewrote the web interface for v23 or v24, and they don't offer that under a free license, but it's still pretty legally sketchy IMHO, as well as morally questionable.

I suppose I could live with that for now.  It works pretty well and has the best out-of-the-box feature set of all third party firmwares I've seen.  However I also noticed it has an x86 version and a few other feature-enhanced versions that require you to purchase an activation code!  Not just "please pay us to be able to download this and cover our costs" but "you must pay for this to use it, for every single router you install it on".

At that point I started using Tomato and haven't looked back.  I've come to realize that I don't really need 99% of the features DD-WRT has, and I like the bandwidth-shaping and -monitoring features of Tomato, and it's user-friendliness.

I have avoided OpenWRT so far because Tomato works for me and I don't need the extra complexity that OpenWRT has.  One of the main reasons is that OpenWRT doesn't come with a Web GUI out of the box; it comes as a separate package and has to be installed, as do most extra features on OpenWRT.  It's not for everybody, but it sounds to me like you--and many people on this list--would want to go for OpenWRT.  I would like to hear a talk on it as well.


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I really want something small (itx platform?) that I can make into a firewall and mini server. Does anyone have a recommendation?

Kam Salisbury
GPG key: FAF1751E
Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --        http://www.phillylinux.org
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