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Home Ewrt

Ewrt is the Enhanced WRT linux distribution for the Linksys WRT54G and GS wireless routers. It was forked from the Linksys WRT54G 3.01.3 codebase by Irving Popovetsky and Brandon Psmythe of Portless Networks, a wireless networking company in Portland, OR.

The goal of the project is to create a stable and easy to use hotspot-in-a-box for use in community wireless networking projects.

At the time of writing, ewrt differentiates itself from the other WRT54G distributions by providing a captive portal based on NoCatSplash and a writeable jffs2 filesystem for storing content.

What's new

The goal of the 0.3 release is to bring our feature-set up to that of other WRT54G distributions by providing better hardware and QoS support, a writeable jffs2 partition (for storing content) and newer versions of upstream code.

Ewrt 0.3 is now a very direct fork from the Linksys codebase, we've dumped most of our Sveasoft code without sacrificing any features we thought worthwhile. Ewrt 0.3 could now theoretically be distributed as a patch-set to the Linksys code, although we haven't tried this yet.

Note: This is a beta release inteded for testing purposes only. If you need the stability, stick with the Ewrt 0.2 final release. Another note: Linksys has upgraded the compiler toolchain. Make sure to upgrade your toolchain when building this release.

Download the latest firmware:

0.3 beta 1
MD5 (ewrt-0.3-beta1.wrt54g.bin) = 06efd872f5a8c49b556a7cff7d4d6ee5
MD5 (ewrt-0.3-beta1.tar.gz) = f1e3f4b0ce026ef340a784b435fe5759
Ewrt 0.3-beta1 firmware image - WRT54G (2.9MB)
Ewrt 0.3-beta1 Source code (50MB)
  • Based on the Linksys 3.01.3 codebase
    • Support for all WRT54G and WRT54GS hardware versions
    • Greatly improved QoS, including hardware QoS support on newer models
    • Config backup/restore functionality
    • Wireless client isolation functionality
  • Imported Dropbear 0.44, now we have working ssh and scp clients
  • Imported Busybox 1.00 which greatly improves the Unix userland
  • Upgraded NoCatSplash to version 0.92
    • imported various stability fixes from BPsmythe and Yurgi Arginzoniz
  • Upgraded Squashfs to version 2.1-r2
  • Created a writeable jffs2 filesystem on /opt using free flash space (credits to the OpenWRT project)
  • Many many bugs fixed

 0.2 final
MD5 (ewrt-0.2.bin) = b672b94cf10b7ab2cdb138902396f257
MD5 (ewrt-0.2.tar.gz) = 4cc47a8961e684eeb13f6c80f6a22e0d
Ewrt 0.2 firmware image (2.8MB)
Ewrt 0.2 Source code (52MB)
  • Fixed cron startup by restoring link from /etc/cron.d to /tmp/cron.d
  • Re-enable check_ps and hook up splashd, syslogd and dropbear
  • Don't link ssh to scp, we don't have ssh client functionality
  • Remove timestamp checks from the nocat Makefile that break the build
  • Clamp MSS to PMTU for all cases and fix MSS issues for PPTP users as well.
  • Added a whole boatload of additional nocat variables and prefix them with NC_
  • Fixed the logic surrounding whether to start the "start_wds_init" scripts or not.
  • README fixes
  • Add du and df to busybox
  • Remove a timestamp check from the OpenSSL makefile that breaks the build
  • Add a sleep before starting nocat in services.c, which broke nocat startup for some users

 0.2 beta1
ewrt-0.2-beta1.bin 0739213d41ca78930cabf4148ff6510c
ewrt-0.2-beta1.tar.gz 72d50a4aecdba81242248e3f0f4cc54b
Ewrt 0.2 beta1 firmware image (2.8MB)
Ewrt 0.2 beta1 Source code (52MB)
  • imported code from Linksys 2.02.2 and 2.02.7
  • imported glib 1.2.10 and NocatSplash, fixed bugs and portability issues
  • Added rc functionality for generating nocat.conf at boot and starting splashd
  • Web page control for NocatSplash
  • (sortof) fixed remote syslogging
  • more build fixes
  • Allow users to explicitly use a default gateway on the LAN interface instead of the WAN interface
  • document the `nvram commit` function, warn users about it

not released
  • Proof of concept release
  • Cleaned up the build process a bit
  • Fixed traffic shaping
  • Build process documentation

Anonymous CVS access

To log into cvs, set your $CVSROOT environment variable to be:

do a `cvs login` and give "anoncvs" as your password

Be aware that if you do a simple cvs -z3 co ewrt-0.3, you are getting
an entire linux kernel distribution from the CVS server. Please don't abuse
our bandwidth too much!

Browse the CVS repository

Mailing lists:

Developer list: ewrt-devel (at) portless (dot) net
CVS commit logs: ewrt-cvs (at) portless (dot) net

Contact the developers at ProStructure

Further reading

  • ProStructure Consulting:
  • The Seattlewireless Linksys WRT54G page:
  • The Sveasoft Forums:
  • Jim Buzbee's Batbox wrt54g Linux distribution:
  • Rob Flickenger?s splash54g:
  • Linksys GPL code center:
  • The OpenWRT project:
  • The Wifi-box project:

Wi-Fi Networking News
Tue, 29 Mar 2005 19:43
Connexion by Boeing is popping up in airplanes all over the world: This overview of Connexion's technology, service, and performance appears at Tom's Networking, my first article for the site. Some of the Germany-based cohorts at Tom's Hardware provided information for the article based on Lufthansa flights they've taken. In general, Connexion is getting high marks for delivering consistent amounts of bandwidth with what seems to me to be remarkably low latency given the plane-satellite-ground station loop.
Flying the Unwired Skies
0503 XirrusXirrus launches its wireless LAN array: In a briefing last week, Xirrus executives explained that their product combines the utility of a wireless LAN switch with a single footprint that can coordinate frequency and signal pattern across as many as 16 channels using a combination of 802.11a and 802.11b/g with sectorized antennas. Gigabit Ethernet carries the traffic to and from the array; a redundant failover Gigabit Ethernet port and a 10/100 management port ensures throughput. The WLAN array comes in three configuration: four ports, eight ports, or 16 ports (models XS-3500, XS-3700, XS-3900). All three models can work in 802.11a, b, or g mode for each radio, with up to 12 for 802.11a and up to four for 802.11b/g. Xirrus has baseband-level control of the radios which allows them to adaptively and dynamically change the signal strength and antenna scope. Because they're sectorized, that means each radio can serve a greater distance if needed than the typical indoor omnidirectional antenna--or back off as the RF environment requires.The arrays have what are now required features of any switch: VLANs, multiple SSIDs per switch (up to 16), QoS, and assignment to VLAN based on authentication, SSID, or other factors. One of the radios on any model can be set to work as a monitor for security threats, like rogue access points.The arrays can be managed using Layer 3 tunneling with a centralized platform, the XM-3300, which can handle up to 500 WLAN arrays. Because there's an extra 10/100 interface, the management can be entirely out of band of the actual network traffic. The arrays are powered with 48-volt DC which requires either direct electrical wiring for an AC adapter or the use of DC power over Ethernet--not the standard kind, but their 48-volt variety--that ties into their Remote Power System (XP-3100) at over 300 feet of Cat 5 Ethernet cable.The Xirrus array is the logical extension of the WLAN switch concept. One of the early gating factors for WLAN switching was the necessity for all traffic to be routed from an access point back via Ethernet to a physical switch which had to manage all the data coming and going. While this added the benefit of VLAN-based roaming that was independent of a physical switch location, it also tied bandwidth to the computational and switching capacity of that centralized switch device. (Symbol's first "access port" system had only 10/100 Mbps Ethernet out the back even though it could aggregate hundreds of Mbps in its first incarnation.)As the switch market as matured, makers have continued to wrestle with this problem by using Layer 2 tunneling to virtual switches, but there's only so much power and GigE you can throw at that problem as long as traffic must be routed. Xirrus's idea of putting centralized intelligence in a hub-and-spoke model of smarts that takes radio frequency control and switching and mixing them together is intriguing: they'll have to deliver on reduced cost of deployment, management, and increased throughput to sell their product. But there's an air of simplicity about it that should roil the WLAN switch market.The array costs $3,999 for a four-port unit, $6,999 for eight ports, and $11,999 for 16 ports. The management platform costs from $4,999 for a 10 array manager up to $24,999 for a 500 array manager. The remote power system costs from $1,999 to power four arrays with three $999 modules that can be plugged in to power an additional four arrays each, or up to $3,996 to power 16 arrays. The equipment should ship in May. The array design is modular for replacement and radio upgrades.An interesting sidenote to Xirrus's rollout is that they're investing heavily in the market's refreshed interest in 802.11a: 802.11a is apparently more and more appealing to businesses as they consider rolling out voice over IP over WLAN. (See our VoWLAN blog.) With 12 nonoverlapping channels that are designed for 54 Mbps--and no 802.11b devices to slow the network down--and 11 more channels on their way, 802.11a is an extremely appealing alternative to 802.11g for voice and streaming media. It's relatively inexpensive to buy dual-band client cards, and I expect businesses to start making the switch to a/g client purchases as they move forward.
WLAN Switch in an Access Point