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Linksys WRT54G

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Furant, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Furant

    Furant Millennium Member

    Oct 14, 1999
    Roswell, GA
    Well, I finally made the jump into the DSL world and figured I'd go ahead and get a router to wire my desktop and WiFi my laptop. I purchased the WRT54G from Newegg at a pretty good price.

    Here's the catch. It seems Linksys has made their firmware Open Source and there are some great things that people have been doing patching the Open Source Linux firmware. However, the newest version of this router (v5) no longer uses Linux, but something called Vxworks. It also has less RAM, so it's probably not capable of running the Linux firmware.

    What would you do? Should I just be happy if my new router works out of the box? Or should I return to NewEgg, swallow the restocking fee and find an older version of the router (or the newly re-branded WRT54GL) so that I can flash the firmware for these enhanced features (which, BTW, I don't fully understand yet)?

    Any thoughts?

  2. Furant

    Furant Millennium Member

    Oct 14, 1999
    Roswell, GA
    BTW, a list of some of the capabilities that could be enabled by patching the firmware that I don't understand yet includes:
    Feature Addtions

    Client/Bridge mode for multiple clients
    Adhoc mode
    WDS/Repeater mode
    WPA over WDS links
    Web based wireless statistics
    Remote NTOP statistics
    Captive portal
    Extensive firewall enhancements
    - track/block P2P, VoIP, IM, many other services by protocol
    - 99% of available iptables filters included
    VPN client and server (PPTP in all versions, IPsec as a compile-time option)
    DHCP static IP assignment to specific MAC addresses
    Wake-On-LAN functions with scheduling
    OSPF routing
    OSPF load balancing
    Multi-level bandwidth management (Premium, Express, Standard, Bulk)
    - manage P2P, VoIP, IM connections
    - also by ports, IP addresses, and/or MAC addresses
    Hardware QoS for the 4 LAN ports
    Power boost to 251 mw
    Afterburner Support (GS models)
    SSH server and client
    Startup, firewall, and shutdown scripts
    Safe backup and restore
    VLAN support
    Clone Wireless MAC
    Reset router on upgrade

    External Program Support
    Firewall Builder

  3. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

    Jan 9, 2002
    Outside the perimeter
    Look around. I picked up a WRT54G at MicroCenter two weeks ago and it was v4. They're still in the pipeline.
  4. I don't think the factory firmware was ever open source.I think some open source/Linux firmware was developed for it that replaced the factory firmware.Not all areas have Micro Center.A friend in Florida says there aren't any there.They do sell by internet though.
  5. How do you tell the difference between the older ones and the newer version?Is it the "L"?
  6. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

    Jan 9, 2002
    Outside the perimeter
    The first four characters of the S/N, which is visible on the outside of the box, should tell you.

    CDF0 = WRT54G v1.0
    CDF1 = WRT54G v1.0
    CDF2 = WRT54G v1.1
    CDF3 = WRT54G v1.1
    CDF5 = WRT54G v2.0
    CDF7 = WRT54G v2.2
    CDF8 = WRT54G v3.0
    CDF9 = WRT54G v3.1
    CDFA = WRT54G v4.0
    CDFB = WRT54G v5.0 (runs VxWorks, not Linux)

    from SVEASOFT
  7. Furant

    Furant Millennium Member

    Oct 14, 1999
    Roswell, GA
    I actually went out and found a v4 at WalMart last night for $49. I bought it figuring that I can always return it unopened if I decide not to pay the NewEgg restocking fee.

    You can tell the version by the Serial Number which is printed on the outside of the box, next to the UPC.

    And, according to this article Linksys had to release the firmware source due to the Linux GPL. In fact, go into the Linksys support section and click on "GPL Code Center" ( and you can download the actual source of there firmware. I'm guessing that's why they stopped using Linux with v5.

    Thanks for the input.

  8. I doubt that's a reason they changed.Most likely an update in hardware.Thanks for the info.I was going to try one but I have some older PC's I made into routers for use at home.We don't have Wal-Mart here but there is a Micro Center not far so I might check on one.They used to be about $100 but I know everything has gotten cheaper.My "router" is a $3500 333Mhz Dell. ;f