Install OpenWRT packages on DD-WRT

While I am big fan of OpenWRT, somehow I got fooled by DD-WRT nice Web GUI and ease of use.

Being stuck with DD-WRT I am trying to bring the good stuff from OpenWRT... I want netstat and nmap and they are not easily available for DD-WRT.

While looking after an ADSL WIFI Router with support for OpenWRT, I ended buying an Buffalo WBMR-HP-G300H. After using DD-WRT for a while, the Web UI start crashing and the SSH server is recreating the RSA SSH keys at each boot. I am using DD-WRT on an Linksys WRT54GS and on Asus WL-500G without any problems, so this should be related to the build for this Bufallo device.

This page is based on How To Install Additional Software On Your Home Router (DD-WRT) from How-To Geek

On the DD-WRT wiki, there is a page called Optware, the right way ... but it should read "the wrong way".

First think you need to know is the CPU architecture or your router. I am using a Buffalo WBMR-HP-G300H so my arch is ar71xx. Check the nice OpenWRT wiki to find out our CPU arch.

The list of supported architectures for OpenWRT trunk is here:

You will need to enable JFFS on your router. I am using /opt folder as the root of the new OpenWRT filesystem and OpenWRT tools as an USB stick is mounted there. Feel free to replace it with any other folder.

Get the OpenWRT base filesystem and copy the libraries in /opt:

cd /jffs/tmp
tar -xzr openwrt-*-generic-rootfs.tar.gz
mv lib /opt

We would need writable /etc and /var folders. As a start, copy the DD-WRT /etc folder into /opt/etc and /var into /opt/var . /etc contains a few symlinks to tmp files and we need to remove them and replace them with proper files. DD-WRT's var is in /tmp/var

cp -r /etc /opt
cp -r /tmp/var /opt
rm /opt/etc/group
rm /opt/etc/passwd
rm /opt/etc/resolv.conf
rm /opt/etc/hosts
cp /tmp/hosts /opt/etc/hosts
cp /tmp/etc/group /opt/etc/group
cp /tmp/etc/passwd /opt/etc/passwd
cp /tmp/resolv.conf /opt/etc/resolv.conf
Remove any other symplinks found in /opt/etc and /opt/var

After the /opt/etc and /opt/var folders are cleaned, we can put them in use:

mount -o bind /opt/etc /etc
mount -o bind /opt/var /tmp/var

Get and install OpenWRT's package manager, opkg for you CPU. Most probably opkg will be installed somewhere in /jffs but can me moved in your prefered location:

cd /jffs/tmp
ipkg install opkg*.ipk
rm opkg*.ipk
mv /jffs/bin/opkg /opt/bin/
mv /jffs/etc/opkg.conf /opt/etc/

Now we can configure opkg to work with our writable folders, by editing /etc/opkg.conf to look like:

src/gz snapshots
dest root /opt
dest ram /opt/tmp
lists_dir ext /opt/var/opkg-lists
option overlay_root /overlay

Since not all libraries from DD-WRT are compatible with OpenWRT, you would need to instruct the shell to use OpenWRT libraries first. Add the following in your terminal and ~/.profile file:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH='/opt/lib:/opt/usr/lib'

Everything should be ok now, and opkg update, opkg list and opkg install netstat should be functional.

The last step is to add a startup script that will mount the writable partations at each boot. Create a file in /jffs/etc/config/open-wrt-init.startup with the follwing commands:

mount -o bind /opt/etc /etc
mount -o bind /opt/var /tmp/var

Enjoy the compiled tools provided by OpenWRT!

Play with the new /etc/passwd file and create a proper home for your root account... /opt/root should fit.


"I HATE YOU" by By Jess and Colin

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