E3200 Router flashed with DD-WRT firmware

E3200 routerI have been planning for a couple of months to set-up an internet gateway running Linux. I wanted the opportunity to have a “production” place to setup and play with firewalls (iptables), logging and Intrusion Detection Systems but this would all cost me money and my money tree died long ago.

I am using a Linksys E3200 router, its sleek, got power and support 5Ghz wifi, it also provided the opportunity to flash the device with DD-WRT firmware.

A big problem for DD-WRT.com website is that the information is wildly out of date or messy. It took 3 days of reading the wiki, the database of supported devices and the forums before I had the confident that I could flash the router without bricking it. Let this be a warning to all that are interested in updating their router to custom / open-source firmware, if you do it wrong you will likely brick your device rendering it useless.

The advantages

Normally a router will limit the user to the web interface when you connect to it via your web-browser. All the flexibility and power is hidden but we can set it free allowing us to make use of the 500Mhz processor, memory and providing you with a Linux interface.

Immediately this is acting like a mini-PC with enough power to run a mini distribution Linux, a firewall, IDS, Secure Shell (SSH), FTP, even a basic web host if you desire.

I followed the steps found at this wiki page, making a change only with the firmware version that I flashed the device with.

  1. READ the Peacock Announcement Carefully! http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51486
  2. Disconnect all cables and wireless clients.
  3. Do a 30/30/30 reset on router
  4. Connect 1 Lan cable to pc doing the flash.
  5. Log into Web Interface and flash the firmware 17201 E3200 Trailed Initial Flash Builddd-wrt.v24-18946_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini-e3200.bin
  6. Wait 10 minutes until WLAN (wireless) light turns on.
  7. Power cycle by unplugging E3200 for 30 secs.
  8. Plug E3200 back in and wait about 5 minutes until it finishes booting.
  9. Do a 30/30/30 reset on router.
  10. Wait 3 minutes and log into web interface.

Notes

Be aware that the initial flash must be done using the mini-E3200 binary, if you try to jump straight to the other file it’ll brick your device.
The Mega file will open up features on your E3200 such as the USB driver. At the moment the 5Ghz wifi isn’t supported as the drivers for this have only just been released to the open-source community and is now being developed for future releases.

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