Can your router do this?
BusyBox v1.00 (2005.05.25-20:30+0000) Built-in shell (ash) Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands. _______ ________ __ | |.-----.-----.-----.| | | |.----.| |_ | - || _ | -__| || | | || _|| _| |_______|| __|_____|__|__||________||__| |____| |__| W I R E L E S S F R E E D O M root@OpenWrt:~# ps -ax PID Uid VmSize Stat Command 1 root 408 S init 2 root SW [keventd] 3 root SWN [ksoftirqd_CPU0] 4 root SW [kswapd] 5 root SW [bdflush] 6 root SW [kupdated] 7 root SW [mtdblockd] 23 root SWN [jffs2_gcd_mtd4] 36 root 392 S syslogd -C 16 43 root 352 S klogd 364 root 408 S udhcpc -i vlan1 -b -p /tmp/dhcp-wan.pid 454 nobody 408 S /usr/sbin/dnsmasq 459 root 428 S /usr/sbin/dropbear 464 root 408 S /usr/sbin/httpd -p 80 -h /www -r WRT54G Router 509 root 412 S init 510 root 648 R /usr/sbin/dropbear 511 root 460 S -ash 514 root 384 R ps -ax root@OpenWrt:~#
There is so much to like here. The WRT54G is small and silent, perfect for 24x7 operation. It can happily coexist with visiting friends and relatives who don't always relish the soothing fan noise of the server farm. There's a nifty little 200MHz MIPS-based CPU with 32MB of RAM and 8MB of flash.
Also, OpenWRT is linux. But better than that it's stripped down to the bare useful minimum linux, as you can see from the
ps output above. You install the extra stuff you want, as you need it, using an
apt-get workalike called ipkg.
Installation was relatively painless, considering. The doco is a little intimidating, but contained most of the right information. The only slight hiccup was it didn't describe which of the two "experimental" firmware images to use (jffs2 or squashfs?) and I guessed wrong. Then it took me a while to realise that the "boot_wait" NVRAM setting which I had used to enable TFTP upload of the initial firmware on boot hadn't stuck, and needed to be turned on again before I could upload the right image. But all is well now.
I have learned to be pretty conservative when it comes to making changes to my router. So new toy is currently sitting behind my regular Netgear router (the one which is still corrupting broadcast packets and restarting its wireless interface every 4 mins exactly) in a crazy double-NAT arrangement. The idea is that I'll migrate my other hosts to the new Linksys box as it settles in (and I get used to it), and once all the hosts are sitting behind it, it will replace the Netgear as my internet router.
And do a whole lot more besides. I want to set it up to do traffic shaping, WDS, bandwidth usage monitoring, and lots of other über-geeky stuff. This is barely scratching the surface of what you can do with this great little box: check out the hardware pr0n!
Can you hack a VGA output into your router?