Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Installing PirateBox on TP-LINK MR3020

So finally my TPlink MR3020 portable router has arrived. OpenWRT can be put on it, its small and compact so perfect to run a PirateBox. For storage I've got a 32 GB Toshiba USB flash drive, plenty of storage capacity for the moment.
Compared to the process of installing PB on Ubuntu, installing this time went really easy without any problems or issues at all.

By following the PirateBox DIY OpenWrt I have managed to get my PB up and running in less than 30 minutes. The only issue I had was some Ethernet cable connection problem and some redirection, but all has been solved easily in a matter of minutes and my box is running right now.

Some tips

  • Make sure you know the basics of how to use the vi editor, you will HAVE to use it to perform basic file editing. In the DIY there is a link given to a "cheat sheet" that is quite handy. Basically you need the following:

    i  - Edit (now you can type, delete etc)
    dd  - Delete entire line
    ZZ  - Save changes if any and exit
    ESC  -Finish function (like edit mode)
  • The router should be in WISP mode while working on it, but obviously switch it back to AP when finished installing etc.
  • At step 10, you will be told to have a  etc/config/network like:
    config interface 'loopback'                                                               
            option ifname 'lo'                                                                
            option proto 'static'                                                             
            option ipaddr ''                                                         
            option netmask ''                                                        
    config interface 'lan'                                                                    
            option ifname 'eth0'                                                              
            option type 'bridge'                                                              
            option proto 'static'                                                             
            option ipaddr ''                                                       
            option netmask ''                                                    
            option gateway ''                                                     
            list dns ''                                                           
            list dns '' 
    However make sure to remove the last 2 lines (dns entries) else redirect/piratebox will not work properly.
  • Also make sure you remember the password you assign when you SSH into the router so you can change things 2 weeks later as well.
Apart from these minor things, installation should run smoothly.

I will start experimenting with my new PirateBox. Range test, how long will it run smoothly etc. Initially all I can say that within the proximity of the router, the download speed was 2.9-3.2 MB/s. Quite impressive.

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