[Novalug] Err...Umm... dd-wrt??
stharward at gmail.com
Wed Dec 1 13:48:34 EST 2010
On Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 11:22 AM, Beartooth <beartooth at beartooth.info> wrote:
> Can someone explain non-technically what it is and why
> people want it? I thought it was hardware, which I don't speak
It's a substitute firmware for most consumer-grade routers. It's the
operating system and handful of applications that the router uses to
do its router thing.
Most people replace the manufacturer-provided firmware because (a) the
manufacturer-provided firmware doesn't provide a function they want,
(b) because they'd rather use a Free alternative, or (c) just because
I used OpenWrt "White Russian" on my Linksys WRT54G router from 2004
until this past July. In July, a package update to patch a security
hole went bad (probably because the distribution hadn't been touched
since early 2006), so I tried upgrading to OpenWrt "Backfire". That
version had an unsolvable problem related to packet fragmentation over
my PPPoE connection, so I replaced it with DD-WRT. I replaced DD-WRT
with Tomato a few days later when I couldn't get DD-WRT to hold on to
my traffic shaping configuration for more than a few hours. I've been
really happy with Tomato, and I envision that I'll be using it for the
next couple of years.
Here's my assessment of the firmwares I've used:
OpenWRT: like Debian, it emphasizes minimal default installation with
a lot of add-on packages and runs on a wide range of hardware. Also
like Debian, it has a lot of derivative distributions. Also like
Debian, can be intimidating to set up for inexperienced users.
DD-WRT: like Fedora or Ubuntu, aims to provide more features in the
default installation and be easy to set up. Nobody will use all the
features, which leads to justified accusations of bloatware.
Tomato: like RHEL or SUSE LE: no support for bleeding-edge or niche
features (eg, no serial or USB drivers, no IPv6, limited hardware
support), but emphasis on mainstream utility and being convenient to
administer; the firewall, traffic shaping, and bandwidth monitoring
tools are all top-notch.
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