One of my several holiday projects was flashing firmware onto a few of my atheros devices. I discovered that open-mesh.com is now supporting the nifty B.A.T.M.A.N. protocol and RO.B.IN extensions. I’ve been using open-mesh.com to monitor my meraki network. Generally I’ve been very pleased with the performance of meraki but have not been really happy with their recent tiering changes which has removed functionality from the basic end user (i.e. me!). So I’ve been looking around for a new replacement.

Flashing a Fonera or Meraki mini from Ubuntu is a fairly easy affair:

  1. wget http://download.berlin.freifunk.net/sven-ola/area51/ap51-flash
  2. chmod +x ap51-flash
  3. Startup the flasher
    • Meraki: “sudo ./ap51-flash eth0 openwrt-atheros-2.6-root.jffs2-64k openwrt-atheros-2.6-vmlinux.gz”
    • Fonera: “sudo ./ap51-flash eth0 openwrt-atheros-2.6-root.jffs2-64k openwrt-atheros-2.6-vmlinux.lzma”
  4. plug in the device using a NORMAL ethernet cable (there were previous reports that you had to use a cross-over cable)
  5. power up the device
  6. flashing will take about 10 mins for a fonera and 25 for a meraki
  7. unplug and plug back in (i.e. power cycle) the device. The first boot will take some time (I think ssh keys are being generated).
    • I recommend that you have the device connected to your network so it can obtain a dhcp lease
    • While you are waiting for the device to power up, head over to open-mesh, create an account, and add a device using the mac address (when you see the google map, just double click anywhere on it)
    • After 10 minutes or so after flashing you can scan your router’s dhcp table for the mac address, obtain the ip, and then “ssh root@<the ip>” with a password of “0p3nm35h”
    • Once in, run /sbin/update (this brings down your account information) and then /sbin/upgrade (makes certain you are running on the latest of everything).
    • You can also run an “ipkg update” and “ipkg upgrade” if you are an openwrt person but these should be accounted for when running /sbin/upgrade
  8. issue “reboot” and your device will reboot with the latest goodies and you’re good to go