[MLB-WIRELESS] The Automagic Firmware Builder

Dan Flett conhoolio at hotmail.com
Sun Dec 3 10:41:12 EST 2006

> On Saturday 02 December 2006 12:28 pm, Dan Flett wrote:

> > In the Freifunk Firmware, the wireless interface is the "public" 
> > network and the LAN ports are the "private" network - i.e. 
> your home 
> > LAN.  OLSR is not active on the LAN side.
> I'd guessed that bit, but the problem I've got is that 
> there's no indication at all what IP address to use on that 
> side and it doesn't appear to try and get a DHCP address, so 
> there's no way to connect to it (though the docs in German 
> seem to imply it should be running dropbear for SSH).

Freifunk Firmware, like OpenWRT, does not actually set the LAN IP address at
all - so the IP address won't change - it should be whatever it was before
you flashed the new firmware.  If you put the router into Failsafe Mode the
LAN IP address will (temporarily) be  If you erase the NVRAM
the bootloader should reset the LAN IP address to the factory default -
usually for most routers, although the WL-HDD is

Freifunk Firmware does use SSH by default at all times - if you don't set a
password the default password is "admin".  If you're in Failsafe mode telnet
is enabled with no password (I think).

Through the Freifunk Web interface you should be able to set the LAN IP
address to whatever you want - set it to whatever works for your private
> > If you've used OpenWRT before you'll find that the Freifunk 
> Firmware 
> > is pretty restricted in what you can do - it has been 
> designed instead 
> > to be user friendly and to enable non-technical people to set up a 
> > routed-adhoc network quickly and easily.
> Yup, that's why I'm interested in trying it out, to make it 
> easier to grow MW we need a simple solution for nodes that 
> (a) most non-techie people can deploy and (b) is pretty secure.

In the default state the Freifunk firmware firewalls the private network
from the public network.  There's no encryption on the wireless side because
doing that would be fairly pointless on a public wireless network.  The
Freifunk firmware actually has the WEP ability removed from the wireless
driver to save space.

I suppose I could include a bit more documentation about the LAN IP though -
David Ashburner mentioned that also. :)  Currently though, the Firmware
builder should create images that are useable "out of the box" - i.e. "Flash
and Forget".  I'd like to see the MWHotspot package included by default
though, and an easy method for the end-user to configure it.

> > Because Freifunk is  based on OpenWRT you can make it do what you 
> > want, but you'll have to find out where the default values are kept 
> > and override them first.
> I think what I need for now is just the default IP address 
> and netmask that it gets set up with on the wired side.  :-)

I could change the Firmware Builder so that it sets the router to a fixed IP
address - such as  But I'm reluctant to do that because that
means some people may have to set their router's IP address twice to suit
their LAN address range.  If I leave it unset people can set their LAN IP
address when they first get their router - before flashing the Freifunk
Firmware, and not have to change it again.  But this needs to be explained
on the website. :)

I haven't done much with the Builder for a while - been a bit busy at home.
We're planning to integrate it into the MW site - but that requires
re-coding it as PHP.  Currently it is written as a Bash Shell CGI script.
And I've only just started learning PHP.  It shouldn't be too difficult



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