[OLSR-users] Creating openwrt firmware bin

Sven-Ola Tuecke (spam-protected)
Wed Apr 13 19:19:28 CEST 2005

Hey John,

that's not a big deal. The symlinks will be overwritten (remember: the 
OpenWRT ipkg uses tar to extract the data.tgz, this will overwrite symlinks 
with new content. Drawback: You will use more space. Advantage: Just run 
firstboot to get rid of installed new versions).

Custmized openwrt-squashfs *with* olsrd is available here: 
http://ff-firmware.sourceforge.net/ (To install a newer olsrd just issue 
"ipkg install /tmp/your-olsrd.ipk").

Rgds, Sven-Ola

"John Gorkos" <(spam-protected)> schrieb im Newsbeitrag 
> Man, o man, I thought I responded to this a week ago, but my email got 
> trapped
> on my laptop.  Explains why I never got a response to the resume I sent,
> either....  :(.  Here is my original post on this thread.
> From:
> John Gorkos <(spam-protected)>  (Wildcat Wireless Internet)
>  To:
> OLSR discussion and development <(spam-protected)>, Andrew Hodel
> <(spam-protected)>
>  Date:
> 2005-04-06 20:00
> Since this is a little off-topic for olsr, we should probably move 
> off-list,
> but I'll give other WRT hackers a chance to join in.
> The problem is that, when you create a binary firmware, everything in it 
> winds
> up in the /rom filesystem, with symlinks in the jffs filesystem.
>  It is theoretically possible to create your firmware to "appear" to have
> ipkgs installed, but this would create major havoc when actually trying to
> ipkg upgrade a single package.  Let's say two months from now, you want to
> upgrade to a new version of olsr.  The /usr/lib/ipkg/status file, which 
> tells
> ipkg what packages are installed, would actually be a symlink to the
> non-writable /rom filesystem.  New packages that are added, or old 
> "packages"
> that are upgraded, would not be able to update this file to indicate the
> current state of the packages.
>  To overcome this, you COULD add something to the end of the firstboot 
> script
> that copies the /rom version to the jffs partition, making it actually
> writable.  But you would have the same issues with the actual files in the
> package.  The /sbin/olsrd binary, as well as all of the libraries and
> configuration files, would be in non-writable ROM and symlinked.  Trying 
> to
> install new binaries over this would fail silently, since ipkg would 
> attempt
> to write the files according to the symlinks to a read-only partition.  If
> you were to go through and remove all of the files prior to installation 
> (in
> the CONTROL/preinst script, for example), you could then install an olsrd
> package, but that would take up double the disk space, since the original
> version would still be on the romfs.  Remember, you only have X amount of
> RAM, and this is split between your romfs and your jffs when firstboot is
> run.  Actually, everything left over after romfs is installed becomes 
> jffs,
> but with a larger romfs (binary image), you have less space in jffs.
> If you are going to create a custom WRT binary with olsrd and all of your 
> own
> configurations pre-configured, you are best served to completely forgo the
> use of ipkg, and when the time comes to upgrade, simply copy the new 
> binary
> over to the routers and mtdflash it into place.
> If you are SERIOUSLY considering doing this, we should consider working
> together.  I have maintained a fairly large (25+ node) mesh network using
> openwrt and ipkgs since last September, and I have considered doing 
> exactly
> what I just described several times.  I just haven't had the time to fully
> execute it.  I'm not completely convinced of the value of using WRT54G
> routers in a commercial WISP.  They are woefully underpowered and 
> insensitive
> for a fire-and-forget solution, especially with the stock dummy loads that
> pose as antennas.  But the job would be MUCH easier if I had a common 
> binary
> and KNEW that every router in the network had identical firmware.
> John Gorkos
> On Wednesday 06 April 2005 17:04, Andrew Hodel wrote:
>> I should have been more specific, I know how to customize what is
>> already there, i.e. in sources/openwrt/root/etc/*
>> Where I have a problem is having default software loaded in the system,
>> I would like to already have olsrd in the firmware bin when I flash the
>> device.
>> Is there someway of installing an ipkg into buildroot?
>> Thanks,
>> Andrew Hodel
>> Andrew Hodel wrote:
>> > Can anyone direct me in how to create a custom version of openwrt to
>> > easily deploy via a firmware flash.  I have used and customized
>> > openwrt enough to get it where I want it, and played with buildroot a
>> > bit but I can't seem to create a working image.
>> >
>> > Just hoping for some advice from others who have done it....
>> >
>> >
>> > Thanks,
>> > Andrew Hodel
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