What is DD-WRT?

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What is "DD-WRT"?

The current v23/v24 interface of DD-WRT
The current v23/v24 interface of DD-WRT

DD-WRT is third party firmware for the Linksys WRT54G/GS/GL and various other 802.11g wireless routers based on a similar Broadcom reference design. See Supported Devices. These routers run Linux from the factory, and as such, their source is released under the terms of the GPL.

The firmware is maintained by BrainSlayer and is hosted at dd-wrt.com. The first versions of DD-WRT were based on the Alchemy Firmware from Sveasoft Inc, which is in turn based on the original GPL'd Linksys firmware and a number of other open source projects. DD-WRT exists as a direct result of Sveasoft's demand for $20 in order to be able to download their firmware.

At present DD-WRT is available for free although a different business model is being drafted by BrainSlayer in order to pay his salary, as this is his full time job.

The new version of DD-WRT (v23) is a completely new project. DD-WRT offers many advanced features not found in the OEM firmwares of these devices, or even the firmware available for purchase from Sveasoft. It is also free of the product activation or tracking found in the Sveasoft firmware.

Note: Beta firmware, by its very nature, will contain bugs. It is not recommended to install beta firmware on large networks that are used for businesses, etc. However, there is now a bugtracker in place for DD-WRT firmware located here: DD-WRT Bugtracker (free signup required).

Among other features not found in the original Linksys firmware, DD-WRT adds the Kai Daemon for the Kai Console Gaming network, WDS wireless bridging/repeating protocol, Radius Authentication for more secure wireless communication, advanced Quality of Service controls for bandwidth allocation, and software support for the SD-Card hardware modification.

Feature List

  • 13 languages
  • 802.1x (EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) encapsulation over LANs)
  • Access Restrictions
  • Adhoc Mode
  • Afterburner
  • Client Isolation Mode
  • Client Mode (supports multiple connected clients)
  • Client Mode WPA
  • DHCP Forwarder (udhcp)
  • DHCP Server (udhcp or Dnsmasq)
  • DNS forwarder (Dnsmasq)
  • DMZ
  • Dynamic DNS (DynDNS, TZO, ZoneEdit)
  • Hotspot Portal (Sputnik Agent ,Chillispot)
  • IPv6 Support
  • JFFS2
  • MMC/SD Card Support
  • NTP client in a client-server basis
  • Port Triggering
  • Port Forwarding (max. 30 entries)
  • QoS Bandwidth Management (Optimize for Gaming and Services / Netmask / MAC / Ethernet Port Priority)
  • QoS L7 Packet Classifier l7-filter)
  • PPTP VPN Server & Client
  • Ntop Remote Statistic
  • Syslog to remote server
  • RFlow/MACupd
  • Routing: Static entries and Gateway, BGP, OSPF & RIP2 via (BIRD)
  • Samba FS Automount
  • Rx/Tx Antenna (Select or Auto)
  • Show Status of Wireless Clients and WDS with System Uptime/Processor Utilization
  • Site Survey
  • SNMP
  • SSH server & client (dropbear)
  • Startup, Firewall, and Shutdown scripts (startup script)
  • Static DHCP Assignment
  • Style (Changeable GUI; v.23)
  • Supports New Devices (WRT54G V3, V3.1, V4, V5 and WRT54GS V2.1, V3, V4)
  • Telnet server & client
  • Transmit Power Adjustment (0-251mW, default is 28mW, 100mW is safe)
  • UPnP
  • VLAN
  • Wake On Lan client (WOL)
  • WDS Connection Watchdog
  • WDS Repeater Mode
  • Wireless MAC Addresses Cloning
  • Wireless MAC filter
  • WMM (Wi-Fi MultiMedia QoS)
  • WPA over WDS
  • WPA/TKIP with AES
  • WPA2
  • Xbox Kaid (Kai Engine)

v23 File Versions

With v23 (Changelog) the project is split into:

  • dd-wrt.v23 Micro (select most recent directory) - does not contain: chillispot, nocat, rflow, kaid, samba client, SNMP, IPv6, MMC/SD Card Support, SSH, PPTP/PPTP Client, UPnP. This file is under 2MB in size. While it is aimed at routers with less than 2MB of flash space (e.g., Linksys WRT54G version 5), any router should be able to run this version, including Linksys WRT54G versions before 5. Note that the Micro version is considered in beta, so it has a chance of instability. For flashing a version 5 of the WRT54G, look at Flash_Your_Version_5_WRT54G.
  • dd-wrt.v23.mini.zip - does not contain: chillispot, nocat, rflow, kaid, samba client, SNMP, IPv6, MMC/SD Card Support.

Note: DD-WRT Download Mirror: here

These zip files (above excluding Micro) contain six versions:

filename description
dd-wrt.v23_<type>_generic.bin Generic version for flashing via web interface on all supported devices (including Linksys WRT54G/GL/GS) and for flashing Siemens SE505 with boot tftp on
dd-wrt.v23_<type>_wrt54g.bin tftp versions for WRT54G
dd-wrt.v23_<type>_wrt54gs.bin tftp versions for WRT54GS
dd-wrt.v23_<type>_wrt54gsv4.bin tftp versions for WRTGSv4
dd-wrt.v23_<type>_asus.trx Web interface version for Asus WL-500G Deluxe
dd-wrt.v23_<type>_moto.trx For initial flashing of Motorola WR850G using the boot wait state.

where <type> is a placeholder for mini, std or voip. For upgrading from the original Linksys firmware, please use the mini version and flash it from web interface. After this first flashing you can upgrade to any other distribution too.

The above files are also available for individual download.

[Comment: This not very clear on how to "upgrade to any other distribution too". After the "mini web flashing" can we still use the webinterface to flash the "tftp" versions ? If we must use tftp to flash "tftp versions", here is a link that could help : http://www.research.earthlink.net/ipv6/recovery.html ]

[Further comment: You CAN upgrade to other distributions via the web interface. Follow the same process as before. From stock Linksys firmware:- Upgrade 1st using the mini generic file (dd-wrt.v23_mini_generic.bin) then once you are sure its stable and working follow the same process with alternative distributions.]

[Further comment update: After the mini_generic web flashing, use the "generic" versions for web flashing any distribution. The specific files are for tftp only.]

What is Needed to run DD-WRT?

  • A computer (Windows, Linux, Mac, whatever)
  • A broadband internet connection (DSL, Cable, or similar)
  • A Linksys WRT54G/GL/GS router or other supported router. A list of supported routers can be found here.
  • The DD-WRT firmware image from The DD-WRT Project
  • Follow the instructions under The Right Way to Flash Your DD-WRT-capable Router to install the new firmware on your router.

Please support the project

This software is available for free without nag screens, registration or other disgusting limits. However somebody - especially brainslayer - has to pay server costs, new hardware and most importantly food and shelter.

You are encouraged to donate to the project to ensure ongoing work and development.

If you are using DD-WRT commercially we think it is fair that you donate a small part of your profit with the project. You wouldn't be making money without it, would you?