Modified firmware R7500v1 for use with Entware-ng and Debian

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Voxel
Voxel's picture
I don't know if R7500v1 could

I don't know if R7500v1 could support MU-MIMO with firmware customization.

 

It will be possible only if Quantenna will add MU-MIMO to their drivers. And having access to this drivers of course. Drivers are blackbox. Maybe this will be done for ASUS AC87U with Quantenna.

BTW, I tried to check what is going with Quantenna in AC87U FW. Total crap with these GPL sources. Any version of GPL codes from ASUS for AC87U I tried to download I could not unzip. Error in ZIP archive. Three attempts. Three different GPL archives. Fakes. Not only Netgear with their 1.0.0.94 GPL.

Anyway I tried to check a bit Quantenna drivers extracting them from binary image of ASUS FW. They use old drivers. More old than in  Netgear's 1.0.0.94 (and 1.0.0.95)

bombz
bombz's picture
Hm ok, thanks for the

Hm ok, thanks for the responses guys. It seems it is best to stay with stock firmware.

So if you choose you can flash V2 on ANY R7500 model ? That's where I was confused was all. I am running  1.0.0.94, but I can flash to 1.0.2.4 if I choose to ? That's where I was confused earlier. If the hardware isn't model specific I would assme it is safe to flash any R7500 firmware without bricking the device it self. Thanks :)

Voxel
Voxel's picture
bombz,

bombz,

You misunderstood us. You cannot flash v2 firmware to your v1 router, otherwise you will get a brick. I suppose that flashing will not be possible at all if Netgear checks the hardware versions of router.

bombz
bombz's picture
So what is it that determines

So what is it that determines it on the router hardware. I didn't see any sticker or anything that shows hardware revision. Is the only way to check by logging into the GUI and looking at the firmware number ? Stupid move on netgear if that's the only way to check. I didn't find any official firmware on their website for V2 anyways. That's why it's confusing I suppose.

Voxel
Voxel's picture
bombz,

bombz,

https://yadi.sk/i/Gnka-f7PrMG28
You can see in the left top corner of WebGUI for v2 exact identification "Nighthawk X4 R7500v2". For v1 you see just "Nighthawk X4 R7500". This is indicator.

If you do not see "v2" then you have "v1".

robysax
robysax's picture
Hi Voxel,

Hi Voxel,

 
I have installed your custom firmware 1.0.0.98 yesterday afternoon.
So far, all work fine without any issues.
In the next days, I would enable SSH and install Dns cache like dnsmasq.
I will give you a feedback on these steps.
Thanks a lot for your job.
bombz
bombz's picture
Voxel

Voxel

Thank you sir, so it is only software that shows this. Much appreciated.

@robysax -- I am interested to know about that custom firmware myself. If you wouldn't mind sharing the stability and maybe some screen shots (as the ones in the op you can't really make out) I may change or try custom firmware myself. I thought Wi-Fi 5ghz didn't work well with it... not that I NEED 5g but someone had said that I thought.

 

Thanks :)

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Hi Robysax,

Hi Robysax,

 

Regarding Entware: if you suppose to use my version of Entware optimized for Cortex-A15, it is better to download it again:
 

entware-cortex-a15.tar.gz           https://yadi.sk/d/z82gKbw_qpz8A

entware-initial-cortexa15.tar      https://yadi.sk/d/wgMUe9n7qpz8D

I renewed these archives today. Changes are:

 

1. Some packages were updated in Entware official site (synchronized with OpenWRT).

2. I used option -O3 instead of -O2 for compilation to provide maximal optimization (speed).

3. Changes a bit ffmpeg package (it is now fully optimized for Cortex-A15, was not so for previous version).

4  Some cosmetic changes.

So it is better to re-install this Entware from initial version if it was already installed.

 

P.S.
I'll be absent for two weeks, so there will be no my comments on your feedbacks some time. Good luck with Entware.

Voxel.

 

robysax
robysax's picture
Hi Voxel,

Hi Voxel,

In these 2 weeks, I have tried your custom firmware 1.0.0.98 and these are my feedback :

 

1. Option "Turn off wireless signal by schedule" on menu Advanced Setup/Wireless settings does not work for 2GHz and 5 GHz.

I have tried to reset router, reinstall firmware with reset before and after this step but, no success.

I use this function because, I don't want to take up WiFi signal all hours day  

 

2. In several trials of download speed from internet, this firmware obtain about 85/10 Mbit max.

In the same identical condition with firmware 1.0.0.95 trial battery and ufficial 1.0.0.94 speed is always 100/10 Mbit, download is greater.

Are there different WiFi parameters among firmware 1.0.0.98 and 1.0.0.95 beta ?

 

3. I have logged via SSH but I can't view 5 GHz WiFi interface, only 2 GHz is visible like interface ath0.

I have increased txpower for 2,4 GHz via uci commands, it seems that max value is 20 dbm (100 mw).

My goal is to boost 5GHz signal increasing txpower. 

 

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

 

kylewu
kylewu's picture
Hi Voxel,

Hi Voxel,

I do not know much about linux, I  tried hard to set up the  router on your custom firmware 1.0.0.98. but there is no luck, i stuck on installing the opkg package. I found the following problems.

1.  the original readyshare is not working.

2. while i am installing entware, the command line "mkswap swap" and "swapon swap" it shows that command is not found.

Thanks for your Excllent work.

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Hi guys,
Hi guys,
 
I do not promise to resolve your problem with my customization of firmware in the nearest time: I am extremely busy now with my main job, I have hard deadlines – end of this month. Even working during weekends. So just “on-the-fly” comments:
 
Robysax:
 
1. "Turn off wireless signal by schedule". It is strange problem, because of my changes do not touch such functionality of router. Moreover, I tested this functionality after reading your feedback a hour ago (only for 5GHz, because I need at least one Wi-Fi connection) and did not face such problem. R7500 switched off 5GHz radio and turned it back on after 30 min according to schedule I set. 2.4GHz was on all this time. Make sure that your timezone settings are correct, checking current time/date from SSH console (command “date”). Maybe your schedule is working, but with time shift due to wrong timezone (mine was not properly set as I found).
 
Well, to say true meanwhile  I created new version of 1.0.0.98, naming it “1.0.0.98HF”. The main difference with version you use is that I succeeded to compile this custom firmware with “hard-float” (to utilize the power of both R7500’ CPU and FPU). I use it second day, so I did not test it enough. If you wish to try – let me know. 
 
In general, to overcome this problem temporary (until I will be able to reproduce it) you can use “cron” from Entware-ng and set your schedule from SSH prompt. The command “/sbin/wifi down” will turn off wireless radio. “/sbin/wifi up” will turn it back on. I.e. two cron job by “crontab –e” – to turn off and turn on radio by your schedule.
 
2. Speed. Again, IMO it is incorrect test (speedtest by Ookla). Rather shows the current speed of your WAN port provided by your ISP. Depends on many factors such as current sharing of WAN channel with other clients, current overload of server used by Ookla etc. As far as I understand you run it choosing “automatic selection of test by ping”. And target server differs. For example my ISP who hosts the server for Ookla’ speedtest displays the warning in their home page that “this speedtest does not provide accurate measurement of real WAN speed”. And if I use different servers in Ookla manually I can get the difference plus-minus 10Mbit (my channel is 60/60). You have always 85/10? What about using 2.4GHz or cable connection? Did you test client-to-client speed (both connected to your router)? For example my client (very old poor notebook) downloads the file from my second client (small fileserver) with the speed about 18Mbytes (i.e. 144 Mbit what is faster than 85Mbit). The same speed I have when using cable connection.
 
3. 5GHz Wi-Fi network interface. It is blackbox (Quantenna drivers in binary form). What is inside is known to Quantenna only. It works like Linux started in memory from the other already working Linux (drivers contain image of Linux). Something like virtual computer. I did not dig in deep yet how this  controlled by main Linux i.e. by FW. So standard tools by e.g. uci do not work.
 
To increase a bit the txpower of 5GHz for my R7500 I used the different country code. For example in US 100% of Wi-Fi power is more than in Europe. So I set US-country  for 5GHz from SSH prompt:
 
config set wla_country=10
config commit
 
(I do not need to increase the 2.4GHz power, so only for 5GHz). Maybe it will be helpful for you.
 
 
Kylewu:
 
1. Original readyshare. In general I warned about this. The main goal of this customization of FW is use of Entware’s analogs if you mean samba server. Readyshare by Netgear is something alien for me. But I wrote somewhere above that if you will create the file “/root/.nolabel” then most probably Netgears readyshare will work (at least for NTFS formatted USB). Try to run command from SSH prompt:
 
echo > /root/.nolabel
 
And reboot the router. Then try readyshare again.
 
2. Initial Entware archive is very basic and does not contain swap-utils. Install the package “swap-utils” from Entware to have these commands. If you use my version of Entware from local disk, the command is:

opkg install swap-utils_2.25.2-4_cortex-a15.ipk

 
 
Thank you for your feedbacks,
 
Voxel.
 
Zdenkod
Zdenkod's picture
Hi Voxel!

Hi Voxel!

You can count my R7500 as one with your recent 1.0.0.98 firmware.

Installed with factory default pre and post FW upgrade.

My observations:

1. dropbear - my own RSA keypair installed and used at first attempt.

You setup very nice colored SSH terminal.

2. Entware - had not pay attention to swap size --> "disk full error" at creation. That resulted in backup of all my data on the other partition, delete all partitions an creating new ones (3GB entware).

Would be nice to mention the suggested minimum size of entware paritition in your readme.doc. Just a suggestion.

3. After entware-A15 install & swap setup and reboot all worked. After a few hours (late evening) WiFi 2.4 & 5 GHz did not want to connect any device (getting IP endlessly on devices) , Android phones - 2, notebooks -2 both Windows 10. Regarding LEDs on router were ON.

That WiFi "feature" I observed in official 1.0.0.94 also many times. That was the reason forced me to flash your firmware. Looks like dirty firmware, you have no influence to it.

4. Next day I tried to install LAN printer to one of the WiFi connected notebook. Windows 10 - "there was a critical error, rebooting [from some kind of a blue sccreen]). Again dirty firmware from Netgear?

The same happened two times. So after third reboot I found, that DHCP reserved IP to MAC number not delivered the rihgt IP (was in a range of IP autodelivered to not connected net card). I reserved 3 IP numbers to devices and all had IP numbers autodelivered (not connected).

New reboot solved the issue.

I will report my experiences in next days..

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question: How to check if WiFi (2.4 & 5GHz) work OK - remote in SSH terminal?

Best regards,

 

Zdenko

 

 

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Very briefly, I’ll continue
Very briefly, I’ll continue later:
 
3. Lost connection
If you are so brave to use my custom FW, then try more fresh version of FW :-)
 
 
it is named by me as v. 1.0.0. 98HF.
 
To be serious, I do not quite understand the problem with lost connection. I left my router ON with 1.0.0.98 for 13 days (uptime was 13 days and several hours) plus notebook all the time connected to irouter by 5GHz Wi-Fi. Everything was OK after my return back. I connected iOS phone, iPAD and my family did not signal me any problems with use of their gadgets by Wi-Fi.
 
Anyway, try 30-30-30 reset of router before flashing and 30-30-30 after flashing. Then restore your settings manually, not from already stored config file.
 
Difference in 1.0.0.98HF what could be important for you with your problem:
a) I used more fresh compiler. 4.8.3 instead of 4.6.4. With all patches from OpenWRT repository. Maybe your problem is due to old compiler bug in code generation. Who knows…
b) I compiled it with hard-float. I.e. FPU is used now in full power.
c) I upgraded yet another packages in FW, using them from r7500v2 FW and OpenWRT. Including basic busybox. I do not know exactly what is the reason of your lost connection. What package. Just use of most fresh version from R7500v2 _maybe_ will solve this. And use of 30-30-30 reset. I do such reset too often because of my tests with new FW and I did not have such problems.
 
I’ll continue my answer to you later.
 
P.S. Of course I flashed this 1.0.0.98HF to my router. Do not think that I use you as a beta tester :-) It works OK and I use it now. And it is better to use the same FW in case of problems (to reproduce them).
 
Best regards,
Voxel.
 
Voxel
Voxel's picture
Zdenko,

Zdenko,

(continue)
3. Such problem might be if your LAN has additional DHCP server. I.e. one from computer/gadget works as DHCP and your clients receive wrong IP from wrong DHCP server instead getting it from the router. Or DHCP from WAN port... I do not have another idea yet. I did not read such signals from R7500 users. If you have the same problem with stock FW...

4. As far as I understand this problem is solved by reboot?
 

Question: How to check if WiFi (2.4 & 5GHz) work OK - remote in SSH terminal?

 

It is possible for 2.4 using the command iwconfig.

5GHz from Quantenna is black box. But I found the command:
 

qcsapi_sockrpc get_interface_stats wifi0

at least it should dispay tx_bytes value, which is changed if client is using 5GHz

Voxel.

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Robysax,

Robysax,

Did you read my message to you in Private Messages? Are you able to change 5GHz power now? Did it help with speed?

Voxel.

robysax
robysax's picture
Hi Voxel,

Hi Voxel,

Regarding points that I have notifed to you :

1. Turn off schedule issue :

You was right, there is a problem among time from router gui and SSH console.

I have seen that if I check time on console via SSH, the time is back of 2 hours but, in Web GUI the time is right, NTP server and time settings are correct.

I think that is necessary to setup correct NTP server and time by console to resolve problem.

 

2. Speed slighty slow than stock firmware :

I have tested speed closed to router with same device (iPad Air), same tool (Ookla), same server Ookla and same position from router in different hours of day.

I confirm that via cable, the speed is 100/10 like stock firmware.

I agree with you that this is no very reliable test.

 

3. Boost txpower at 5 GHz :

I have tried your commands but, signal is always weak from router to my bedroom (about 15 meters).

With isSSIDer 4 5 GHz signal does not gain any DBm.

 

When I will be free, I will try your last firmware 1.0.0.98HF

 

Thanks for your support

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Robysax:

Robysax:

1. Timezone

To set proper TZ from command line it is enough to create proper TZ file corresponding to your timezone, e.g.

 

echo GMT-2 > /tmp/TZ

something like that. Just check your TZ how it should be in Linux. No changes in NTP server are needed. I use such command from autorun script which starts Entware.

2. Speed.

I do not know. Really, there is no anything that should brake the Quantenna 5GHz. Just it works or not. I tried 5GHz and Ookla test using other connection (which is very float,  I gat 96Mbit maximum, 52 minimum by cable). I could get 92Mbit with 5Ghz. It is more than your 85 at least.

 

Regards,

Voxel.

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Forgot to add:

Forgot to add:

3. Boost

I checked by inSSIder 3.1.21. tx_power is changed. My signal was -52. Now it is -47. I used qcsapi_sockrpc set_test_mode_tx_power callcmd 20. Initial value was 12. Notebook is about 8 meter distance from router. No walls but not direct visibility (chairs, table, sofa).

Voxel.

Zdenkod
Zdenkod's picture
Hi Voxel!

Hi Voxel!

 

Thank you for the answers. I'll flash your recent FW.

Regarding above, do I have to install ali from the begining? I know that my keys for dropbear are lost at flashing. What about else. Entware and packages are installed on entware USB disk. Do I have to repeat the installation of the entware and its packages at every firmware flashing?

I installed your A15 FW (compiled for Cortex A15) but uname -a returns:

Linux R7500 3.4.0 #1 SMP Mon Apr 25 15:34:23 MSK 2016 armv7l unknown

And today I installed samba from your entware-cortex-a15.tar.gz.

The disk transfer speed is very slow. Over 1GB LAN from computer to R7500 disk on USB3 is max 20 MB/s.

The smb.conf in /opt/etc/samba is:

[global]
        netbios name = R7500
        display charset = UTF-8
        interfaces = lo br0
        server string = Netgear R7500
        unix charset = UTF-8
        workgroup = doma
        browseable = yes
        deadtime = 30
        domain master = yes
        encrypt passwords = true
        enable core files = no
        guest account = nobody
        guest ok = yes
        invalid users = root
        local master = yes
        load printers = no
        map to guest = Bad User
        max protocol = SMB3
        min receivefile size = 16384
        null passwords = yes
        obey pam restrictions = yes
        os level = 20
        passdb backend = smbpasswd
        preferred master = yes
        printable = no
        security = user
        smb encrypt = disabled
        smb passwd file = /opt/etc/samba/smbpasswd
        socket options = TCP_NODELAY IPTOS_LOWDELAY
        syslog = 2
        use sendfile = yes
        writeable = yes
        [BCK]
            comment = Backup disk
            browseable = no
            writable = yes
            path = /tmp/mnt/bck
        [podatki]
            comment = disk s podatki
            browseable = no
            writable = yes
            path = /tmp/mnt/podatki
 

Do you have any idea, where the problem is?

Have a nice Sunday,

Zdenko

 

 

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Hi Zdenko,

Hi Zdenko,

 

Of course it is not necessary to re-install Entware every time you reset or flash your router. 
 

I installed your A15 FW (compiled for Cortex A15) but uname -a returns:

Linux R7500 3.4.0 #1 SMP Mon Apr 25 15:34:23 MSK 2016 armv7l unknown

And? This message was also displayed in original FW (except time of creation) and I did not touch it. Change it to someting else? 

Samba: I had something like 45-50Mbit when tested. About the same when I connect it to notebook. Some WD 2.5" HDD. Sorry, I out of my home now, cannot check again. I used some optimization guide from this article as far as I remembr (I created my smb.conf several years ago and re-used it with different routers, ASUS-es and then Netgear):
 

https://wiki.amahi.org/index.php/Make_Samba_Go_Faster

Try to play with socket options and AIO. AFAIR I used them.

Regards,
Voxel.

Zdenkod
Zdenkod's picture
Thank you Voxel!

Thank you Voxel!

For  the fast answer, regarding you are so busy.

 The first I'll check, will be disk to disk copy on two USB3 ports on R7500 alone, to evaluate R7500 USB3 speed and after that, try samba optimisations.

Public question to that forum readers:

Have anyone tested and get any speed difference on NTFS and EXT4 disk partitions regarding R7500 USB3 handling and Samba sharing?

Suggestions what to implement for maximum Samba share speed on R7500 are welcome.

 

Best regards, Zdenko

robysax
robysax's picture
Hi Voxel,

Hi Voxel,

I have installed your custom firmware 1.0.0.98HF, installation worked fine, reset before and after upgrade

1. I confirm that creating /tmp/TZ with correct timezone resolve problem of time on console

2. With this custom firmware I can reach 100/10 MBit but I have to switch off QOS to achive this speed.

    If you active QOS, band slow down to 80/10 MBit.

3. You are right, this command increase tx power level on 5 GHz.

4. ReadyShare does not work with usb HDD formatted NTFS, it can read only FAT32 and ext2 partition.

    If you connect a NTFS USB disk, from SSH console you can see device mounted but, from Windows and router GUI you can't access to it. 

    In stock firmware there are no problem on NTFS HDD, transfer reach 40/50 MBit.

    Like Zdenkod has written, performance on file transfer to and from USB storage are very slow, about 20 MBit.

    My opinion is to don't use ReadyShare with this firmware but, download a samba package.

5. Any command that I enter from SSH console to set WiFi is lost after reboot.

    For example if I enter uci commands, file /etc/wireless is updated but, after reboot return to default value

 

My opinion is to don't use router GUI if you have installed this custom firmware, it's better to use only console, more difficult but more affidable.

Is there any way to compile official DDWRT with quantenna drivers for R7500v1 ?

 

Thanks in advance for your support

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Hi Robysax,

Hi Robysax,

1.TZ: Yes, it should be so, I know.

 

2. QoS is strange stuff. IMO. I do not use it. You have good enough channel for download (100Mbit), so IMO use of QoS has no sense. If you have a lot of clients in your LAN, with torrents, permanent download, not so good bandwith, then use of QoS. Otherwise it just has no sense.

3. OK. Also take into account that inSSIDer can detect the change of tx_power not immediately. After some time.

4. ReadyShare (by Netger). Well, initially I just wanted to ignore this Netgear's specific stuff. Goal is possibility to use Entware/Debian with R7500. But 1.0.0.98 and 1.0.0.98HF have backward compatibility with stock FW. I understand that people maybe are interested in ordinary Netgear's router functionality. So (I wrote this somewhere above): if you have a file /root/.nolabel then you can get Netgear's ReadyShare. For all kinds of file systems. Except you should set permissions 777 for native ext2/3/4. Just run:

echo > /root/.nolabel

 

from console to get this behaviour of router (ReadyShare).

Also. I checked NTFS with 1.0.0.98HF. No problems. I could read the file.

Speed. Last info I got from Zdenko is that he has got increase of samba speed in 6 (six) times faster than he reported in his mesage with 1.0.0.98HF. I also do not face a problem with speed.

Suggestion:

a) Always use native filesystem for OS i.e. ext2/3/4 for Linux and R7500.
b) Use the link I passed to Zdenko about how to tune samba. Custom config.
c) Use exactly ext2 (not ext3/4) the get maximal speed. Just w/o journaling.
d) Maximum speed you can get with samba from Entware (my version)

5. As I wrote it could be done automatically. E.g. run your commands ifrom the script n your flash drive in the roout of your flash:

autorun/scripts/post-mout.sh

This script will be always executed when you reboot the router.

DD-WRT. Rather OpenWRT. I am not sure. Maybe Kong will do that.
Regards,
Voxel.

 

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Robysax:

Robysax:
(short continuation)

Maybe not quite clear: Zdenko wrote me that after he upgraded 1.0.0.98 to 1.0.0.98HF he got increase of samba speed in 6 times.

DD-WRT vs OpenWRT: stock Netgear's FW is almost 90% OpenWRT. Based on OpenWRT AA version. Old, but stable. So I have now some knowledge in OpenWRT and how Quantenna drivers are loaded from OpenWRT. I have no experience in DD-WRT at all. Yet at least. Also, it is not clear for me will Kong try to add Quantenna drivers to his version or not.

And take into account that DD-WRT is in very initial state for Netgear's IPQ806x routers. Beta. Very "beta". Too many problems yet. E.g. not workable second USB, some problems with Wi-Fi too (except not workable Quantenna). No hardware acceleration. We have to wait some time. And IMO it is more feasible to add Quantenna drivers support to OpenWRT (taken from their official site, not from this forum). Maybe later I'll try. Now I have in my mind plans to upgrade additional packages in next version of my FW. Only problem that too small space is left in FW. Probably samba with more optimal config, OpenVPN, minidlna, workable wget. Something like that.

1.0.0.98HF has some advantages vs WRT: workable stable Quantenna drivers, hard float point, optimized for IPQ806x CPU, compiled with -O2 optimization, updated a lot of OpenWRT packages.

And regarding GUI vs tuning from console. For me it is usual practice. Basic routers settings are set from GUI. Rest tuning (optimal samba, optional FTP, webserver etc) are from console. Who likes what: Personal preferences. Fine tuning IMO could be done only manually, from console. When you understand how it works.

 

Regards,

Voxel.

kylewu
kylewu's picture
I am looking forward  on your

I am looking forward  on your new version. I had a hard time on setting up the samba36. Can anyone share how to set it up?

Voxel
Voxel's picture
New version... Soon, soon...

New version... Soon, soon... Maybe today. With samba- 3.6.25. Fortunately, I have some free time now.

Voxel
Voxel's picture
OK, I publish new version of
OK, I publish new version of custom firmware for R7500v1. Version 1.0.0.99HF.
 
What is new in 1.0.0.99HF (vs 1.0.0.98HF):
1. Toolchain is upgraded to more recent version (now not only GCC but Binutils and GDB). Important for compilation of firmware (speed, reliability of produced binary codes).
 
2. Samba is upgraded from modified by Netgear version 3.0.24 (2007 year) to 3.6.25 (2015 year). It should now work when Netgear’s ReadyShare is switched ON.
NOTE (if you want to use this version with Netgear’s ReadyShare):
a) Run “echo > /root/.nolabel” from console to force ReadyShare recognize your USB drives.
b) Set permissions 777 for your directories if you need write access with ext2/3/4 formatted drives.
c) I had to do a lot of changes in ReadyShare scripts and codes of programs  to force standard samba 3.6.25 work, because of permissions problem (nullified in old Netgear 3.0.24). It works IMO (I tested), but if something is wrong (maybe because too many changes), set “All without password” for read/write.
 
3. Default samba config is changed to provide more speed.
 
4. OpenVPN version is renewed from 2.3.3 to 2.3.10. I did not test it but it should work.
 
5. Wget in FW now works (I disabled it in busybox and added standard newest wget version 1.17).
 
6. Small corrections in wrong timezone settings for some countries.
 
7. Corrected several Netgear’s bugs.
 
8. Some cosmetic changes (like display of “IPQ8064” instead of “unknown” in “uname –a” command.
 
And the same general optimization with newer compiler (-O2 option), tuning for Cortex-A15 (-mtune=cortex-a15) and hard float support (-mfpu=neon-vfpv4, -mfloat-abi-hard). 
 
Regards,
Voxel.
 
robysax
robysax's picture
Hi Voxel,

Hi Voxel,

Thanks for your replay, I will try your last firmware 1.0.0.99 asap.

I have a few questions:

1. Like I have written in last Mail, when I change settings via console by uci commands, settings are lost after reboot.

Is there any way to maintain these settings after reboot ?

2. I have a Samsung Smart TV 6000 series and minidlna embedded in stock firmware does not work with my TV.

Is possible to integrate working version of minidlna in your custom firmware ?

3. Do you think that maybe possible extract sources from netgear firmware 1.0.0.95 beta and customize them ?

 

I have tried this beta and my feedback is good, it is stable, no problem with WiFi and ethernet connections.

It would be nice to activate dropbear access in firmware 1.0.0.95 beta and embed your customization.

I know that binwalk tool can extract firmware source.

 

Many thanks for your contribute to improve R7500, your custom firmware is the last chance so far to leverage hardware of this device.

 

Voxel
Voxel's picture
Hi Robysax,
Hi Robysax,
 
1. Settings after reboot. As I wrote already it is possible to set anew all your settings after reboot automatically using the scheme with USB drive “autorun”. If you can leave permanently the USB flash drive (even poor, old, small volume) inserted into USB port of router, then you can organize it such manner that all your commands will be executed every time after reboot. See for example my initial instruction with setssh.tar. Unpack this setssh.tar to ext2 formatted USB flash drive, and change the script autorun/scripts/post-mount.sh, replacing my commands by your own, with uci or whatever else. This script with your commands will be executed every time your reboot your router.
2. Samsung TV and minidlna. Yes, I plan to do this. My TV is also Samsung Smart TV 6000 series. I did not check yet this R7500 minidlna with my TV. So it is news for me that it does not work. Also, I think that it is possible to change a bit Plex Media Server to force it to work with R7500. In conjunction with Entware, from external USB drive. Will try do this later. 
3. Source codes could not be extracted from binary FW. There are no source codes of 1.0.0.95 beta. Netgear did not publish them. Last workable source codes are 1.0.0.82 which I use for customization. Maximum I could get from this 1.0.0.95 is Quantenna drivers. I.e. my FW is using 5GHz binary Wi-Fi drivers taken from binary 1.0.0.95 beta. Using some “hacks”.
 
1.0.0.95 beta vs my custom FW: this beta could win only in following points:
a) More fresh drivers for 2.4GHz and Ethernet. But IMO no much (if any) improvements in 2.4GHz and Ethernet if compare 1.0.0.82 (used by me as a skeleton for customization) with 1.0.0.94/1.0.0.95beta.
b) More fresh Linux kernel version. In general it does not matter for end-users. I can use only kernel 3.4.0, when 1.0.0.95beta has 3.4.103. And this is a reason why I cannot re-use other drivers (Ethernet and 2.4GHz) in my custom FW. Drivers from 3.4.103 cannot be used with kernel 3.4.0. Only success (it is rather exception) that I succeeded to reuse 5GHz Quantenna driver from 1.0.0.95 beta in my custom FW with 3.4.0 kernel after small reverse-engineering hack. Using binwalk.
 
Custom FW:
a) Absolutely the same 5Ghz driver as in 1.0.0.95 beta.
b) Compiled with full hard float support, i.e. now FPU is workable, in stock FW practically is not. Also custom FW is compiled by new compiler with maximal optimization for IPQ806x CPU. Faster.
c) A lot of renewed packages. Custom FW uses more fresh OpenWRT packages. Stock FW uses old OpenWRT packages. E.g. samba in stock FW is the package of 2007 year . OpenSSL is also 5-6 years ago. Zlib, lzo, xml processing, other low level library – all this is renewed, thus we should expect increase in speed, closed security issues, stability (bugs removal in new versions).
d) Possibility to use Entware, Debian or other optware (like e.g. Plex Media Server in future).
 
It is possible to add dropbear to 1.0.0.95 beta. See my previous theme in this forum about “Entware software packages for R7500” started a year ago. But almost not possible to use Entware (problems with permissions in the stock FW) and no possibility to embed my customization. Customization is possible only having source codes. 
 
Regards,
Voxel.
 
Voxel
Voxel's picture
New version of custom FW: 1.0

New version of custom FW: 1.0.1.02HF. The link for download is (who wants to use):

 

https://yadi.sk/d/TJunW59jsHfPV

 

This FW is optimized for use of Netgear’s ReadyShare functions, including minidlna.

What’s new/changed vs previous version:

ReadyShare

  1. It is NOT necessary now to do any manipulations like “echo > /root/.nolabel” to enforce router to recognize attached disks/flash drives. Router can see attached drives by default and you can control samba/ftp/http/mediaserver from WebGUI

 

  1. Samba is replaced by Netgear specific version from Nighthawk X4S R7800 latest firmware. The version 3.6.25 used in my previous FW has some problems, not enough compatible with R7500 runtime, so there was speed degradation and limit in 4GB (file size to upload). Also I compiled this version from R7800 FW with –O3 option (maximal optimization) plus I changed codes of program to generate more optimal, tuned by me config file. So now it is fast enough.

 

  1. FTP server (ProFTPd v.1.3.3) is replaced by latest version (1.3.5b) and I had to change the codes of this latest version adding Netgear’s specific changes for ReadyShare. Plus corrections of Netgear’s bugs in FTP start.

 

  1. Mediaserver minidlna. I changed old minidlna 1.1.0 to latest 1.1.5 plus some patches and replaced icon by my own. Here is the link how icon looks on my smart TV:
    https://yadi.sk/i/AGAgYWoRsHiAc

And it works now. I checked with Samsung Smart TV.

 

These

Other changes:

ZLIB, LZO, OpenSSL libs are compiled with –O3 option to provide maximal speed. Influence to several packages including OpenVPN (speed).

“Domino effect”: Change of minidlna version required to make changes in tools for compilation (re-new). Changes of tools required to re-new some packages. So updated yet another packages (repaced by latest version from OpenWRT).

Netgear size of FW image is limited, so step-back: standalone wget is removed, wget from busybox is enabled. No space for standalone wget. Plus removed some not-used by FW extra packages. Added one small package needed for me.

Voxel.

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