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3. Make Root File System

Chad McCue edited this page Mar 12, 2019 · 57 revisions

McDebian Root File System:

The root file system has to be put onto a USB Drive and connected to the WRT router. This in theory will greatly increase the life span of the router since the firmware only reads from the router's nand flash once during boot and never writes to nand flash. The root file system USB Drive must be connected to the USB 2.0 port.

My instructions assume you are familiar with and have available a Linux distro like Debian, Ubuntu, Yocto, etc...

Required files:

Root File System

WRT1900AC V1 (McDebian 4.4.16)

wget --user=mcdebian --password=mcdebian123

WRT1200AC, WRT1900AC V1\V2, WRT1900ACS, WRT3200ACM and WRT32X (McDebian 4.19.12)

wget --user=mcdebian --password=mcdebian123

Website access for firmware:

  • Username: "mcdebian"
  • Password: "mcdebian123"

Warning the below instructions will delete all contents of the USB drive!

Create USB Drive\Key

  1. Make a directory "/mnt/usbkey" since all my instructions use this directory to mount the USB drive.

mkdir /mnt/usbkey

  1. Make a directory "/root/McDebian/McDebian-rootfs-baselines", put the McDebian rootfs and rootfs update files (*.gz) into it.
mkdir /root/McDebian
mkdir /root/McDebian-rootfs-baselines
  1. Use lsblk to find out where the USB drive was mounted to when plugged in.


lsblk output

If the drive shows as mounted on a folder like in the example above "/mnt/usbkey" unmount it before proceeding

umount /mnt/usbkey

  1. Format the USB drive partition ext4 and then mount the USB drive.
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb1
mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/usbkey
  1. Extract the root files system to the USB drive with command:

WRT1900AC V1

tar zxf /root/McDebian/McDebian-rootfs-baselines/mcdebian-router-WRT-1900-1200-Kernel_4_4_16-base.gz -C /mnt/usbkey

WRT1200AC, WRT1900AC V1\V2, WRT1900ACS, WRT3200ACM and WRT32X

tar zxf /root/McDebian/McDebian-rootfs-baselines/mcdebian-stretch-router-WRT-1900-1200-3200-32x-Kernel_4_19_12-base.gz -C /mnt/usbkey
  1. Unmount the USB Drive. Keep in mind that the dismount could take awhile because a lot of files were added to the USB drive.

umount /mnt/usbkey

  1. Plug the USB Drive into the router and power up the router. If you can't connect to the router after the initial power on this is due to udev discovering and mapping interfaces. A power cycle (off and on) will be required to complete the initial McDebian implementation on the router.

I recommend applying the latest McDebian update for better wireless and system stability.

Router SSH Access

McDebian Updates

Additional Documentation:

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