The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

WRT54GS v5 is DD-WRT Capable

Posted by Deliverator on January 20th, 2008

I recently acquired a free WRT54GS. I looked on the back and saw that it was a version 5. Version 5 of both the WRT54G and GS was when Linksys switched from Linux to VxWorks on these models, simultaneously slashing the onboard ram and flash from 32 MB ram and 8 MB flash on earlier models of the GS to 8 MB of ram and 2 MB of flash. 2 MB of flash is not much space in which to fit an OS, but the DD-WRT project has released a special Micro version of their router distro which will fit, albeit with somewhat less functionality than the standard, vpn and voip versions of DD-WRT. Converting a version 5 GS model from VxWorks to DD-WRT Micro involves flashing a couple intermediary preparatory firmware images through the webadmin interface, and then tftp uploading the DD-WRT Micro firmware as a final step. I simply followed the steps outlined here and had my GS v5 running DD-WRT in about ten minutes.  As an added bonus, it appears that Linksys used 16 MB ram chips in the version 5 and some 5.1 versions of the GS and simply disabled access to the other 8 MB in their firmware and that flashing these units with DD-WRT will re-enable this missing 8 MB.

I still recommend that those looking for a decent home router go with a WRT54GL or a Buffalo WHR-G125, but if you purchased one of these “neutered” G and GS models before news of the change got around, you might not be totally out of luck.