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15 October 2012, 13:52

Preview of OpenWRT 12.09 Linux for routers

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Zoom Some WRT54G models will not be able to run never versions of OpenWRT

The OpenWRT development team has released an initial beta version of the forthcoming OpenWRT 12.09, named "Attitude Adjustment". According to the announcement, it will no longer support Linux kernel 2.4. This affects older routers with only 16MB RAM or with slower CPUs (200MHz), such as some WRT54G models from Linksys, on which more recent kernel versions (brcm47xx) run poorly.

In contrast, Attitude Adjustment extends support for the ar71xx, ramips and lantiq router platforms. General, non-hardware-related changes so far include improvements to the LuCI web interface, a switch to netifd for network configuration, extensive eglibc support, and improvements to the ath9k and ath5k Wi-Fi drivers, which now support 5 and 10MHz channels. The beta version also extends IPv6 support to include the transition mechanism IPv6 rapid deployment (6rd). It includes more extensions for the iptables packet filter and, thanks to improved compression, takes up less space in the router's flash memory. During the beta phase, the developers are planning to fix a few known bugs, including problems with the ramips switch driver and the new gpiolib driver.

According to the release announcement, the core developers are planning to update the Linux kernel to version 3.6 and do more work on IPv6 support for the next Attitude Adjustment release, which is due around Christmas. Because OpenWRT has now grown to encompass more than 1000 software packages, the development team has also announced that it will now only add packages with a dedicated maintainer to the main repository. This will, they say, substantially reduce the workload on the core developers – new package maintainers are also welcomed. In future, they will also only accept patches for OpenWRT via the OpenWRT developer mailing list.

The first beta of OpenWRT 12.09 is available for download from the OpenWRT servers. The current stable release of OpenWRT is version 10.03.1 from December 2011.


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