Last week my Asus RT-N65U router just gave it up after 6 years of good service. For this reason, I was in an urgent need for a new router and jumped straight into the project to buy a new one. No reading through reviews and no feature and specs comparison as I normally do. Finally, I got my hands on an Asus RT-AC58U and here is how I managed to install Entware on ASUS router RT-AC58U.
The router comes with a quad-core processor ( wow ), offers concurrent speeds up to 400Mbps on 2.4Ghz and up to 867Mbps on 5GHz. It has 128MB of Memory ( could be more ) and most importantly has a USB 3.0 port to attach a storage device.
Since this post is no review of the router itself, I wrap it up a little bit. Let me just say, after I went through all steps to install Entware and satisfy my needs I still was disappointed with the multitasking performance of this router. Read the conclusion at the end of this post.
- Being able to flash custom firmware without opening the chassis.
- Install Entware on it.
- Install a transmission torrent client on it.
- Downloads and uploads should be performed directly from the attached storage without the need to turn on my PC.
- Install MiniDLNA on it. ( the Asus one is a pain )
- Being able to configure a disk spin down on the USB attached hard drive after a specified idle time.
- A custom firmware like Asus-Merlin cannot be installed since the Qualcomm quad-core processor is not supported. I did not want to open the chassis to install OpenWRT and all other solutions seem a little bit odd to me.
- The router comes with no torrent client at all. Download Master is not installed. ( which is a positive in my case since Optware and Entware are not compatible with each other. So I was able to start from scratch straight away )
- No option to configure a disk spin down. ( to be honest, I was prepared for this, no surprise )
The solution for me was to install Entware going through the steps I compiled below. I am not deep into Linux, just have collected and tested several solutions and want to share what worked for me.
Mount your USB device where entware will be installed.
It should be ideally formatted as EXT format. My drive is formatted ext4. I had never any problems with Asus routers and USB storages formatted as ext4.
Disable the Asus default media server :
Enable SSH on RT-AC58U under Administration > System:
It is recommended to specify an Auto Logout value. I have just disabled it for the time installing and testing entware, transmission and miniDLNA.
Connect via SSH to the router:
You will need a SSH client to be able to control your router via command line. I use PUTTY for this purpose. Assuming you connect to the router with the default IP type 192.168.1.1 under Host Name ( or IP address ). Leave it on Port 22. Connection Type SSH. Save the session for more convenient future use or just open it. Use your admin ceredentials to log in.
Since JFFS is not enabled on this router post-mount scripts cannot be utilized. We need to prepare persistence after a reboot as follows:
( find your LABELNAME by typing mount or ls -l /tmp/mnt )
cat << EOF > /tmp/script_usbmount.tmp
if [ \$1 = “/tmp/mnt/LABELNAME” ]
ln -sf \$1 /tmp/opt
nvram set script_usbmount=”`cat /tmp/script_usbmount.tmp`”
cat << EOF > /tmp/script_usbumount.tmp
if [ \$1 = “/tmp/mnt/LABELNAME” ]
nvram set script_usbumount=”`cat /tmp/script_usbumount.tmp`”
Source for this one and the next one: Entware-Install-on-Asus-stock-firmware
Reboot the router and install entware:
wget -O – http://pkg.entware.net/binaries/armv7/installer/entware_install.sh | sh
Now you will be able to install a Transmission torrent client!!
Conclusion after I installed Entware, Transmission and miniDLNA on this router :
It worried me when I started to use Transmission and the RAM usage reached levels from 95 – 98 % straight away. Felt that I will not be able to stream a film via miniDLNA while the Transmission daemon is started. And unfortunately, I was right. MiniDLNA stopped working as soon the memory usage reached 100%. To my dissatisfaction, this happened quite often. As a workaround, I stopped the Transmission daemon and hoped to enjoy a film without any interruption. Nope. MiniDLNA got still disconnected. Not that often as before but it was still an annoyance. This was the point where I reset the router to its initial state and brought it back to the shop the next day.
It has obviously a cause that this router comes without the option to install Download Master via the default firmware. I can imagine using the router with a NAS and its own bit torrent client could be a good solution. Apart from that, the router offers good and reliable speeds on both networks. To be fair I must admit that Transmission version 2.94 which I had installed on this router consumes a considerable amount of memory more than the Transmission version I had installed on my old router ( it must have been 2.30 or lower ).
Any way this router did not fit my needs. My new one is an ASUS AC-87U with 256 MB of memory. This one flashed with Merlin, fits all my needs listed under ‘My requirements’ 🙂