Install Entware on ASUS Router RT-AC58U

Install Entware RT-AC58U

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.

My requirements:

  • 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.

The facts:

  • 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.

1 -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.

2 -Disable the Asus default media server :

Disable UPnP Media Server

3 -Enable SSH on RT-AC58U under Administration > System:

Enable Telnet on RT-AC58U

It is recommended to specify an Auto Logout value. I have just disabled it for the time installing and testing entware, transmission and miniDLNA.

4 -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 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.

5 -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
/opt/etc/init.d/rc.unslung start
nvram set script_usbmount=”`cat /tmp/script_usbmount.tmp`”

cat << EOF > /tmp/script_usbumount.tmp
if [ \$1 = “/tmp/mnt/LABELNAME” ]
/opt/etc/init.d/rc.unslung stop
nvram set script_usbumount=”`cat /tmp/script_usbumount.tmp`”

nvram commit

Source for this one and the next one: Entware-Install-on-Asus-stock-firmware

6 -Reboot the router and install entware:

wget -O – | 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’ 🙂

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