ASUS RT-AC88U Installation

From UntangleWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
caption

Some newer ASUS routers are not currently open source compatible.

We recommend the Linksys WRT1900ACS instead. It is faster, cheaper, and fully open source compatible.

The following instructions describe how to install Untangle's next-generation firmware on an ASUS RT-AC88U router.

Requirements

Disclaimer

Flashing aftermarket firmware on a router can void the factory warranty. Improperly flashing the firmware on a router can brick it.

The Basics

Unlike traditional firmware images (like DD-WRT, OpenWRT, Tomato) the Untangle firmware currently requires two images.

The Untangle firmware image will be flashed onto the router, like a traditional firmware or aftermarket firmware upgrade, and the Untangle disk image will be written to a USB hard drive and inserted into the router.

For storage a USB hard drive is required. (example) The hard drive will hold the disk image

Requirements

Creating the Untangle disk image

Follow the instructions for your O/S to write the disk image to the USB hard drive.

After writing the disk image insert the USB drive into the ASUS router as shown in the diagram above.

Windows

  • Download and install Win32DiskImager (download here)
  • Insert the USB hard drive into the PC.
  • Right click on the USB drive and format it using FAT32. This will erase all data on the drive!
  • Launch Win32DiskImager and select the Untangle disk image file
  • Select the drive letter of the USB drive (be sure not to accidentally select the wrong drive!)
  • Click Write to write the image to the drive.

After completion insert the USB hard drive into the USB port on the back next to the WPS button.

Linux

  • Insert the USB hard drive into the PC.
  • Run 'dmesg' and determine the device name for the USB drive. (example: /dev/sdf)
  • Run 'sudo dd if=untangle.rootfs of=/dev/sdX bs=10M' (where X is the device name from above - be sure not to accidentally specify the wrong drive!)
  • Run 'sync'

Installing the Untangle firmware image

To install the firmware image upload the firmware image file to the router.

To do this:

  • Install the ASUS RT-AC88U on the network.
  • Open a browser to the administration interface on the ASUS RT-AC88U.
    • If this is a new router, connect the PC to an internal port and open a browser to http://192.168.1.1
    • Either skip or complete the wizard
    • Login if required
  • Click on Administration near the bottom on the left-hand menu
  • Click on Firmware on the top menu
  • Click browse and select the Untangle firmware .trx file you wish to install
  • Click "Upload"

At this point it will display a progress dialog that will never complete as it is expecting a newer ASUS firmware.

Booting Untangle

Once the firmware has been flashed, and the USB drive has been plugged into the router you can boot your new Untangle firmware. The first boot will take a while.

Follow the configuration instructions to configure your new router! Enjoy the power of a full business firewall running on the home router!

Advanced

Below some some alternative advanced proceedures for flashing your device.

Recovery

If at any point you wish to return to the default ASUS firmware, simply use the ASUS recovery utility, or the TFTP method above to reflash the router with the stock ASUS firmware available here.

Flashing firmware with the ASUS recovery utility

ASUS provides a windows utility program to flash the firmware of the RT-AC88U using a recovery mode. You can use this ASUS recovery utility to install new firmware or restore to old firmware.

Download install the the "ASUS Firmware Restoration" utility here

Follow the instructions here to upload the firmware using the recovery mode.

Essentially the instructions are as follows:

  • Give your PC an IP address of 192.168.1.x (192.168.1.10 will work fine)
  • Connect your PC to an internal port of the ASUS router
  • Open the restore utility and choose the Untangle firmware .img file you wish to install
  • Turn on the router while holding down the "Recovery" button using a paperclip (next to WPS button)
  • When the power LED is slowly flashing release the recovery button and push Upload in the restore utility

Once the upload is complete wait a few minutes and reboot the router.

Flashing firmware with TFTP

Similar to above, you can use TFTP to upload a new firmware directly to the device in recovery mode.

While I'm sure this will work on many O/Ses, the instructions below work well on Linux.

  • Give your PC an IP address of 192.168.1.x (192.168.1.10 will work fine)
  • Connect your PC to an internal port of the ASUS router
  • Start tftp
tftp 192.168.1.1

  • Run these commands in tftp
tftp> binary
tftp> rexmt 1
tftp> verbose
tftp> timeout 300
tftp> put asus-firmware.trx (use the name of the firmware file here)

  • Turn on the router while holding down the "Recovery" button using a paperclip (next to WPS button)
  • When the power LED is slowly flashing release the recovery button and push Upload in the restore utility

When the process is complete it will say something like: Sent x bytes in y seconds [z bits/sec] type.

Wait five minutes and reboot the router.